Sep 11, 2021

Lifeguard (1976)


A rather touching film that really has no business being on VZ1, but with a movie poster like this, and a nude scene from the Playboy Playmate of the Year 1971, we should at least give it a look.

Rick (Sam Elliott) is a lifeguard in his thirties. Chris (Parker Stevenson) has just been hired to work weekend.

Rick is super cool, but is he too old to still be a lifeguard?  That's a question dealt with throughout the film. 

The Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) are a group of kids whose mission is to grope and fondle as many women as possible in the ocean.

Their leader is Machine Gun (Steve Burns).

Tina (Sharon Clark) pays a visit to Rick's bachelor pad.

Clark was the Playboy Playmate of the Year 1971

She takes a shower.

Rick sneaks in and turns off the hot water.  Tina chases after him naked.

She wrestles with him butt naked.

Wendy (Kathleen Quinlan) is a 17-year-old with a crush on Rick.

Norma (Louise Golding) poses for the camera.

The UDT can't believe their luck and bum rush the poor woman.

Norma's bikini top is ripped off.

I love that Rick and Chris observe the whole thing and just laugh.  

Rick meets an old high school flame, Cathy (Anne Archer).  She's recently divorced and moved back to LA with her son.

Rick gets flack from his father (George Wallace) for still being a lifeguard.

Wendy sneaks into Rick's apartment.  He has the good sense to turn away the underage girl.

Rick attends his Class of 1960 reunion.

His friend Larry (Stephen Young) says he can get him a job selling Porsches.

Cathy is at the reunion.  Beatrice Colen is a familiar face to anyone who watched TV in the seventies.  She played small parts on Happy Days, Wonder Woman, CPO Sharky, Barney Miller,.. the list goes on.

In an athletic competition, Rick can sense he's not as fit as he used to be.  Maybe he should find another line of work.

Rick and Cathy rekindle their romance.

Rick finally takes Larry's advice and applies for a job selling Porsches.  This is probably the best scene in the movie, as he tells the manager that being a lifeguard is no joke. "That blond Adonis image you're talking about, that doesn't fit anymore. There's a lot of training involved. A lot of responsibility. A lot of discipline. I do more P.R. work out on that beach on a summer day than you do in here in a month. But you're right. Saving lives isn't selling cars." The manager is so impressed, he offers him the job.

Wendy tries to kill herself.  Rick sets her straight, telling her she's got a lot to live for.

Cruising to some mellow 70s tunes.

Rick tells Larry he's not going to take the job selling Porsches.  He's happy just being a lifeguard.  Larry is confused - how could he turn down such an offer?

Larry just wouldn't understand. 

As Baby Boomers realized it was time to put their free-loving ways behind them and grow up, they were faced with a horrifying crisis.  Leave behind the "Me and you and dog named Boo" ramblin' man lifestyle to sell cars or work in an office?  Oh, shit, that sounds terrible.  So, you had a ton of movies depicting the blue collar struggle of leaving behind carefree youth to begin the daily grind of paying those bills.  This film is one of the better examples out there.  Of course, it has no business being on VZ1 aside from a couple glimpses of nudity.


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