Lifeguard (1976)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Lifeguard Photos

Movie Info

Sam Elliot stars as Rick Carlson, a thirty year old lifeguard who thinks life is passing him by. Rick loves the beach life and his job, but after attending his fifteen-year high school reunion and receiving advice from his family and friends that he's wasting his life, Rick begins to question his livelihood and wonders whether he should quit and find a more normal line of work -- such as selling cars for the local Porsche dealership.
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Sam Elliott
as Rick Carlson
Anne Archer
as Cathy
Parker Stevenson
as Chris Randall
Steve Burns
as Machine Gun
Mark Hall
as Bobby
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lifeguard

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Lifeguard belongs to that elect, if scarcely elite, class of film fondly designated "the nice little movie."

Full Review… | December 17, 2011
Parallax View

Lifeguard is worthy of a weekend rental -- but only if you're actually old enough to look back on 1976 and chuckle knowingly.

Full Review… | June 11, 2005

Audience Reviews for Lifeguard


This film was promoted as being a romance movie for teenage girls, but it is anything but. A very good character study with Sam Elliott in one of his better roles.

Katherine Black
Katherine Black

Just watched this c.1976 GEM! Sam Elliot is at his sexiest in this piece which highlights the 70's at its delightfully cheesiest! From the after-school-special instrumental interludes that crescendo when the lovers (shot up-close if at all to avoid showing any indecency) reach theirs...ahhh...the sunsets, the hair-dos, the lifeguards (30-yr-old Sam and his trainee, a perky 16ish Parker Stevenson) who tuck their t-shirts into their tiiiiiiiight jeans! It's almost too much! The budding teenage semi-virgin (played by a young Kathleen Quinlan) who falls for "Rick" (perfect!) the lifeguard because he "made love to her" once in his shack. She's a woman now, and she'll kill herself over him if she wants! But, due to a kismet-ridden meeting at Rick's high school reunion, he's now smitten once again by Cathy (Anne Archer)...and has to give some thought to a life with her and her kid. This movie is RICH with scenery that will make you spit whatever you're drinking out your nose: the driving scenes (Rick drives a bitchin' black Corvette) featuring the ultimate collection of parked 70's cars, restaurants/stores which no longer exist, the beachwear (you just have to see it to believe it)! It's a trip down a lane that is worth a couple of hours! Keeper! (Note: if you see this movie, pay special attention to the song playing during the love-making,"Our Love is Like the Wind, and it's Blowin' Me Away," - not that you could miss it! THE BEAUTIFUL HUMANITY!!!)

Jean W
Jean W

Sam Elliot's sincere performance boosts the films tired and often used story. Good location footage. It's ordinary but watchable. It plays like a television made movie from the time. It's a likeable film though.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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