Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love, treachery, and broken furniture are the hallmarks of this rollicking action drama. Dalton (Patrick Swayze) has a Ph.D., but rather than make a living teaching Socrates at some university, he's opted to become a top-drawer "cooler" -- an expert barroom bouncer who can break up fights without getting himself killed in the process. Dalton is hired to keep the peace at the Double Duce, a rough-and-tumble honky tonk in Jasper, Missouri, where beer-soaked free-for-alls are a nightly event. Dalton is hurt on his first night on the job, and he is patched up by "Doc" Clay (Kelly Lynch), a beautiful woman working as the town's physician. Dalton and Doc immediately hit it off, but Dalton learns that another man, Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara), already has his eye on her. Wesley is a man used to getting his way; he's an extortionist and crime boss who has nearly everyone in Jasper under his thumb, and he sets out to teach Dalton a lesson, while Dalton is determined to clean up the town like he breaks up brawls at the Double Duce. Sam Elliott plays Dalton's mentor Wade, and Red West, a one-time member of Elvis Presley's "Memphis Mafia," appears as Webster; Canadian blues-rock guitarist Jeff Healey leads the Double Duce house band.
good-guy, bad-guy, bar [pub], conflict, corruption, criminal, gangster, mob-boss, one-against-odds, outsider, power-struggle, rebel-without-a-cause, student