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Lifeguard (1976)

PG | | Drama | 23 July 1976 (USA)
Rick, still in his 30's, works full-time as a lifeguard on the beaches of Los Angeles. When he meets his divorced high school girlfriend and her five-year-old son at their fifteen years, he considers switching to a more "serious" job.


Daniel Petrie


Ron Koslow




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Elliott ... Rick
Anne Archer ... Cathy
Stephen Young ... Larry
Parker Stevenson ... Chris
Kathleen Quinlan ... Wendy
Sharon Clark Sharon Clark ... Tina (as Sharon Weber)
Steve Burns Steve Burns ... Machine Gun
Lenka Peterson ... Mrs. Carlson
George Wallace ... Mr. Carlson (as George D. Wallace)
Paul Kent Paul Kent ... Jack Gilmore
Susan Anderson Susan Anderson ... Sandy
Beatrice Colen ... Judy
Linda Gillen ... Dell
Jody Gilbert ... Woman
Russ Marin ... Voyeur


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 »

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Did You Know?


Parker Stevenson (Chris) played Craig Pomeroy on Baywatch (1989). See more »


Chris Randall: Hey, what do you do during the winter?
Rick Carlson: Same thing I do during the summer.
Rick Carlson: Yeah? Must get lonely, huh?
Rick Carlson: Ah, beats selling encyclopedias.
See more »


Time and Tide
Words and Music by Paul Williams
Sung by Dale Menten
See more »

User Reviews

A rather astute look at beach life in 1970's Southern California
2 May 2003 | by gregcoutureSee 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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Release Date:

23 July 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lifeguard See more »


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Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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