snowleopard | Oregon | 08/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1975 this film was released, and at the age of 14 the movie was about everything I wanted to be, or thought I wanted to be, when I grew up. I finally saw it again, thirty years later, time of course changed that, but it's still a nostalgic film, and a very good one at that.
Like a lot of films from that era, there are aspects of it that are dated, especially in it's look, the costumes, hair styles, and attitude. But there's something wondrous about Sam Elliot's character (Rick), and the inner struggle of his character growing older as a lifeguard. And the ending was both revealing, even a little inspiring. So while on the surface, this film might look like Baywatch 70's style, it has way, way more meaning than that.
What's interesting for me is that at 14 I wanted to be the hunky guy who drives a corvette, gets the girls, and is confident, quiet and strong. I never became that, and by the time I was 30, my life, and certainly career, was in a very different direction. But a little part of me still lived that dream. What made watching the film many years later quite interesting is that while I never was a hunky lifeguard, etc. I went through my share of relationships, career changes, and difficulties of aging in a changing world, which made Rick a character I think a lot of us could identify with. That might make this sound like a guy movie, but it's not. It's a good (if a bit old) date film too, and I think a lot of women would like it as well.
The film still looks good, with good cinematography presented in a nice widescreen format, the acting is good, especially Elliot who may surprise some here, and it sounds good. It's too bad there aren't any extras on the DVD. It would have been wonderful to see Elliot, Quinlan, Archer and Stevenson reflect on the film. Along with screenwriter Ron Koslow, and director Daniel Petrie before he passed away.