My Bodyguard 1980
1h 36min | Comedy, Drama, Family | 26 September 1980 (USA)
Clifford Peache is the new kid in Lake View High School. Faced with all the stress that role entails he makes his situation worse by insulting Moody, the leader of a group of toughs who extort lunch money from kids. These punks pretend to be bodyguards for the kids to protect them from Linderman who, it is rumored, killed his brother in cold blood. Clifford befriends the sullen Linderman and hires him as his bodyguard. When Moody ups the ante, Linderman must decide whether fighting for what he believes in, with his haunted past and image, is justified.
Tony Bill’s “My Bodyguard” seems to be a film that has been forgotten. Thanks to the Fox cable channel, it turned up the other night. It doesn’t seem possible this movie is twenty five years old already. Not having seen it when it was released, we took a chance and it paid off handsomely.
The film addresses the bullying in schools, a nightmare for those students that appear weak, or easy marks for these predators to make a name for themselves among their peers, at the others expense. Unfortunately, no one pays attention to the ones being abused and Hollywood, in general, takes the bully’s side in many occasions, at the expense of the nerd, or the ones suffering the harassment.
“My Bodyguard” shows some of today’s familiar faces as they looked in those years. Some have gone to careers of their own, such as Matt Dillon, Adam Baldwin, Joan Cusack, George Wendt, and the uncredited Jennifer Beals, who has no speaking role.
When Clifford Peache, the son of a hotel manager in Chicago, changes schools, he meets his worst nightmare: Melvin Moody. Melvin terrorizes kids, especially those young and vulnerable. Clifford is the new target for Melvin to bring down and humiliate if he doesn’t agree to do whatever he is told. Rick Linderman, the tall and strange guy in Cliff’s class is the perfect candidate to be engaged as a body guard for all the kids being abused. In fact, Rick teaches Clifford a lesson when at the end he has to face the mean Melvin, who proves to be a coward, as all bullies are.
“My Bodyguard” is an entertaining film to watch thanks to the great performance by Chris Makepeace, who makes a great Clifford. Ruth Gordon, who plays Clifford’s grandmother, has some comic moments. Martin Mull is seen as Cliff’s father and John Houseman appears briefly as the man who is charmed by Grandma Peache.
Director: Tony Bill
Writer: Alan Ormsby
Stars: Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon