- 1 hr 36 min
In the 1976 film Lifeguard, Sam Elliott plays Rick Carlson, a 30-year-old lifeguard who is struggling with his identity and purpose in life. As the summer heat beats down on Los Angeles, Rick quits his job as a successful journalist and returns to his hometown as a lifeguard, seeking solace and clarity. Despite his status as a hometown hero, Rick quickly becomes disillusioned with his old friends and the familiar trappings of small-town life. He bemoans the monotony of his daily routine, which consists of monitoring swimmers, flirting with girls, and drinking with his buddies after hours. However, things start to change when Rick begins a romantic relationship with a married woman, Cathy (played by Anne Archer). As Rick tries to navigate the complexities of their forbidden romance, he is forced to confront the realities of adulthood and the harsh consequences of his actions. Meanwhile, his old friend and fellow lifeguard Chris (played by Stephen Young) struggles with a drug addiction that threatens to tear his life apart. Lifeguard is an introspective and introspective film that explores themes of identity, responsibility, and the fleeting nature of youth. It stands out for its nuanced portrayal of lifeguard culture in the 1970s and the complexities of romantic relationships, even when forbidden. The cinematography is simply stunning, showcasing the sun-kissed beaches of Los Angeles and capturing the melancholic mood of the film. The nuanced performances by Sam Elliott, Anne Archer, and Stephen Young are commendable, lending an emotional depth and complexity to their characters. Overall, Lifeguard is a poignant and thought-provoking film that should not be missed. It offers a unique perspective on the struggles of young adulthood and the search for purpose and meaning in life.