Lifeguard (film)

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Directed byDaniel Petrie
Produced byRon Silverman
Written byRon Koslow
StarringSam Elliott
Anne Archer
Stephen Young
Parker Stevenson
Kathleen Quinlan
Music byDale Menten
CinematographyRalph Woolsey
Edited byArt J. Nelson
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 23, 1976 (1976-07-23)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States

Lifeguard is a 1976 American drama film made by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Daniel Petrie from a screenplay by Ron Koslow. It stars Sam Elliott, Anne Archer, Stephen Young, Parker Stevenson, and Kathleen Quinlan.[2][3]


Rick Carlson, a 32-year-old lifeguard on a Southern California beach, is prompted to question his goals in life when he receives an invitation to his 15-year high school reunion. At this reunion, he meets his high-school sweetheart, Cathy, now the divorced mother of a young son. They resume their past relationship and Cathy encourages Rick to take a job as a Porsche salesman, offered to him by another high school classmate. Meanwhile, Rick must deal with Wendy, a lonely teenage girl who has developed a crush on him.



Elliott's parents were lifeguards and he had worked as a lifeguard himself. He was cast after Dan Petrie and his wife saw Elliott on TV in Frogs. The film was finished in August 1975 but held by Paramount until the next year. Elliott held off doing any TV in that time because he hoped the film would establish him in features.[4] This did not happen.[5] However Elliott always regarded the movie as a personal milestone. "Dan Petrie did a great job directing that movie; it was shot for something like only $900,000. Those were the days."[1]

Part of the film was shot in Petrie's own home.[6]

It was produced by Ted Mann.[7]

Most of the lifeguard tower scenes were filmed at the Knob Hill and "Burnout" towers in the South Bay of Los Angeles.


Lifeguard received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a rating of 43% from 14 reviews.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jay Bobbin Zap2it (Apr 9, 2006). "Movie star Elliott does action flick by the book". Journal–Gazette (Final ed.). p. 16W.
  2. ^ "Lifeguard – film review". Variety. May 26, 1976
  3. ^ Frankel, David (4 May 2012). "Cherishing Sun-Baked Cinema". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-09-02.
  4. ^ "Metropolitan: Maggie Daly". Chicago Tribune. 10 June 1976. p. a10.
  5. ^ Deans, Laurie (15 Mar 1985). "LA CLIPS Riding the waves to new success". The Globe and Mail. p. E.7.
  6. ^ Berges, Marshall (30 July 1978). "home q&a: dorothea & dan petrie with persistence and talent they have fashioned careers out of a passion for drama home q&a home q&a home q&a". Los Angeles Times. p. q24.
  7. ^ champlin, charles (Dec 5, 1975). "The Mann Behind Chinese". Los Angeles Times. p. h1.
  8. ^

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