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Be Kind Rewind – Comb Your Hair in a Pompadour, Like the Rest of the Romeos Wore

By Michael Nazarewycz

He was a dancer, having played Danny Zuko in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He was a singer/songwriter, co-penning and singing “She’s Like the Wind,” from Dirty Dancing, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. And he was an actor, appearing in several iconic ‘80s films, including The Outsiders and Dirty Dancing. He was Patrick Swayze, and he left this earth in 2009 after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. And we miss him.

 

Red Dawn (1984)Red Dawn
1984
Starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey
Directed by John Milius

High school is full of so much pressure: getting good grades, resisting peer pressure, navigating social cliques, and combating Soviet and Nicaraguan invaders. Wait, what? Exactly. Like so many films of the ‘80s, this film, starring Swayze as a stud football player for a nondescript Midwestern high school, fueled viewers’ anti-communism xenophobia, and to great effect. As Jed, the oh-so-good-looking Swayze leads a ragtag group of teens (who are also oh-so-good-looking, but not AS oh-so-good-looking as Swayze) into the woods, where they live as freedom fighters. They call themselves (and quite loudly at times), the Wolverines ... after their high school football team, not the footwear or the popular comic book character.

Road House (1989)Road House
1989
Starring Patrick Swayze, Ben Gazzara, Kelly Lynch, and Sam Elliott
Directed by Rowdy Herrington

Oh the things Hollywood teaches you. In Road House, we learn that there is more to the security forces protecting redneck bars than just bouncers. There is a middle-management bouncer, and he called the “Cooler.” Swayze plays Dalton, the Luke Skywalker of Coolers, and yes, there is a correlating Obi-Wan Kenobi in this tale, and his name is Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott). This film oozes so much testosterone you need a squeegee for your screen, and it offers a unique combination of Eastern philosophy, glistening pecs, Thai Chi, and hair gel. Throw in sexy doctor Elizabeth Clay (Lynch), as well as big-mean-fish-in-the-nice-small-town-pond Brad Wesley (Gazzara), a bluesy Jeff Healey soundtrack, and a cornucopia of memorable quotes, and you have a seriously guilty pleasure that has something for guys AND girls.

  

Check out other Be Kind Rewind issues:

Michael Nazarewycz is a US-based Writer for UK-based Filmoria.com. He also blogs at ScribeHard On Film. He can be reached via Twitter @ScribeHard.

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