The Bodyguard (1992 film)

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The Bodyguard
The Bodyguard 1992 Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMick Jackson[1]
Produced byKevin Costner
Lawrence Kasdan
Jim Wilson
Written byLawrence Kasdan
StarringKevin Costner
Whitney Houston
Gary Kemp
Bill Cobbs
Ralph Waite
Tomas Arana
Michele Lamar Richards
Mike Starr
DeVaughn Nixon
Gerry Bamman
Joe Urla
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Edited byDonn Cambern
Richard A. Harris
Production
company
Tig Productions
Kasdan Pictures
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 25, 1992 (1992-11-25)
Running time130 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$411,006,740[3]
 
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The Bodyguard
The Bodyguard 1992 Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMick Jackson[1]
Produced byKevin Costner
Lawrence Kasdan
Jim Wilson
Written byLawrence Kasdan
StarringKevin Costner
Whitney Houston
Gary Kemp
Bill Cobbs
Ralph Waite
Tomas Arana
Michele Lamar Richards
Mike Starr
DeVaughn Nixon
Gerry Bamman
Joe Urla
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyAndrew Dunn
Edited byDonn Cambern
Richard A. Harris
Production
company
Tig Productions
Kasdan Pictures
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • November 25, 1992 (1992-11-25)
Running time130 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[2]
Box office$411,006,740[3]

The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic thriller film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston that was released on Friday, 25 November 1992. Costner stars as a former Secret Service Agent-turned-bodyguard who is hired to protect Houston's character, a music star, from an unknown stalker. Lawrence Kasdan wrote the film in the mid 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross.[4] It was directed by Mick Jackson. This film was Houston's acting debut. It was the second-highest-grossing film worldwide in 1992, making $411 million worldwide, despite mixed to negative reviews from critics. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.[5]

The film impliedly takes place in Los Angeles in late 1995 or early 1996, as it culminates at the then-future 68th Academy Awards.

Plot[edit]

Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) is an Oscar-nominated music superstar who is being stalked and sent death threats. Things get dangerously out of hand when a bomb disguised as a doll explodes in her dressing room. Rachel's manager, Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs), seeks the services of a professional bodyguard to protect her.[6] Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) is a former Secret Service Special Agent who served as part of the presidential protection detail during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Frank is haunted by the fact that he was off duty when Reagan was shot. Bill eventually finds Farmer, who is now a highly successful private bodyguard, mostly protecting corporate VIPs. However, Frank is reluctant to accept the offer to guard Rachel as he sees her as a spoiled diva who is oblivious to the threats against her life.

Frank's misgivings are confirmed when he enters Rachel's estate too easily. And when he is finally introduced to the superstar, Rachel looks upon Frank as paranoid and his extensive protection techniques as intrusive. Rachel's existing bodyguard Tony (Mike Starr) resents Frank's presence. But at a concert where Rachel is performing a riot breaks out, and Frank rescues her from danger. As a result, the two develop a closer relationship. Frank tries to remain professional, but the two sleep together. However, recognizing that this compromises his ability to protect his client, Frank breaks off their affair. Hurt, Rachel begins to defy Frank's painstaking security measures. She even goes as far as attempting to sleep with his former Secret Service colleague Greg Portman (Tomas Arana). But after she has personal contact with her stalker via a threatening phone call, Rachel realizes that she must put her trust in Frank ahead of her own desire for personal gratification. She finally recognizes the seriousness of the situation and cancels the rest of her tour.

Frank, Rachel, Rachel's driver Henry (Christopher Birt), Rachel's son Fletcher (DeVaughn Nixon), and her sister Nicki (Michele Lamar Richards) then travel to Frank's father's home (which is a large, lakefront log cabin in the mountains). Frank's dad, Herb Farmer (Ralph Waite) is a semi-retired attorney who welcomes the group to his home. Nicki later attempts to seduce Frank and becomes angry when her advances are refused. The next day, Fletcher is almost killed when a bomb explodes inside the boat he rode moments before. After finding footprints around the cabin and sabotaged automobiles, Frank realizes that Rachel's stalker has followed them.

