The Bodyguard (1992)

R | 129 mins | Drama | 25 November 1992

Director:

Mick Jackson

Writer:

Lawrence Kasdan

Cinematographer:

Andrew Dunn

Production Designer:

Jeffrey Beecroft

Production Companies:

Warner Bros. Pictures , TIG Productions , Kasdan Pictures
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HISTORY

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer-producer Lawrence Kasdan conceived of the script in 1975. The leading role was written for actor Steve McQueen. An item in the 18 Aug 1977 HR announced that the screenplay had been sold to Warner Bros. Pictures, and a 13 Dec 1978 Var article listed The Bodyguard as one of fifteen Warner Bros. films set to go into production in 1979. Nearly three years later, a 13 Nov 1981 DV article claimed the film would be produced by Daniel Melnick’s IndieProd Company and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. This article also named Mark Kasdan as a co-writer. Distribution rights reverted to Warner Bros., however, and neither IndieProd Company nor Mark Kasdan received credit in the final film. Although Lawrence Kasdan considered directing his own script, he was unavailable when the project finally came together and went into production some ten years later.
       A 3 May 1991 LAT item announced that Kevin Costner would co-star with singer Whitney Houston, who was set to make her feature film acting debut as “Rachel Marron.” Although Madonna was rumored to have expressed interest in the role, an 8 Jul 1991 People news item suggested the singer-actress had ruined her chances by portraying Kevin Costner negatively in her recently released documentary, Truth or Dare (1991, see entry).
       In preparation for the role of “Frank Farmer,” Kevin Costner spent time with bodyguards and security advisor Gavin DeBecker, who specialized in “high-profile celebrity protection.”
       Principal photography began on 25 Nov 1991, as listed in the 3 Dec 1991 HR production chart. Locations ... More Less

