Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1980 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1980 was that great of a year for film.
The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1980 so that it is their true 40th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.
This time around it’s Sept. 26, 1980, and we’re off to see My Bodyguard! We were going to also review Without Warning this week, but ran into several issues with being able to watch it.
Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
I have fond memories of My Bodyguard from when I was a kid. Others have fond memories of it.
We need to no longer have those fond memories. While the basic concept is fine, there is a story beat late in the film that pretty much destroys any fondness you have for Ricky (Adam Baldwin).
As Clifford (Chris Makepeace) gets to know him, he learns that Ricky is mopey and constantly depressed because the year before he had been the one to find his brother dead of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot. It’s a tragic moment, and you come to realize why Ricky would be the way he is.
And then, late in the film Ricky finally opens up to Clifford and reveals he had been playing with the gun as well, his brother and he wrestled and it went off, killing the brother. He then made it look like his brother had done it.
So now we have a character we were rooting for admitting to involuntary manslaughter as well as tampering with a crime scene. We have a character we felt emotions for admitting to making his parents feel tragedy over what could have happened and they would feel guilt for.
From that moment forward I didn’t care at all what happened with this movie.
For the most part, I had enjoyed the movie up until that moment – even if there was a completely useless sub-plot about an assistant manager trying to get Clifford’s father in trouble and fired. Once this happened though it was just completely pointless. Why make this change? Why wasn’t the accidental suicide enough of a character motivation? This was a horrifically bad story idea, and it is lost on me.
Until then I would have recommended this movie, but that beat is so bad that there is just no coming back from it.
1980 movie reviews will return on Oct. 3 with Terror Train and Somewhere in Time!
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