Road House: Patrick Swayze stars in trailer in 1989
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Patrick Swayze wanted to make his films as realistic as possible. So when the final scene of the brutal 1989 movie Road House was being shot, he pulled his colleague to one side to have a word with him.
Swayze’s character, James Dalton, had found himself in a life-or-death fistfight in the movie’s last scenes against gang member Jimmy Reno (Teague). But Swayze didn’t want to see pulled punches in the battle. He wanted to feel the pain.
Teague remembered the day they filmed the final fight. He said: “[Swayze] comes to me, offers his hand and says: ‘You like this s**t, don’t you?’ I say: ‘No, I love this s**t.'”
Swayze smiled and suggested they start hitting each other for real: “What do you say? Let’s not cheat the audience for a change. Let’s bring it … What do you say let’s just rock ‘n’ roll?”
However, the Dirty Dancing star did have one rule that they shouldn’t break.
Swayze added: “Try to leave the head and faces alone as much as possible because we still got a movie to shoot.”
Teague was more than up for the fight.
Teague responded: “You came to the right place. Let’s rock ‘n’ roll.” So when the camera started rolling next, Swayze and Teague started laying into one another. Every body shot was real, every guttural moan was authentic as the grown men started punching the living daylights out of one another all in the name of cinema.
The film’s fight trainer, Benny Urquidez, recalled: “It was a pretty solid fight. The good part is Marshall was able to take good impact. And Patrick, too, he took some shots as well. They both traded shots pretty good.”
He added that the fight got “really heated” during filming.
Eventually, the crew had to step in.
Dirty Dancing: Patrick Swayze stars in trailer for 1987 film
Teague remembered: “The next thing I know, everybody — and I do mean everybody — was piling on top of [Swayze] and me. And they’re all: ‘Hey, just cool off, guys! We’re just shooting a movie here!’ [Swayze] and I are just sitting there, our faces in the dirt. We’re like: ‘Get off of us, would ya? We know what we’re doing. Just let us do what we do.'”
It turns out that the crew thought the two actors were fighting for real.
“I mean, they thought we were going to kill each other,” Teague said. “There were maybe nine guys piled on top and holding us down, and we’re both like: ‘What in the heck are you doing?'”
Swayze eventually stood up after being dragged to the floor by the cast and crew to tell them what was going on.
Swayze “spat dirt and blood from his mouth” and said: “Guys, this is what you came for. Let us dance, it’s what we came for.”
Teague added: “And from that point on, they finally realised that that was the way this was going to go.”
The end result of the fight can be seen above, but some of the most horrific moments in the battle are actually real.
Teague explained: “That log that I broke across his ribs — that wasn’t in the script. That cracked his rib. He cracked my eye socket so I cracked his ribs.”
Still, Swayze and Teague were professionals who held nothing against one another.
The latter noted that, after filming had finished, he told Swayze: “Wow, dang, man, that hurt.”
Swayze quipped: “Yeah, well, that log didn’t feel great either.”
They eventually agreed they were “even”.
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