According to production notes in AMPAS library files, writer-producer Lawrence Kasdan conceived of the script in 1975. The leading role was written for actor Steve McQueen. An item in the 18 Aug 1977 HR announced that the screenplay had been sold to Warner Bros. Pictures, and a 13 Dec 1978 Var article listed The Bodyguard as one of fifteen Warner Bros. films set to go into production in 1979. Nearly three years later, a 13 Nov 1981 DV article claimed the film would be produced by Daniel Melnick’s IndieProd Company and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox. This article also named Mark Kasdan as a co-writer. Distribution rights reverted to Warner Bros., however, and neither IndieProd Company nor Mark Kasdan received credit in the final film. Although Lawrence Kasdan considered directing his own script, he was unavailable when the project finally came together and went into production some ten years later.
       A 3 May 1991 LAT item announced that Kevin Costner would co-star with singer Whitney Houston, who was set to make her feature film acting debut as “Rachel Marron.” Although Madonna was rumored to have expressed interest in the role, an 8 Jul 1991 People news item suggested the singer-actress had ruined her chances by portraying Kevin Costner negatively in her recently released documentary, Truth or Dare (1991, see entry).
       In preparation for the role of “Frank Farmer,” Kevin Costner spent time with bodyguards and security advisor Gavin DeBecker, who specialized in “high-profile celebrity protection.”
       Principal photography began on 25 Nov 1991, as listed in the 3 Dec 1991 HR production chart. Locations included the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, where Fallen Leaf Lake near Lake Tahoe, CA, was chosen as the filming site for “Herb Farmer’s” mountain home. Miami, FL’s Fontainebleau Hotel stood in for itself, as did the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. Also in Los Angeles, Joe Jost’s bar in Long Beach served as a location, as noted in a 9 Nov 1995 Long Beach, CA Press-Telegram item. Exteriors for the “Academy Awards” ceremony were shot at the Park Plaza Hotel near MacArthur Park, while interiors were recreated at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Although filmmakers were allowed to use the Academy Awards name, they did not receive permission to use “Oscar” statuettes.
       During filming, a grip truck driver named William Vitagliano was accidentally pinned between two cranes on a downtown Los Angeles set, according to a 6 Jan 1992 HR item. Vitagliano was rushed to the hospital but died soon after. Warner Bros. launched an investigation to ascertain whether the accident was caused by human error or equipment failure. An 18 Jul 1994 DV brief later reported that legal action brought against equipment manufacturers Snorkel Economy, Figgie International and Acme Holdings, resulted in an undisclosed settlement.
       A 28 Sep 1992 Var brief noted that composer John Barry dropped out of the project when actor-producer Kevin Costner and writer-producer Lawrence Kasdan became involved in the editing process, driving Barry to distraction. Warner Bros. denied the claims, and stated that Barry dropped out over creative differences. According to a 1 Nov 1992 LAT item, after an initial editing period of twelve weeks, Kevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan, and Jim Wilson became involved in making further edits to Mick Jackson’s director’s cut. The running time was shortened by fifteen to twenty minutes, and, despite rumors that Jackson was displeased by the arrangement, Wilson insisted the collaborative process was harmonious.
       An initial release date of 4 Dec 1992 was moved up to 25 Nov 1992, as stated in an 18 Sep 1992 DV item, after Warner Bros. determined the film would be a strong box-office contender “through the holidays.” A benefit premiere took place on 23 Nov 1992 at Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. The event raised $250,000 for the Magic Johnson Foundation and the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children.
       Critical reception was tepid. However, both the film and soundtrack album were overwhelming commercial successes. An advertisement in the 2 Dec 1992 DV announced The Bodyguard had taken in $24,402,567 in its first five days of release. A 19 Jul 1993 HR advertisement later reported it had grossed $411 million worldwide and was still in release. The film went on to become the number one pay-per-view selection among hotel guests in 1993, according to an 8 Mar 1994 WSJ brief. On 22 Nov 1993, Var reported the soundtrack had become the fourth highest-selling soundtrack album of all time with over ten million copies sold. A 28 May 1994 LAT item later listed soundtrack sales of twenty-eight million.        Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which became a certified platinum seller within ten days of release, was named “song of the year” by BMI at the 43rd Annual Pop Awards Dinner. When Dolly Parton’s original recording of the song was released in 1974, it had been a number one country hit, according to a 17 Jan 1993 LAT brief. It was a number one hit again in 1982, when re-released as part of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982, see entry) soundtrack. Houston’s recording went on to become “the longest-running No. 1 single in the history of Billboard magazine (14 weeks),” as stated in the 28 May 1994 LAT. Two original songs from The Bodyguard, “I Have Nothing” by David Foster and Linda Thompson, and “Run To You” by Jud Friedman and Allan Rich, were nominated for Academy Awards for Music (Original Song), and “I Will Always Love You” (as performed by Whitney Houston) was ranked #65 on AFI’s 2004 list 100 Years…100 Songs.
