Celebrating B Movies, Cult Films, and Indie Classics.

My Bodyguard (1980)

by  |  March 7th, 2011  |  Drama  |  6 Comments

My Bodyguard is a simply awesome flick, one of the best teen films of the eighties.

Wait, that’s a challenging statement. Let me offer up some context.

Now there’s no doubt that John Hughes RULED the eighties when it came to films for teens, no argument there – he went on a run that began with 1983’s SIXTEEN CANDLES and ended, for my money, with SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL (already covered earlier on this column) in 1987 – he also made some cool movies for adults (PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES) and for the whole family (HOME ALONE) but his five year run of teen movies in the eighties still reverberates throughout our culture today.

No argument. Hughes was the king. Hughes was the man.

But before John Hughes, there was My Bodyguard, which did Hughes before Hughes actually did Hughes, and with a heavier dose of realism to boot. Set in Chicago, like many a Hughes flick, featuring a bunch of young, talented actors (Chris Makepeace, Matt Dillon, Adam Baldwin and including a very young Joan Cusack, who would later appear in SIXTEEN CANDLES) who don’t seem to be acting but just seem to be smart, flip and tragic, this is a must see film for anyone who loves THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

The story of My Bodyguard is simple. A rich kid (Makepeace) is transfered to a rough public school in Chicago and a gang of young bullies immediately start taxing his ass (led by Dillon, fucking awesome as a mean kid, and believable too) as they do all the weaker children.

He can’t go to his father (Martin Mull, also great) and being a smart kid, he figures out a method to prevail. He hires the one kid in school, a big border-line nut-job, that everyone is afraid of (Baldwin, very good) to be his bodyguard.

It works at first, and the two kids, the rich kid and the delinquent, begin to get to know each other.

Then it gets complicated.

I don’t want to spoil it, but the ending is especially satisfying, and better than most movies.

Check out My Bodyguard today.


Josh James is a screenwriter and playwright currently based in New York City, author of the original screenplays A Black Heart (Bunce Media & Captivate Entertainment) A Natural High (Videe This Inc) and The Jones Party (Barking Dog Productions). Josh also adapted Peter Biskind’s book Down & Dirty Pictures into a screenplay, wrote the thriller Block Island for Adler Gray Productions and a production polish on LLeju’s Road Kill, directed by John Stockwell. He is the author of many plays that have been produced all over New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and all across the United States.


  1. Dave B.

    March 9th, 2011at 1:15 AM(#)

    Yes! This was one of the movies showing on a regular basis when my family first got Cable TV in the early 80’s, and I would sit and watch it every time it was on (I even remember watching it on Halloween one year…kind of a strange choice, I know, but I couldn’t miss a chance to see it).

    Matt Dillon is, indeed, excellent as the bully, and I can’t see Adam Baldwin in a film without thinking of him in this movie (even his brief role in ID4 brought back memories). It’s a great story, and like you said, the acting is very natural, as if everyone is just being themselves (even when things get heavy towards the end).

    Great write-up of an excellent film.

  2. Josh James

    March 14th, 2011at 9:02 AM(#)

    Thanks man, glad you liked the write-up … I really enjoy this movie for a lot of reasons I don’t even know if I can reasonable explain.

  3. Dave B.

    March 15th, 2011at 4:47 AM(#)

    It’s a shame Chris Makepeace kinda disappeared after MEATBALLS and this movie. I remember seeing him sporadically (other than these two, the only thing I remember him from was a made-for-TV movie in which he travels back in time), but it looked as if he was lined up for an impressive career.

    He’d be a good subject for a WHERE ARE THEY NOW piece

  4. Daily Dojo of Joshua James » Blog Archive » My Bodyguard (1980) | AwesomeBMovies.com

    March 16th, 2011at 11:54 AM(#)

    […] my post on the excellent film My Bodyguard (1980) is up at AwesomeBMovies.com so why not visit and check it out? A snippet … “But before John Hughes, there was My […]

  5. Josh James

    March 17th, 2011at 4:28 AM(#)

    Some kids, when they get older, they just don’t want to do it anymore … I seem to remember reading somewhere that he was one of those.

    He did a made for TV movie with Tom Hanks called MAZES AND MONSTERS, and I believe then a vampire movie with Grace Jones called VAMP which, I think, was one of the last things he did.

    ONe film you might find interesting, he did an an of the world apocolypic movie with Lee Majors … the world doesn’t end because of a bomb, but because of a shortage of gasoline … Chris was a young kid, and Majors played an ex-race car driver, and they have to race across the country to a free zone or something like that.

    I don’t remember the title, but a fun film from the 70s to watch …

  6. Matthew Dowling

    March 18th, 2011at 10:07 PM(#)

    Great flick! “Moody… I’d like you to meet my bodyguard.”
    “Moody, you owe me a years worth of lunch money!”

    Met Ormsby a few months back, great guy! We’ll be catching up with him again soon.

    Also, forgot to tell you, I did ask Bill Mumy about Hitchcock telling him he was gonna nail his feet to the ground… Mumy just laughed and nodded his head and said… yeah. He said he’d be happy to come on the site and share some stories sometime!

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