The Bodyguard is a 1992 American romantic thriller film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner stars as a former Secret Service Agent-turned-bodyguard who is hired to protect Houston's character, a music star, from an unknown stalker. Lawrence Kasdan wrote the film in the 1970s, originally as a vehicle for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross.[3] It was directed by Mick Jackson. This film was Houston's acting debut. It was the second-highest-grossing film worldwide of 1992, right behind Aladdin. The soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, selling more than 45 million copies worldwide.[4]


Rachel Marron (Whitney Houston) is an Oscar-nominated music and movie superstar who is being stalked and sent death threats. Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) is a former Secret Service Special Agent who served as part of the presidential protection detail during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Frank is haunted by the fact that he was off duty when Reagan was shot. He is now a highly successful private and professional bodyguard who protects corporate VIPs. He is hired by Rachel's manager, Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs), to protect her after she receives a number of threats against her life, and a small bomb detonates in her dressing room.[5]

The film follows Rachel's singing career and family life. Frank is unsure about accepting the job because he sees Rachel as a spoiled diva who is oblivious to the threats, not knowing that Rachel's handlers had withheld the bomb in the dressing room from her. At first, Rachel looks upon Frank as paranoid, and his techniques intrusive. Rachel's bodyguard Tony (Mike Starr) also resents Frank's presence, leading to a fight in which Frank coldly and efficiently beats Tony. But at a concert where Rachel is performing a riot breaks out and Frank successfully escorts her to safety; as a result, Rachel falls in love with Frank. He initially tries to keep the relationship professional, but the two eventually sleep together. However, recognizing that their relationship may compromise his judgement, Frank breaks off the affair. Hurt, Rachel begins to push Frank's buttons by violating their security routines and attempting to sleep with his former Secret Service partner, Greg Portman (Tomas Arana). After she has personal contact with her stalker via a harassing phone call, Rachel realizes that she must put her trust in Frank ahead of her own desire for success. She finally recognizes the seriousness of the situation and cancels the rest of her tour.

Frank, Rachel, Rachel's driver Henry (Christopher Birt), Rachel's son Fletcher (DeVaughn Nixon), and her sister Nikki (Michele Lamar Richards) then travel to Frank's father's home, which is a large log cabin in the mountains by a lake. Frank's dad, Herb (Ralph Waite) is a semi-retired attorney who welcomes the group to his home. At the mountain retreat, Nikki attempts to seduce Frank, and becomes angry when her advances are refused. Fletcher is almost killed the next day, when a bomb explodes inside the boat he had been riding in moments before. After finding footprints around the cabin, and the automobiles sabotaged, they realize Rachel's stalker has followed them.

They lock down the house for the night, with plans to leave in the morning. It is revealed that Rachel's obsessive stalker and the person trying to kill her are not the same person, when an upset and drunken Nikki admits that in a drug-induced jealous fit she hired a hitman to kill Rachel, but the letters from the stalker began before. After Fletcher was almost killed, Nikki realized the hitman she hired would kill anyone to get to his target, including her nephew. However, she cannot call it off because she does not know the killer's identity.

The hitman breaks into the house; Nikki tries to stop him, and he shoots and kills her before escaping. Frank ensures that his father has secured the rest of the group on the second floor, then pursues the killer into the woods. Frank shoots at the hitman, but he escapes. Frank learns the next day, from his Secret Service colleagues, that they have apprehended the stalker and were interviewing him when the break-in occurred.

A few days later, after Nikki's funeral, Rachel attends the 67th annual Academy Awards, where she is nominated as best actress. As Rachel is accepting the award, the assassin attempts to shoot her with a gun hidden inside a video camera. Frank jumps in front of her, and is shot in the arm. Before losing consciousness, Frank shoots the hitman, who is revealed to be Greg Portman. During the ensuing melee, Portman gouges out Tony's eye, but both he and Frank survive their injuries.