After securing the house for the night, Frank plans to leave with Rachel and company in the morning, then learns that Rachel's obsessive stalker and the person trying to kill her are not the same person. Angry and drunk, Nicki admits that during a drug-induced fit of jealousy she hired a hitman to kill Rachel, but that the letters from the stalker came before that. After Fletcher was almost killed, Nicki realized the hitman would kill anyone to get to his target, including her beloved nephew. However, she cannot call it off because she does not know the killer's identity. Abruptly, the hitman breaks into the house, then shoots Nicki to death before she could stop him. Frank, who is armed with a semi-automatic pistol, ensures that his father has secured the rest of the group on the second floor. Upon tracking the killer and then pursuing him into the woods, Frank shoots but misses, allowing the former to escape capture. Frank learns the next day, from his Secret Service contacts, that they have apprehended the stalker and were interviewing him when Nicki was shot.

Frank and Rachel attend Nicki's funeral and then, the Oscars. A host of backstage technical issues hamper Frank's efforts to monitor the proceedings closely. During the actual show, Rachel freezes and runs offstage (angry at Frank for embarrassing her with overprotective measures). However, Rachel returns to the audience (to be there when they announce her name as the winner for Best Actress). As she comes toward the stage to accept the award, the hitman is revealed to be Portman. Frank notices Portman pointing a gun disguised as a camera at Rachel. As Portman prepares for the fatal shot, Frank runs on stage and leaps in front of Rachel, intercepting the shot. Once regaining his balance, he shoots Portman through his camera-gun, killing him. Frank is left wounded and Rachel calls for help—all the while urging him to stay with her.

Frank recovers from the shooting and goes to say goodbye to Rachel at the airport. After the plane starts to taxi, Rachel suddenly jumps out and runs to Frank for one last passionate kiss. The two reluctantly let go. Rachel boards the plane, and Frank leaves for his next protection detail.

Cast[edit]

Background[edit]

Lawrence Kasdan's first screenplay,[4] the film was originally proposed in 1976 with Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in the leads, but negotiations fell through as McQueen refused to be billed second to Ross.[7] It was proposed again in 1979,[citation needed] starring Ryan O'Neal and Ross again in the leads. The project fell through due to irreconcilable differences in the relationship between the two stars. Costner stated that he based Frank Farmer on Steve McQueen; even cutting his hair like McQueen (who had died 12 years earlier). Olivia Newton-John, Pat Benatar, Madonna, Cher, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, Liza Minnelli, Janet Jackson, Donna Summer, Terri Nunn, Kim Carnes, and Dolly Parton were all at some point considered for the role of Rachel Marron.[citation needed]

The 1920s Beverly Hills mansion and grounds featured in the film once belonged to William Randolph Hearst; also featured in The Godfather (1972).

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

As of August 2014, The Bodyguard holds a 32% rating on the film aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes,[8] and received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations, including Worst Picture, but didn't win any.[9] Owen Gleibermann, of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the film negatively, stating, "To say that Houston and Costner fail to strike sparks would be putting it mildly." He added, "[...] the movie gives us these two self-contained celebrity icons working hard to look as if they want each other. It's like watching two statues attempting to mate."[10] However, other critics praised the film, such as Roger Ebert, who gave the film three out of four stars, remarking "The movie does contain a love story, but it's the kind of guarded passion that grows between two people who spend a lot of time keeping their priorities straight."[11]

Two songs from the film, "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing", were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.[12] The film was also nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning three, including Album of the Year for its soundtrack album of the same name.[13] The film was nominated for several MTV Movie Awards, an Image Award, BMI Film & TV Awards, Germanys Golden Screen Award and an Award of the Japanese Academy. All of which are listed on IMDB's website.

