Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tony Bill|
|Produced by||Melvin Simon
|Written by||Alan Ormsby|
|Music by||Dave Grusin|
|Cinematography||Michael D. Margulies|
|Edited by||Stu Linder|
Melvin Simon Productions
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$22.5 million|
My Bodyguard is a 1980 American comedy-drama film directed by Tony Bill (his directorial debut), and written by Alan Ormsby. The film stars Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, Martin Mull, and Ruth Gordon.
Clifford Peache (Chris Makepeace) lives in an upscale Chicago luxury hotel with his father (Martin Mull), who manages the hotel, and his eccentric but loving grandmother (Ruth Gordon). Clifford spends his nights with his family relaxing on the rooftop patio and spying on the neighbors through a telescope. He is the new kid at Lake View High School, where he arrives in a hotel limousine.
Clifford becomes a target of abuse from a bully, Melvin Moody (Matt Dillon). Moody and his gang of thugs, Dubrow (Richard Bradley), Koontz (Tim Reyna), and Hightower (Dean R. Miller), regularly terrorize and extort lunch money from other students, allegedly to protect them from a school outcast, the large, sullen Ricky Linderman (Adam Baldwin). According to school legend, Ricky has killed several people, including his own little brother. A teacher (Kathryn Grody) tells Clifford that the only violence she's aware of from Ricky's past occurred when his younger brother died accidentally while playing with a gun.
Clifford works up the nerve to approach Ricky and asks him to be his bodyguard. Ricky refuses, but the boys become friends after Ricky saves Clifford from a beating by Moody and his gang. Ricky has emotional issues over the death of his nine-year-old brother a year earlier, and is slow to come out of his shell, but has been rebuilding a motorcycle that he cherishes. The friendship between the two boys is strengthened as Clifford successfully helps Ricky search junkyards for a hard-to-find cylinder for the motorcycle's engine.
As Clifford, Ricky, and a few friends from school, including fellow bully-magnets Carson (Paul Quandt), Shelley (Joan Cusack), and an unnamed girl (Jennifer Beals), eat lunch in Lincoln Park, Moody and his gang approach. Moody has enlisted the help of an older bodybuilder named Mike (Hank Salas), someone he announces is his bodyguard. Mike intimidates and physically abuses the younger Ricky, and vandalizes his motorcycle before Moody pushes it into the lagoon. Ricky runs away. He later comes to Clifford to ask for money, ostensibly to pay for pulling the motorcycle out of the lagoon. Feeling used, Clifford follows him and the two argue before Ricky reveals to Clifford that he accidentally shot his brother while babysitting him at home. As a result of the accident, he is overwhelmed with guilt and remorse.
Moody and Mike later return to the park to continue bullying the other children. Ricky is also there retrieving his motorcycle. Moody notices and demands the motorcycle, which Ricky refuses. Moody summons Mike and the two begin to fight; Ricky eventually defeats Mike, then urges Clifford to fight Moody while Ricky coaches him. Clifford initially fights incompetently, but becomes angry and finally lands a solid punch which knocks Moody down and breaks his nose. Moody sits on the ground, whining. Ricky retrieves his motorcycle and as they leave together, he jokingly asks Clifford to be his bodyguard.
- Adam Baldwin as Ricky Linderman
- Chris Makepeace as Clifford Peache
- Matt Dillon as Melvin Moody
- Martin Mull as Mr. Peache
- Ruth Gordon as Gramma Peache
- Paul Quandt as Carson
- Joan Cusack as Shelley
- Hank Salas as Mike
- Richard Bradley as Dubrow
- Tim Reyna as Koontz
- Dean R. Miller as Hightower
- Kathryn Grody as Ms. Jump
- John Houseman as Dobbs
- Craig Richard Nelson as Griffith
- Jennifer Beals (uncredited) as Clifford's friend
- George Wendt as an Engineer
Release and reception
My Bodyguard opened on July 11, 1980, in limited release, and wide release on August 15, 1980. In its limited weekend, the film opened at #3 with $178,641 and went on to gross $22,482,953 in the United States.
The film received generally positive reviews, garnering an 85% "fresh" rating and the consensus "T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains", on review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.
- Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989, p. 259
- "My Bodyguard (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- "Head of the Class: The 50 Best High School Movies". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on March 1, 2011. Retrieved March 1, 2011.
- My Bodyguard at Rotten Tomatoes