Frank sees Rachel off at the airport. Frank has arranged for another protection detail to augment Tony, who is back on the job wearing a black eye patch. Frank's duty having been fulfilled by successfully protecting Rachel, they part with a kiss. Frank then moves on to his next assignment.[6]



This was Lawrence Kasdan's first screenplay.[3] The film was originally proposed in 1976 with Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in the leads, but negotiations fell through as McQueen refused to be billed second to Ross.[7] It was proposed again in 1979 [citation needed], starring Ryan O'Neal and Ross again in the leads. The project fell through due to irreconcilable differences in the relationship between the two stars. Michael Keaton, Emilio Estevez, Val Kilmer, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Robert Downey Jr., and Charlie Sheen were all considered for the part of Frank before Kevin Costner got the role. Costner stated that he based Frank Farmer on Steve McQueen; even cutting his hair like McQueen (who had died 12 years earlier). Madonna, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Bette Midler, Cher, Barbra Streisand, and Lisa Marie Presley were all at some point considered for the role of Rachel Marron.Script error

The 1920s Beverly Hills mansion and grounds featured in the film once belonged to William Randolph Hearst; they also featured in The Godfather (1972).Script error


Critical receptionEdit

The Bodyguard received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics.[8][9] The film holds a 32% rating on the film aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews with the consensus stating: "The Bodyguard is a cheesy, melodramatic potboiler with occasional moments of electricity from Whitney Houston".[10] The Bodyguard received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations in 1993, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Kevin Costner), Worst Actress (Whitney Houston), Worst Screenplay, Worst Original Song ("Queen of the Night") and Worst New Star (for both Houston and Costner's crew cut).[11]

Owen Gleiberman, of Entertainment Weekly reviewed the film negatively, stating, "To say that Houston and Costner fail to strike sparks would be putting it mildly." He added, "[...] the movie gives us these two self-contained celebrity icons working hard to look as if they want each other. It's like watching two statues attempting to mate."[12] However, other critics praised the film, such as Roger Ebert, who gave the film three out of four stars, remarking "The movie does contain a love story, but it's the kind of guarded passion that grows between two people who spend a lot of time keeping their priorities straight."[13]

Two songs from the film, "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing", were nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.[14] The film was also nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning three, including Album of the Year for its soundtrack album of the same name.[15] Aside from being one of Whitney's most memorable films, this movie broke a social barrier: interracial dating. This was the first movie where interracial love was portrayed without being fully developed as a theme. The fact that the two lovers were of different races was not focused upon in the movie, like previous films. The Bodyguard made it more acceptable, or normal, for different races (particularly black and white) to date.

Box officeEdit

In the United States, The Bodyguard opened on November 25, 1992 in 1,717 theaters; it grossed $16.6 million in its opening weekend, ranking third.[16] The film was in theaters for thirteen non-consecutive weeks, ultimately grossing $121.9 million domestically, and $410.9 million worldwide. It was the seventh highest-grossing film of 1992 in North America, and the second highest-grossing film of 1992, worldwide.[17] At the time, the film became one of the 100 all-time highest grossing films worldwide, though it has since fallen out.[2]


Main article: The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album

The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album became the best-selling soundtrack of all time. It has been certified diamond in the US (sales of at least ten million) with shipments of over 17 million copies.[18] Worldwide, the sales are over a staggering 45 million copies.[19] In addition, Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You" sold 12 million units worldwide.[20]

The soundtrack features five hit singles for Houston: "I Will Always Love You", "I'm Every Woman", "Queen of the Night", and the two Oscar nominated songs, "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You".


In filmEdit

  • Bulletproof – a scene in the film parodies The Bodyguard with Adam Sandler's character singing "I Will Always Love You" and remarking that Damon Wayans' character can always be his bodyguard.

