My Bodyguard (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

My Bodyguard (1980)

My Bodyguard



Critic Consensus: T. Bill debuts as an affectionate director, keenly aware of growing pains.

My Bodyguard Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This quietly compelling film explores the hardships and anxieties of high school with intelligence, sensitivity, warmth and humor. Chris Makepeace stars as a shy, bookish student who has recently moved to Chicago and begun a new school. There he finds himself the target of a group of punks led by Matt Dillon (ideally cast as the weasel-like bully), who threaten him each day to turn over his lunch money for protection...or else. When he stands up to them, he nearly loses his dental work before being saved by Ricky Lindemann (Adam Baldwin), a hulking loner rumored to have murdered his own brother. Makepeace offers the boy a job as his bodyguard, and the two become unlikely friends -- that is, until the ousted bullies find a champion of their own who challenges Lindemann. When Lindemann refuses to fight back, he disappears into reclusion, and the bullying begins anew, worse than ever. Makepeace then learns the truth about Lindemann's past: he did indeed kill his brother, but the death was an accident while the two young boys were playing with a gun, and Lindemann lives tortured by guilt as a result. Just when things seem at their worst, the bodyguard returns to face his nemesis as Makepeace and Dillon square off in the final showdown of good versus evil. The real strength of the film is its handling of the relationships between its characters, particularly between Makepeace and Baldwin, and Makepeace and his family (Martin Mull and Ruth Gordon). My Bodyguard is light but thoughtful entertainment with a Rocky theme that's suitable for the entire family.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Alan Ormsby, Tim Kazurinsky
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 29, 2002
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Adam Baldwin
as Linderman
Martin Mull
as Mr. Peache
Joan Cusack
as Shelley
Dean R. Miller
as Hightower
Tim Reyna
as Koontz
Dean Miller
as Hightower
Denise Baske
as Leilani
Kathryn Grody
as Miss Jump
Dick Cusack
as Principal Rath
Dorothy Scott
as Librarian
Angelo Buscaglia
as Basketball Coach
Kitt York
as Stewardess
Marge Kotusky
as Mrs. Linderman
Tom Reilly
as Reissman
Marge Kotlisky
as Mrs. Linderman
Jonathan Turk
as Boy in Cast
Cindy Russ
as Cheerleader #1
Laurie McEathron
as Cheerleader #2
Lori Mandell
as Crying Girl
Bill Koza
as Mr. Dunphy
Vivian Smolen
as Mrs. Dunphy
Leonard Mack
as Custodian
George Wendt
as Engineer
Jerome Myers
as Counterman
Freddy Moss
as Counterman #2
Joseph Judson Cohn
as Counterman #3
Patrick Billingsley
as Biology Teacher
Barbara Hoddinott
as Teacher in Hallway
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for My Bodyguard

Critic Reviews for My Bodyguard

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

In his directorial debut, Tony Bill assembles a truly remarkable cast of youngsters with little or no previous acting experience.

Full Review… | July 24, 2007
Top Critic

A film of ingredients, rather than ideas realized and integrated: it panders on different, disjunctive levels.

Full Review… | July 24, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The message that accompanies the central theme -- Kids are basically Nice -- is that Brute Force Rules.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This movie is fun to watch because it touches memories that are shared by most of us, and because its young characters are recognizable individuals, and not simplified cartoon figures like so many movie teen-agers.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A sweet little movie about characters who really seem to be people, and that sort of verisimilitude is rarer than it ought to be nowadays.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

That's why I keep coming back to My Bodyguard: It continually reveals new layers of truth about what it's really like to be a teenager, whether an outcast, a bully or the bullied.

Full Review… | February 14, 2011
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Audience Reviews for My Bodyguard

Clifford Peache: Will you be my bodyguard? I'll pay you fifty cents every day. I'll do your homework for you. I'm pretty smart. 

My Bodyguard isn't a technically well made film by any stretch. It's a movie that doesn't really know what it is. A lot of the time, it feels like a family movie, with patented dialogue for the kids. Then the next minute, there's all this sexual innuendo and violence. The tones of the film are a little off. Still, this is a film I basically enjoyed. It's not a great achievement on any level, but a nice little drama film with some characters you really grow to care for. 

This is another bully movie. Clifford moves into a new school where he is instantly made another victim of the school bully, Moody and his team of goons. Clifford doesn't want to be like all the other kids who pay Moody each day to not get harassed. So he tries to buy protection from a huge kid name Linderman, who has a bunch of legends surrounding his name. He went in a rampage. He rapes teachers. Not even Moody wants to take Lindrrman on. Through hiring him as a bodyguard, the two become good friends. Basically their friendship is what makes the movie. I know it's all a little cliché and all, but when its done right and we actually care about the two of them; it works.

Nothing too special going on here. There's a decent cast, with early roles from Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, and Joan Cusack. Chris Makepeace also makes for a decent teenager. He plays the role like a real person. He's every normal teenager you will ever meet. He doesn't play to a certain clique like most movies make all of their characters out to be. In real life, people don't work that way.

It's worth a look if you like movies of this ilk. Other whys I'd suggest skipping it. Tony Bill doesn't do the audience any favors with his direction and the whole movie ends up resting on the relationship between Clifford and Linderman. Luckily the actors were able to pull off their performances with surprising authenticity. 

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A great teen drama/comedy movie. The story is both quirky and realistic. I really liked this movie, it's fun.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

After all these years I still liked it.

James Alvarez

Super Reviewer

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