The Bodyguard (1992 film)
|Parts of this article (those related to Musical Adaptation) are outdated. (December 2012)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mick Jackson|
|Produced by||Kevin Costner
|Written by||Lawrence Kasdan|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Editing by||Donn Cambern
Richard A. Harris
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||130 minutes|
The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic thriller film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. 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 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross It was directed by Mick Jackson. This film was Houston's acting debut. It was the second-highest-grossing film worldwide in 1992. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 42 million copies worldwide.
Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) is an Oscar-nominated music superstar who is being stalked and sent death threats. 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 not there when Reagan was shot because he was off duty at the time. He is now a highly successful private and professional bodyguard who protects corporate VIPs. He is hired by Rachel's manager, Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs), to protect her after she receives a number of threats against her life and a small bomb detonates in her dressing room.
The film follows Rachel's singing career and family life. Frank is unsure about accepting the job because he sees Rachel as a spoiled diva who is oblivious to the threats against her life. Rachel's handlers had kept the bomb in the dressing room secret from her. At first, Rachel looks upon Frank as paranoid and his protection techniques intrusive. Rachel's existing bodyguard Tony (Mike Starr) resents Frank's presence. But at a concert where Rachel is performing there is a riot and Frank successfully protects her from danger; as a result of his protection, Rachel falls in love with Frank. He initially tries to keep the relationship professional, but the two sleep together. However, recognizing that their relationship may compromise his protection of her, Frank breaks off their affair. Hurt, Rachel begins to push Frank's buttons by violating their security routines and attempting to sleep with his former Secret Service co-worker, Greg Portman (Tomas Arana). After she has personal contact with her stalker via a creepy phone call, Rachel realizes that she must put her trust in Frank ahead of her own desire for success. 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 log cabin in the mountains by a lake. Frank's dad, Herb Farmer (Ralph Waite) is a semi-retired attorney who welcomes the group to his home. At the mountain retreat, Nicki attempts to seduce Frank, and becomes angry when her advances are refused. Fletcher is almost killed the next day, when a bomb explodes inside the boat he had been riding in moments before. After finding footprints around the cabin, and finding the automobiles sabotaged, they realize Rachel's stalker has followed them.
They lock down the house for the night, with plans to leave in the morning. It is then revealed that Rachel's obsessive stalker and the person trying to kill her are not the same person, when an upset and drunken Nicki admits that in a drug-induced jealous fit 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 she hired 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.
The hitman breaks into the house, Nicki tries to stop him, and he shoots and kills her before escaping. Frank, who is armed with a semi-automatic handgun, ensures that his father has secured the rest of the group on the second floor, then pursues the killer into the woods. Frank shoots at the hitman, but the hitman escapes through the dark woods. Frank learns the next day, from his Secret Service colleagues, that they have apprehended the stalker and were interviewing him when Nicki was shot.
Frank heads with Rachel to the Oscars. During the actual show, Rachel freezes and runs offstage, angry at Frank for embarrassing her. She goes back 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 at her disguised as a camera, and tries to get a shot at him, but is unable to. As Portman aims his gun at Rachel, Frank runs on stage and leaps in front of her as she accepts her award, getting shot himself in the process of shielding Rachel. He shoots Portman through his camera-gun, killing him. Rachel calls for help, urging Frank to stay with her.
Frank recovers and goes to say goodbye to Rachel at the airport. After the plane starts to taxi, Rachel gets down and runs to Frank, and they kiss. She gets back on the plane, and Frank leaves to head to his next job.
- Kevin Costner as Frank Farmer
- Whitney Houston as Rachel Marron
- Gary Kemp as Sy Spector
- Bill Cobbs as Bill Devaney
- Ralph Waite as Herb Farmer
- Tomas Arana as Greg Portman
- Debbie Reynolds as Herself
- Richard Schiff as Skip Thomas
- Christopher Birt as Henry
- DeVaughn Nixon as Fletcher Marron
- Michele Lamar Richards as Nicki Marron
- Nathaniel Parker as Clive Healy
- Mike Starr as Tony Scipelli
- Rollin Jarrett as Miami Reporter
- Robert Wuhl as Oscar Host
- David Foster as Oscar Conductor
- Tony Pierce as Dan (stalker)
Lawrence Kasdan's first screenplay, 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. It was proposed again in 1989, 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, Joan Jett, Deborah Harry, Janet Jackson, Terri Nunn, Kim Carnes, and Dolly Parton were all at some point considered for the role of Rachel Marron.
Critical reception 
The Bodyguard has received mixed to negative reviews. As of May 2013, the film holds a 32% rating on the film aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, and received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations, including Worst Picture, but didn't win any. 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." 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."
Two songs from the film, "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing", were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. The film was also nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning three, including Album of the Year for its soundtrack album of the same name.
Box office 
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. 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. At the time, the film became one of the 100 all-time highest grossing films worldwide, though it has since fallen out.
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. Worldwide, the sales are over 42 million copies. In addition, Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" sold 12 million units worldwide.
The soundtrack features five hit singles for Houston: "I Will Always Love You," "I'm Every Woman," "Queen of the Night," and two Oscar-nominated songs "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You."
- The Simpsons – in the episode "Mayored to the Mob", Homer Simpson receives bodyguard training from an instructor singing "I Will Always Love You'" after graduating his class. Also in the episode, Mark Hamill gets carried by Homer in a fashion which parodies the way Costner carries Houston in the film.
- 30 Rock – in the episode "Hard Ball", Tracy Jordan is rescued from a mob by his entourage; his character sang "I Will Always Love You" during the scene.
- Bulletproof – a scene in the film parodies The Bodyguard with Adam Sandler's character singing "I Will Always Love You" and remarking that Damon Wayans's character can always be his bodyguard.
- The Venture Bros. – in the second season episode "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills", after having fallen in love with her charge, Dr. Venture, bodyguard Myra Brandish says she was taught "Never let them out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love", the tag line from the film.
- In Living Color - Kim Wayans plays Grace Jones as the Whitney Houston character and Jim Carrey plays the Kevin Costner character, complete with bad hair. The scene when Kevin Costner carries Whitney Houston off-stage from the original movie is reversed with Grace Jones carrying Frank Farmer off while singing "I Will Always Love You".
- American Dad! - In the episode "Lincoln Lover", Stan Smith creates a play which depicts the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard. At the end of the play, the song "I Will Always Love You" starts playing.
- Joey - In the episode "Joey and the Beard," Joey Tribbiani is told, "You know the rules: Never let her out of your sight, never let your guard down, and never fall in love." He quickly recognizes this as the film's tagline.
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 .
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."
Musical adaptation 
A musical adaptation of the film is set to open in London's Adelphi Theatre in the West End in Fall 2012. David Ian, who will produce the musical, has been receiving 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 will be 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". Tony Award-winning actress and singer Heather Headley has recently been cast to play the role of Rachel Marron, the role played in the film by Houston.
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