In televisionEdit

  • 30 Rock – in the episode "Hard Ball", Tracy Jordan is rescued from a mob by his entourage, and his character sings "I Will Always Love You" during the scene.
  • American Dad! - In the episode "Lincoln Lover", Stan Smith creates a play which depicts the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard. At the end of the play, the song "I Will Always Love You" starts playing.
  • In Living Color - Kim Wayans plays Grace Jones as the Whitney Houston character, and Jim Carrey plays the Kevin Costner character, complete with bad hair. The scene from the original movie, in which Kevin Costner carries Whitney Houston off-stage, is reversed with Grace Jones carrying Frank Farmer off while singing "I Will Always Love You".
  • Joey - In the episode "Joey and the Beard", Joey Tribbiani is told, "You know the rules: Never let her out of your sight, never let your guard down, and never fall in love." He quickly recognizes this as the film's tagline.
  • The Simpsons – in the episode "Mayored to the Mob", Homer Simpson receives bodyguard training from an instructor singing "I Will Always Love You" after graduating from his class. Also in the episode, Mark Hamill gets carried by Homer in a fashion which parodies the way Costner carries Houston in the film.
  • The Venture Bros. – in the second season episode "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills", after having fallen in love with her charge, Dr. Venture, bodyguard Myra Brandish says she was taught "Never let them out of your sight. Never let your guard down. Never fall in love", the tag line from the film.


In 2011, Warner Bros. announced a remake that will update the story to reflect the world of the Internet; in which sites such as Twitter, Google Maps and countless other sites make access to celebrities easier than ever. The remake will be penned by Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer. Singer Rihanna was once sought after to play the role of Rachel .[21]

On 10 March 2011, Rihanna ruled out playing the part saying, "Absolutely not. I hate it when singers do singing movies all the time, because you can never look at them as anybody else. I want to play a character. My whole life is playing Rihanna; being a singer won't be a stretch for me."[22]

Musical adaptationEdit

Main article: The Bodyguard (musical)

A musical adaptation of the film is set to open in London's Adelphi Theatre in the West End in Fall 2012. David Ian, who will produce the musical, has been receiving the stage rights from Costner, a producer of the film as well as its star, and Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote it, reports Baz Bamigboye. The film's famous soundtrack will be used as a score for the production. In addition to the megahit "I Will Always Love You", the songs include "I'm Every Woman", "Run To You", "Jesus Loves Me" and "Queen Of The Night". Tony Award-winning actress and singer Heather Headley has recently been cast to play the role of Rachel Marron, the role played in the film by Houston.


  1. Murphy, Ryan (1992-11-01). "A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : TINKER, TINKER : Today's Special: 'Bodyguard.' Care for the Director's Cut or the Final Cut?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Bodyguard (1992). Box Office Mojo (1993-04-27). Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  3. 3.0 3.1 John J. Puccio (February 8, 2005). "Bodyguard (DVD)" (review). 
  4. Ford, Rebecca (March 15, 2012). "Whitney Houston's 'The Bodyguard' to Re-Release in Theaters for One Night". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  5. The Bodyguard (1992),
  6. The Bodyguard script at
  7. Beck, Marilyn, Stacy Jenel Smith. – "Costner Sings to Houston's Debut". – Los Angeles Daily News – October 7, 1991.
  8. "The Bodyguard". Variety. 1991-12-31. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  9. "The Bodyguard". Washington Post. 1992-11-27. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  10. The Bodyguard Movie Reviews. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  11. 1992 RAZZIE® Nominees & "Winners" – The Official RAZZIE® Forum. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  12. "The Bodyguard". Entertainment Weekly. 1992-12-04.,,312567,00.html. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  13. "The Bodyguard". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-09-13. 
  14. Awards for The Bodyguard (1992),
  15. [1] [dead link]
  16. The Bodyguard (1992) Box Office Mojo Retrieved 2010-09-13
  17. The Bodyguard (1992) Box Office Mojo Retrieved 2010-09-13
  18. Gold & Platinum – April 05, 2011. RIAA. Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  19. Whitney Houston. (Jul. 26, 2007) Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  20. Shawn Telford (November 8, 2008). "Behind the glitter and glitz, the real Dolly Parton shines". Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  21. Rihanna to be in 'The Bodyguard' remake? - Times Of India. (2011-02-27). Retrieved on 2011-04-05.

External linksEdit

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