       A 21 Feb 1997 DV brief announced that writer Christine Roum was hired to write a sequel. Months later, the 9 Dec 1997 Vancouver Sun reported that Kevin Costner had been in talks to co-star with Diana, Princess of Wales, and a script had been completed days before the princess’s death on 31 Aug 1997. The story was reportedly set in Hong Kong.
       The film was adapted into a stage musical, also titled The Bodyguard, which debuted in London, England, in Dec 2012. The 17 Dec 2012 Var review described the production as “handsome but flaccid” with an “even thinner” script than the film. However, after running for two years in London, a touring version was established that, as of the writing of this Note (Nov 2015), is playing throughout the United Kingdom and Germany.
       End credits include thanks to the following organizations: The Fontainebleau Hilton Hotel; E! Entertainment; Daily Variety; The Hollywood Reporter; Film clip from ‘Yojimbo’ courtesy of Transit Films, Germany; Billboard Magazine used courtesy of BPI Communications, Inc.; Fortune Magazine logo and trademark used with permission of Time Inc. Magazine Company; MTV: Music Television logos provided courtesy of MTV Networks. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Nov 1981
p. 1, 7.
Daily Variety
18 Sep 1992.
---
Daily Variety
20 Nov 1992
p. 2, 31.
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1992.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jul 1994.
---
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1997.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Nov 1992
p. 5, 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 May 1991
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
1 Nov 1992
Calendar, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1992
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
17 Jan 1993
p. 63.
Los Angeles Times
28 May 1994
Calendar, p. 2.
New York Times
25 Nov 1992
p. 9.
People
8 Jul 1991.
---
Press-Telegram [Long Beach, CA]
9 Nov 1995.
---
Variety
13 Dec 1978.
---
Variety
28 Sep 1992.
---
Variety
23 Nov 1992
p. 49.
Variety
22 Nov 1993.
---
Variety
17 Dec 2012.
---
WSJ
8 Mar 1994.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Warner Bros. Presents
A Tig Production
In Association with Kasdan Pictures
A Mick Jackson Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Steadicam op
"B" cam op
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 1st asst cam
Addl 2d asst cam
Addl 2d asst cam
Still photog
Video assist
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dept researcher
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop
Asst prop
Const coord
Gen foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Standby painter
Greensman
Greensman
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
MUSIC
Mus supv
Mus ed
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd des/Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Playback op
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd asst
Sd asst
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley mixer
Foley artist
Foley artist
Pre-rec tech
Pre-rec eng
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec f/x coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Video image supv
Video image tech supv
Video image crew
Video image crew
Video image crew
Video image crew
Video image crew
Video image crew
Video image crew
Videowall engineering crew
Videowall engineering crew
Videowall engineering crew
Videowall engineering crew
Titles & opticals
Music videos, videos and graphic displays by
Graphic des
Cloud footage from
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Spec make-up eff
Spec make-up eff
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Pilot
Prod assoc
Asst prod assoc
Assoc to the prod
Assoc to the prod
Scr supv
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Staff asst
Exec asst to Whitney Houston
Asst to Jim Wilson
Asst to Kevin Costner
Asst to Mick Jackson
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod office staff
Prod office staff
Prod office staff
Prod office staff
Prod office staff
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc contact (Tahoe)
Loc contact (Florida)
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
First aid
Casting assoc
Extras casting
Extras casting
Unit pub
Animal trainer
Craft service
Security adv
Fireworks by
STAND INS
Frank's standin
Frank double
Rachel double
Rachel body double
Rachel dance double
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Have Nothing," written by David Foster and Linda Thompson, produced by David Foster, performed by Whitney Houston
"Someday (I'm Coming Back)," written by Lisa Stansfield, Andy Morris and Ian Devaney, produced by Ian Devaney and Andy Morris, performed by Lisa Stansfield, courtesy of Arista Records, U.K.
