Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Bodyguard

Go To
Bodyguard Crush Incarnate!

"Never let her out of your sight.
Never let your guard down.
Never fall in love."

A 1992 film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston. Costner plays former Secret Service agent and freelance bodyguard Frank Farmer, hired to protect superstar singer-turned-actress Rachel Marron (Houston) after she starts getting death threats. They initially dislike each other, but despite his better judgement, feelings start to develop between them.

Originally written by Lawrence Kasdan for Steve McQueen and Diana Ross in The '70s, the project was taken up by Costner fifteen years later. This film was a huge success, as was the soundtrack, which sold in the bazillions (it's widely considered to be the top selling movie soundtrack of all time), all fueled by the unbelievable popularity of Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You," originally by Dolly Parton. In addition, the movie's instrumental music was marvelously done by Alan Silvestri (and finally released on its own album a mere 21 years later). In 2013, the film headed to stage in the form of a Jukebox Musical featuring many of Houston's hits.


This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Cut-and-Paste Note: Rachel's stalker sends her threatening messages made with newspaper clippings.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Tony attacks Frank after Frank gets Rachel away without telling him. Frank's abilities in Good Old Fisticuffs and with throwing knives gets him to back down. Later in the film, it's shown that Tony is more than willing to listen to what Frank has to say and even points out Rachel's would-be-assassin to Frank at the Oscars.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: The movie ends with Rachel and Frank parting ways after he successfully protects her from her would-be killer.
  • Foreshadowing: A casual line at the beginning of the movie mentions that the hitman (a former Secret Service agent like Kevin Costner's character) was interviewed and was "eager" for the job of guarding his future target.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Rachel's sister Nikki is envious of the former's success. It is later revealed that she hired a hitman to kill her. But even after she sours on the idea when the hitman turns out to be willing to kill Rachel's son to get close to her, there isn't much Nikki can do since she doesn't know who the hitman is.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Nikki tries to call off her hitman but he kills her.
  • Heroic BSoD: Frank suffered one of these when Reagan got shot while he wasn't there. He went to his father's cabin for the next six months. Time heals all wounds, but he's still never really gotten over it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Frank jumps in the way of the would-be assassin's bullet at the Academy Awards, preventing the shots from hitting Rachel. And then he kills the guy before finally succumbing to unconsciousness. He doesn't die, however.
  • Irrevocable Order: The hitman's order to kill Rachel, not only because Nikki was high on cocaine when she ordered and thus doesn't knows who she asked it to, but because the hitman is a Psycho for Hire that refuses to stop even when Nikki is standing in front of him ordering him to (instead, he just kills her and escapes to try again). Another interpretation is that the hitman doesn't know who hired him either, as Nikki is Killed Mid-Sentence trying to explain.
  • Knife Fight: Averted. As Tony keeps attacking Frank in a fit jealous rage, he picks up a kitchen knife and motions Frank to start a knife fight with the one he is currently holding. Frank then ends the whole thing by throwing his knife to a wall right next to Tony's head, showing just how outclassed he is.
  • Last-Name Basis: Rachel usually calls Frank "Farmer".
  • Lyrical Dissonance: While dancing with him to the country version of "I Will Always Love You", Rachel points out to Frank that the lyrics to the verses are quite sad, in contrast to the simple "I will always love you" statement in the chorus. He listens for a moment, and then chuckles and agrees, admitting he'd never noticed that before.
  • Properly Paranoid: This is pretty much Frank's main personality trait.
  • Red Herring: Several. Most prominently, the stalker who is constantly threatening to kill Marron via letters and calling her home? Not the assassin.
  • Servile Snarker: Frank so very much.
    Rachel: [insists in jogging outside the mansion despite Frank's security concerns] You afraid I might get picked off in my snazzy running suit?
    Frank: No, I'm afraid that I might have to jog with you.
  • Shout-Out
    • Frank takes Rachel to see Yojimbo.
    • Rachel's outfit during the "Queen of the Night" scene is based on the robot from Metropolis, and footage from the movie is included in her performance.
  • Something Only They Would Say: The stalker (when he calls the Marrons' home) says "no" in a very peculiar, drawn-out way. Which we hear again when he is arrested by the police and is being incorrectly accused of being the one trying to kill Rachel.
  • Stalker with a Crush: DAN. And he's extremely creepy, to boot.
  • The Stoic: Frank with a generous side of Deadpan Snarker.
  • The Teetotaler: Frank while on duty. Lampshaded even.
    Rachel: So, can we get you anything?
    Frank: Yeah, orange juice.
    Rachel: Straight?
  • Truth in Television: The "I Will Always Love You" song is often requested at weddings, and the band or DJ has to inform the couple that it's a break-up song and not the best way to start off their marriage.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The hitman places a bomb on the boat on Rachel's mountain home, which goes off and almost kills Rachel's son (Frank saves him Just in Time).
  • Your Eyes Can Deceive You: When stalking the hitman through the woods at night, Frank closes his eyes and turns to fire at the sounds he's making. The shots strike close enough to drive him off, but they still miss. This is an actual blind-firing technique, based on the fact that your head instinctively turns towards a sound when you can't see.


Example of: