Road House impresses first of all with its sharp dialogue exchanges between the characters and the bizarre look of the interiors. The roadhouse itself is designed in such a way as to conjure up a synthetic vision of the postwar period, seeming at once modern and rustic.
Richard Widmark plays the borderline-psycho owner of a combination road house and bowling alley. Widmark's singer, Ida Lupino, begins exhibiting an interest in his manager, Cornel Wilde. To get even with Wilde, Widmark frames him on a robbery charge, then has the unlucky fellow released in his custody. The sadistic Widmark takes every opportunity to flaunt his control over Conte, but this only serves to deepen the relationship between Wilde and Lupino.