"Run To You," written by Allan Rich and Jud Friedman, produced by David Foster, performed by Whitney Houston
+
SONGS
"I Have Nothing," written by David Foster and Linda Thompson, produced by David Foster, performed by Whitney Houston
"Someday (I'm Coming Back)," written by Lisa Stansfield, Andy Morris and Ian Devaney, produced by Ian Devaney and Andy Morris, performed by Lisa Stansfield, courtesy of Arista Records, U.K.
"Run To You," written by Allan Rich and Jud Friedman, produced by David Foster, performed by Whitney Houston
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding," written by Nick Lowe, produced by Danny Kortchmar, performed by Curtis Stigers, courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"I Will Always Love You," written by Dolly Parton, produced by David Foster, performed by Whitney Houston
"Trust In Me," written by Charlie Midnight, Marc Swersky and Francesca Beghe, produced by Charlie Midnight, additional recording by Chris Lord-Alge, performed by Joe Cocker, featuring Sass Jordan, Joe Cocker appears courtesy of Capitol Records, by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets, Sass Jordan appears courtesy of Impact Records and MCA Records, Inc.
"Queen Of The Night," written by Whitney Houston, LA Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons, produced by LA Reid and Babyface, co-produced by Whitney Houston and Daryl Simmons, performed by Whitney Houston
"I'm Every Woman," written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, produced by Narada Michael Walden, performed by Whitney Houston
"Even If My Heart Would Break," written by Franne Golde and Adrian Gurvitz, produced by David Foster and Walter Afanasieff, performed by Kenny G and Aaron Neville, Kenny G appears courtesy of Arista Records, Aaron Neville appears courtesy of A & M Records
"Jesus Loves Me," performed by Whitney Houston and Michele Lamar Richards, Whitney Houston appears courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day," written by Bill Withers, Skip Scarborough, Robert Clivilles, David Cole, Tommy Never and Michelle Visage, produced by Robert Clivilles and David Cole, performed by The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M. courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"Theme From The Bodyguard," composed and produced by Alan Silvestri, trumpet solo by Gary Grant
"Waiting For You," written, produced and performed by Kenny G, courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
"Melissa," written by Gregory Allman and Stephen Alaimo, performed by The Allman Brothers, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution
"I Will Always Love You," written by Dolly Parton, produced by John Doe and Steve Dorff, performed by John Doe, courtesy of Geffen Records, single on Warner Bros. Cassettes
"Walk Away Renee," written by Mike Brown, Tony Sansone and Bob Calilli, performed by The Left Banke, courtesy of PolyGram Special Markets, a division of PolyGram Group Distribution
"Entertainment Tonight," written by Michael Mark, courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
25 November 1992
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 23 November 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 November 1992
Production Date:
began 25 November 1991
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P.
Copyright Date:
1 February 1992
Copyright Number:
PA599029
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
129
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32086
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When someone begins stalking Rachel Marron, an actress and singer at the height of her career, her head of security, Bill Devaney, hires ex-Secret Service member Frank Farmer. Arriving at Rachel’s Beverly Hills, California, mansion, Frank is appalled by the lack of security on the premises. He learns that Devaney and Rachel’s publicist, Sy Spector, have not told Rachel about the stalker; thus, Rachel sees no point in replacing her longtime bodyguard, Tony Scibelli. Despite his misgivings about the job, Frank Farmer agrees to stay on when Devaney shows him the threatening letters they have received, and reveals that the stalker has broken into the house at least once. Frank performs a security overhaul, installing a new gate and numerous surveillance cameras, and establishes a strict protocol for visitors. He gets to know Fletcher, Rachel Marron’s precocious eight-year-old son, and Nikki, her sister and personal assistant. On a Sunday, Frank accompanies Rachel to her regular weekly brunch, where she goes against his wishes by signing autographs and interacting with fans. On the way home, Frank notices a sport utility vehicle (SUV) trailing them, but the vehicle speeds off before he can get its license plate number. Rachel loses patience with the heightened security, and suggests that Frank takes his job too seriously. When she acknowledges her reputation as a difficult woman, Frank offends her by claiming that people are who they choose to be. Sy Spector, Rachel’s publicist, arranges a surprise concert at the Mayan nightclub. Frustrated by the short notice, Frank rides to the Mayan with Rachel. Upon arrival, Rachel finds a letter from the stalker in her waiting room. Frank insists on cancelling the show, but ... +