The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.[14]

Box office[edit]

In the United States, The Bodyguard opened on November 25, 1992 in 1,717 theaters; it grossed $16.6 million in its opening weekend, ranking third.[15] The film was in theaters for thirteen non-consecutive weeks, ultimately grossing $121.9 million domestically, and $410.9 million worldwide. It was the seventh highest-grossing film of 1992 in North America, and the second highest-grossing film of 1992, worldwide.[16] At the time, the film became one of the 100 all-time highest grossing films worldwide, though it has since fallen out.[17]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album became the best-selling soundtrack of all time. It has been certified diamond in the US (sales of at least ten million) with shipments of over 17 million copies.[18] Worldwide, the sales are over 45 million copies.[19] In addition, Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" sold 12 million units worldwide.[20]

The soundtrack features five songs which were hit singles for Houston: "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Every Woman", the two Oscar-nominated songs, "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You", and "Queen of the Night".

In 2013, La La Land Records released a limited edition CD (3500 units) of Alan Silvestri's original score.[21]

Parodies[edit]

Remake[edit]

In 2011, Warner Bros. announced a remake that will update the story to reflect the world of the Internet; in which sites such as Twitter, Google Maps and countless other sites make access to celebrities easier than ever. The remake will be penned by Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer. Singer Rihanna was once sought after to play the role of Rachel.[22]

On 10 March 2011, Rihanna ruled out playing the part saying, "Absolutely not. I hate it when singers do singing movies all the time, because you can never look at them as anybody else. I want to play a character. My whole life is playing Rihanna; being a singer won't be a stretch for me."[23]

Musical adaptation[edit]

A musical adaptation of the film opened in London's Adelphi Theatre in the West End in Fall 2012. David Ian, who produces the musical, received the stage rights from Costner, a producer of the film as well as its star, and Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote it, reports Baz Bamigboye. The film's famous soundtrack is used as a score for the production. In addition to the megahit "I Will Always Love You", the songs include "I'm Every Woman", "Run to You", "Jesus Loves Me" and "Queen of the Night". Several of Houston's other songs are used as well, including "I'm Your Baby Tonight", "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)". Tony Award-winning actress and singer Heather Headley was cast to play the role of Rachel Marron, the role played in the film by Houston. MOBO Award-winning and BRIT-nominated singer Beverley Knight took over the role of Rachel Marron in September 2013 through to May 2014; she was replaced by Alexandra Burke in June 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Ryan (1992-11-01). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : TINKER, TINKER : Today's Special: 'Bodyguard.' Care for the Director's Cut or the Final Cut?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  2. ^ Box Office Information for The Bodyguard. The Numbers. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Box Office Information for The Bodyguard. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b John J. Puccio (February 8, 2005). "Bodyguard (DVD)" (review). DVDTown.com. 
  5. ^ Ford, Rebecca (March 15, 2012). "Whitney Houston's 'The Bodyguard' to Re-Release in Theaters for One Night". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ The Bodyguard (1992), IMDB.com
  7. ^ Beck, Marilyn, Stacy Jenel Smith. – "Costner Sings to Houston's Debut". – Los Angeles Daily News. – October 7, 1991.
  8. ^ The Bodyguard Movie Reviews. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  9. ^ 1992 RAZZIE® Nominees & "Winners" – The Official RAZZIE® Forum. Razzies.com. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  10. ^ "The Bodyguard". Entertainment Weekly. 1992-12-04. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  11. ^ "The Bodyguard". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  12. ^ Awards for The Bodyguard (1992), IMDB.com
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0. 
  15. ^ The Bodyguard (1992) Box Office Mojo Retrieved 2010-09-13
  16. ^ The Bodyguard (1992) Box Office Mojo Retrieved 2010-09-13
  17. ^ The Bodyguard (1992). Box Office Mojo (1993-04-27). Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  18. ^ Gold & Platinum – April 05, 2011. RIAA. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  19. ^ Whitney Houston. Music.ninemsn.com.au. (Jul. 26, 2007) Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  20. ^ Shawn Telford (November 8, 2008). "Behind the glitter and glitz, the real Dolly Parton shines". Seattlepi.com. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  21. ^ http://www.lalalandrecords.com/BodyGuard.html
  22. ^ Rihanna to be in 'The Bodyguard' remake? - Times Of India. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2011-02-27). Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  23. ^ http://www.bvonmovies.com/2011/03/09/rihanna-not-interested-in-bodyguard-remake/

External links[edit]