28 user 16 critic

Lifeguard (1976)

PG | | Drama | 23 July 1976 (USA)
Rick is in his 30s, but still works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles, California. He enjoys the fun of it, but even more, the silent moments. However, when he meets ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sharon Clark ...
Tina (as Sharon Weber)
Steve Burns ...
Machine Gun
Mr. Carlson (as George D. Wallace)
Paul Kent ...
Jack Gilmore
Susan Anderson ...
Beatrice Colen ...
Linda Gillen ...
Russ Marin ...


Rick is in his 30s, but still works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles, California. He enjoys the fun of it, but even more, the silent moments. However, when he meets his divorced high school girlfriend and her five-year-old son at their fifteen year class reunion, he considers switching to a more "serious" job. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every girl's summer dream




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 July 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El salvavidas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rick Carson was originally called Rich Campbell, a member in the rock group The Gang. See more »


Chris Randall: Hey, you wanna stop for a beer?
Rick Carlson: Hey man, I'd like to, but I got a little, eh, stewy friend coming in tonight.
Chris Randall: Yeah? Is it true what they say about stewardesses?
Rick Carlson: Yeah. And nurses and secretaries and schoolteachers.
Chris Randall: [laughs] What do they say about schoolteachers?
Rick Carlson: Ah, they make you do it over and over and over again, till you get it right.
See more »


References The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952) See more »


Music by Burt Bacharach
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User Reviews

A rather astute look at beach life in 1970's Southern California
2 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Saw this when it came out and, though I never had the leisure to share as much beach time as some of the characters in this film, I did know some of the surf-and-sand denizens of the beaches from Malibu south to San Diego back in the 1970's. I thought this film was a not inaccurate glimpse of what that sun-kissed lifestyle was all about. Sam Elliott was well cast as a lifeguard a few years older than the average athlete who perched on those observation stations, looking out at the Pacific's frequently treacherous waves. He looked the part and had the depth needed to make his character's less-than-monumental struggles to come to grips with his life and his career choice about as convincing as any actor probably could.

With some fallow periods in the years since, Sam has continued to work quite steadily, though I've often wished he wasn't so often confined to Western roles. (What would he have done without Ted Turner and TNT and all those made-for-TV Western sagas?) With that distinctively macho growl of his, there's no mistaking who's doing a voice-over for one of the commercials he's done. I've always felt that his speaking voice has been his unique asset as an actor, not to mention the awesome mustache he frequently sports. "Lifeguard" is worth a look if you want a glimpse of southern California before it became impossibly overcrowded and overbuilt...when it was still a semi-paradise for the young and feckless.

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