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The Guardian (1990)

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A young couple with a newborn baby don't realize that the nanny they hired is a magical nymph who sacrifices infants to an evil tree.



(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ned Runcie
Ralph Hess
Molly Sheridan (as Natalia Nogulich)
Pamela Brull ...
Gail Krasno
Allan Sheridan
Jack David Walker ...
Willy Parsons ...
Arlene Russell
Ray Reinhardt ...
Dr. Klein


Phil and Kate have a baby boy named Jake. They hire a baby-sitter, Camilla, to look after Jake and she becomes part of the family. The Sterling's friend and neighbor, Ned, takes a liking to Camilla and asks her out. She refuses, but Ned follows her and discovers that she is not quite human. Camilla discovers that she has been followed and Ned is pursued. He leaves a desperate message for Phil and Kate which reveals that Camilla has special plans for baby Jake. Written by brooks@odie.ee.wits.ac.za and drxcreatures@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

baby | nanny | friend | neighbor | druid | See All (98) »


Tonight, while the world is asleep... an ancient evil is about to awaken.


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A vérszomjas dada  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


A cable television version of the film is not billed to William Friedkin, but to Alan Smithee, a generic name which is used by directors when they don't want to be associated with a picture. This, despite the fact that Friedkin claims on the film's audio-commentary he never heard of such a version. There are two versions of "The Guardian": the theatrical cut, credited to Friedkin, and a modified cut, credited to Smithee. The Smithee cut has never been released on home video or DVD, and has only been shown on cable. It includes new scenes, including another scene in the hospital, different dream sequences, a scene of the nanny waking the wife up and alternate angles for other scenes. Also, the ending of the cable cut is different and omits much of the gore. See more »


As the tree is being cut down, the movie keeps cutting back to Camilla, showing what damage it is doing to her. When the guy finishes cutting down the tree, there is a shot of Camilla and her left leg breaks off and she falls to the ground. The two shots immediately following, of the mother tackling her and then of Camilla being thrown out the window, both show her with her legs still intact. See more »


Kate: [stuffed owl] And this is Pyewacket!
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While The City Sleeps
Written by Roger Eno
Performed by Roger Eno
Courtesy of Opal Records
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User Reviews

Oh No!!! It's the angry, evil tree!!
1 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Friendkin's horror film since the legendary 'The Exorcist' doesn't come close to that one's brilliancy, but it merely stands as an enjoyable waste of time. The Guardian is a rather anonymous horror entry with several macabre fairytale aspects. It's all about an all-American family that faces the ultimate nightmare: the loss of a harmless, innocent infant! A young couple just moved to Southern California when the wife is pregnant. They hire a seemly friendly nanny, but she turns out to be an evil tree-worshiper who sacrifices pure baby blood to an old tree. That is the story, I kid you not. Apparently, Friedkin tried to combine the occult, ancient rites of druids and the typically modern fear for child abuse with his film…He has done more successful and effective things in his career, that's for sure. The climax of this film is extremely violent and blood-soaked. Although, it has to be said that Friendkin still knows how knows how to build up an unbearable tension…Just look at the sequence in which an architect is trapped in his own house, while bloodthirsty coyotes are lurking outside his window.

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