When someone begins stalking Rachel Marron, an actress and singer at the height of her career, her head of security, Bill Devaney, hires ex-Secret Service member Frank Farmer. Arriving at Rachel’s Beverly Hills, California, mansion, Frank is appalled by the lack of security on the premises. He learns that Devaney and Rachel’s publicist, Sy Spector, have not told Rachel about the stalker; thus, Rachel sees no point in replacing her longtime bodyguard, Tony Scibelli. Despite his misgivings about the job, Frank Farmer agrees to stay on when Devaney shows him the threatening letters they have received, and reveals that the stalker has broken into the house at least once. Frank performs a security overhaul, installing a new gate and numerous surveillance cameras, and establishes a strict protocol for visitors. He gets to know Fletcher, Rachel Marron’s precocious eight-year-old son, and Nikki, her sister and personal assistant. On a Sunday, Frank accompanies Rachel to her regular weekly brunch, where she goes against his wishes by signing autographs and interacting with fans. On the way home, Frank notices a sport utility vehicle (SUV) trailing them, but the vehicle speeds off before he can get its license plate number. Rachel loses patience with the heightened security, and suggests that Frank takes his job too seriously. When she acknowledges her reputation as a difficult woman, Frank offends her by claiming that people are who they choose to be. Sy Spector, Rachel’s publicist, arranges a surprise concert at the Mayan nightclub. Frustrated by the short notice, Frank rides to the Mayan with Rachel. Upon arrival, Rachel finds a letter from the stalker in her waiting room. Frank insists on cancelling the show, but Rachel decides to go on with it. Fanatic audience members storm the stage, and Rachel is dragged into the crowd. Frank uses a fire extinguisher to clear a path and rescue her. Back at home, Frank and Rachel check on her son, Fletcher. Frank tucks the exhausted star into bed. The next day, Rachel complains that she cannot go on a date without Frank watching her. She asks if he would take her out, instead. Although initially embarrassed by the proposition, Frank takes Rachel to a movie. Afterward, they go to a bar and dance. Rachel accompanies Frank to his house. They make love, and she tells him she has never felt so safe. However, in the morning, Frank rises early. Rachel becomes hurt when he acts standoffish. Frank insists he cannot properly guard her if they are in a romantic relationship. Soon, Rachel agrees to perform at a charity event in Miami, Florida. There, at a party in Rachel’s suite, Frank runs into Greg Portman, an ex-colleague from the Secret Service. In an attempt to make Frank jealous, Rachel flirts with Portman and leads him into her bedroom. However, Portman becomes forceful, and she throws him out. The next day, Frank loses his composure when he believes Rachel has gone missing. She returns from a shopping trip, and he announces he is quitting once they return to Los Angeles. Making his security rounds in a huff, he beats a man for blocking a path in the hotel kitchen, but stops when the man’s wife begs for mercy. Meanwhile, Rachel receives a disturbing phone call from the stalker. Rattled, she begs Frank to stay on and promises to follow his commands. He suggests she cancel upcoming concert dates and go away with him. Rachel agrees. They take her sister, Nikki, and son, Fletcher, with them to a mountain home owned by Frank’s father, Herb Farmer. When Frank is in the other room, Herb reveals that Frank came to the mountain house for six months after President Ronald Reagan was shot. Frank had been a part of Reagan’s security detail, although he had not been on duty the day of the shooting. Frank never forgave himself for not being there, and Rachel is sympathetic. Nikki notices as her sister warms to Frank again. Later that night, after Rachel goes to bed, Nikki tries to kiss Frank, but he rebuffs her. The next day, Frank panics when he sees footprints in the snow outside the house. He sees Fletcher get in his father’s motorboat and runs after him, jumping into the icy lake and snagging the boy from the boat. He drags Fletcher back to the dock, where Rachel berates Frank for endangering her son, who cannot swim. They are interrupted when the motorboat explodes. Hurrying back to the house, Frank discovers the phone lines have been cut and the cars are dead. As night approaches, he and Herb decide the only safe escape plan is to leave on foot in the morning. That night, as Frank stands watch, he finds a drunken Nikki in tears. She confesses to being so wrought with jealousy that she hired a hit man to kill her sister. She says the man is paid in full and will not stop until Rachel is dead. Frank hears his father’s dog growling and tells Nikki not to move. He goes upstairs to check on Rachel, and hears a gunshot. Downstairs, he finds Nikki shot to death. He chases the hired killer into the woods, but does not catch him. The next day, Frank calls an associate in Los Angeles, who tells him Rachel’s stalker has been caught. Frank realizes the stalker is not the man Nikki hired. Since he is only suspected of writing letters, the stalker can only be held for forty-eight hours, pending further evidence. Nikki’s funeral takes place back in Los Angeles. Afterward, Rachel, who has been nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Actress,” tells Frank she desperately wants to go to the award show. He obliges her, but is tense when they arrive. Frank paces backstage and runs into Greg Portman, whom he last saw in Miami. Portman claims he is guarding the Academy Awards host. However, Frank becomes suspicious, and asks the host about Greg Portman, but the man has never heard of him. Frank searches for Portman backstage. Meanwhile, Rachel wins the Best Actress award and goes onstage to accept it. Frank finally spots Portman in the audience, holding a firearm that doubles as a video camera. Frank runs in front of Rachel just as Portman shoots. The bullets hit Frank, who returns fire, gunning Portman down. Rachel stays with Frank as he is wheeled to an ambulance. The stalker, no longer in police custody, observes from the crowd. Sometime later, with his arm in a sling, Frank bids goodbye to Rachel and Fletcher on an airport tarmac. Just before her plane takes off, Rachel tells the pilot to stop. She runs back to Frank and kisses him passionately. They part ways again, Rachel going back to her life as a performer, and Frank taking on a new client in the clergy. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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