6.61 h 36 min1976UHDPG
An aging lifeguard debates what to do with his life as the younger generation rises up to take control of his territory.
Daniel Petrie
Sam ElliottAnne ArcherKathleen Quinlan
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Stephen Young
Ron Silverman
Paramount Pictures
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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4.5 out of 5 stars

532 global ratings

  1. 73% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 14% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Clawed DawgReviewed in the United States on February 22, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
It's Good For What Ails Ya!
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Surprisingly, there's a relatable plot in this movie, about getting older and deciding whether to do your own thing, or be domesticated and hidebound. I won't spoil it by telling you how that turns out.

Who cares anyway, the movie is made by all the scenery: the California sun, Sam Elliot, the beach, Sam Elliot, Parker Stevenson...did I mention Sam Elliot? Gorgeous as all get out, in his prime, and shirtless for more than 90% of the movie.

Anne Archer is great as his gf, and I was really surprised that young girl that played tempting teenager Wendy was none other than Kathleen Quinlan, my fave from Family Law.

So, ladies, here's what you do: wait till the coldest, darkest days of winter when the wind is howling, and you don't think you can stand another @#$% snowflake. When the kids are screaming, and Hubster is watching Sunday Night Football, basketball, hockey, or whatever-night buttball, get you a pint of ice cream, a bottle of wine, light some candles, and put this movie on. It's good for what ails ya!
14 people found this helpful
shrinkwrapReviewed in the United States on April 28, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This movie is superficially just another beach party movie, but it isn't. As we get to know Rick, we see how much he loves his job. But the problem is that he's now in his late 30's, and for how many years can he continue doing this? Probably a question many of us had to answer in our lives in regard to jobs we loved vs. jobs that paid well. Should he accept a friend's offer to sell Porsches--when he's really not a salesman--or does he continue being the world's oldest lifeguard? And, as he gets older, the girls on the beach are always 16. When he bumps into his old flame from high school, she is amazed that he is still "down at the beach". If he wants her and her lifestyle he needs to make more money. Great opportunity to see Sam Elliott in his prime and not playing a bad guy or creep, just an Everyman. It's compelling; I have to drag it out and let it wash over me periodically.
32 people found this helpful
Mark D. BurghReviewed in the United States on June 17, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Lost Treasure
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I'd heard about this movie for years, and I mean years. The word was that it was a sleeper, and good, and so now, finally, I've seen it, and I must say that it is believable, well-acted, and well-written. Some of the shots are surf and sun cliches, but that doesn't subtract from the film. An aging lifeguard must make a choice between his somewhat simple job (sit in a tower and watch people, have an occasional rescue) and joining the rat race. Placed in his path are his high school sweetheart, her son, and a job selling Porsches. He also must deal with Wendy a teen who has a big destructive crush on him. Not 2001, by any stretch, but a worthwhile film of definite quality.
4 people found this helpful
MaggieReviewed in the United States on February 26, 2022
4.0 out of 5 stars
Wouldn't get away with this today
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I saw this movie when it came out--47 years ago! Yikes! And while it is dated, it definitely held up well. My memories of it didn't include stuff that would never be acceptable today. I just remembered Sam Elliott and yes, his one night stand with a 17 year old, but somehow that didn't bother me back then as it bothers me now. Probably because I wasn't much past 17 at the time and wanted Sam as much as Wendy. But other scenes, like a man exposing himself on the beach and kids tugging off a woman's swimsuit (while lifeguards laughed and did nothing) and other blatantly sexist situations are a true sign of the times and how much our sensitivities and tolerance have matured. Still, I love the movie and overlook the 70's attitudes that prevail in it. Sam Elliott makes it worth watching--and for those much younger than me--it's a good lesson in how far we've come.
One person found this helpful
Richard K.Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really good old movie. . .
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. . . as it unpretentiously engages in straight storytelling of an engaging tale: the dichotomy between modern humanity and nature. The Lifeguard himself agonizes over the question of whether to conform to modern values and conventions, or continue his idyllic work as an LA County life guard. All the way to the horizon every day is the vast ocean- nature as pure as it gets. Between he and that purity is beach going city people whose lives are sometimes dependent on his rescue skills. Everybody at the shore has to deal with blatant nature. The beach going crowd is an interface between the natural ocean setting and the inland folks who live in the midst of a very divorced from nature culture. The lifeguard's dilemma is played out as temptations and incentives arise to change jobs and live more like the inlanders. I love the way this plays out as it offers no easy resolution to the dilemma!
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of my all time favorite movies. Even though made in 1975
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One of my all time favorite movies. Even though made in 1975, somehow it has not become dated. The cinematology was superb - beautiful beach, sunsets and people. Sam Elliot was perfect in the role - so natural you feel that you are eavesdropping. The story is sensitive and sweet with great bits of humor a bonus. Rent or buy this treasure. You will be glad you did.
22 people found this helpful
Milton GrayReviewed in the United States on April 29, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Delightful movie
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I love this movie because it is such a down-to-earth insight into the life of someone who has chosen an unusual profession

I love this movie because it is such a down to earth view of someone who has chosen an unusual profession: The challenges of the profession and the views of other people toward the profession. I felt that the central character demonstrated good judgement and patience in dealing with so many different people and the problems that would probably so often occur. Good drama of the rewards and disappointments confronting the central character, the Life Guard. I loved the supporting characters as well.

The challenges of the profession and of the views of outsiders toward the profession.
Pam MReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
This is a nice blast from the past
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Seeing Sam Elliott's 2017 movie The Hero inspired me to re-visit this 1976 charmer showing Sam at his sexiest and most appealing. It is definitely dated in its cinematic technique but the story holds up. I think the movie succeeds because Kathleen Quinlan's performance is so raw and real. She is completely believable and natural as a smitten teen-ager and her scenes with Sam are lovely. This is a nice blast from the past!
8 people found this helpful
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