5 Great Lifeguard Movie Moments (Not Starring The Rock)

Jump in the water and check out these lifeguard movie moments.

Thinking about or have just seen Baywatch? Well don’t go believing that’s all there is for movies about the brave and true who stand in protection of those taking a swim. While the big screen adaptation of Baywatch might let you down, these 5 lifeguard movie (moments) surely won’t.

The Lifeguard (2010)

LIfeguard
The Lifeguard, 2013 © C Plus Pictures

DIRECTOR: Liz W. Garcia     Stars: Kristen Bell, David Lambert, Martin Starr

The Story: Approaching 30, Leigh London (Bell), frustrated and disillusioned with her go-nowhere life in New York City, returns to Connecticut and takes up her old job as a lifeguard at the community pool, meeting and falling in love with the maintenance man’s 19-year-old son, Jason (Lambert). As you can imagine, that goes over, well … swimmingly. Often funny and elevated by the sheer force of all that is the marvelous Kristen Bell, this one is a well worth a dip.

The Lifeguard, 2013 © C Plus Pictures

Great Moment: Initially, Leigh is too numb to care about anything and uses the position at the pool to bum cigarettes and just relax. After meeting Jason and his friend Matt, the three hang out, playing roughhouse and smoking pot. It’s not log before Leigh and Jason realize they are attracted to each other. One afternoon, when the pool is closed, Jason follows Leigh to the changing room and the sparks between them are too much. They kiss and immediately afterward have sex on the sink. Nice. That’s one way to save a life.


The To Do List (2013)

Lifeguard
The To Do List, 2013 © CBS Films

Director: Maggie Carey      Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Scott Porter, Bill Hader

The Story: Brandy Klark (Plaza), an average go-getting but naive teenager who isn’t so good in social situations, takes a jobs at a local pool as a lifeguard to be closer to Rusty (Porter), the boy she wants to have sex with in order to complete her “to do ” list. A girl’s gotta have priorities.

The To-Do List, 2013 © 3 Arts Entertainment

Great Moment: Brandy is the newbie at the pool and chided constantly by her lazy boss Willie (Hader), who gives her some of the less glamorous jobs in and around the pool. Embarrassed by what she thought was a prank but totally wasn’t, she pushes Willie into the pool, only to learn that he can’t swim. That’s an epic fail there’s no rescuing from.


Staten Island Summer (2015)

Staten Island Summer, 2015 © Broadway Video

Director: Rhys Thomas     Stars: Graham Phillips, Zack Pearlman, Ashley Greene

The Story: Lifelong friends Danny (Philips) and Frank (Pearlman) take jobs as lifeguards for the summer and deal with a crazy boss, lots of girls, and what on earth they should do for their futures. It’s raucous and crude and yet, sprinkled with SNL cast members and comedians, there’s loads of laughs and a surprising bit of charm.

Staten Island Summer, 2015 © Broadway Video

Great Moment: Pretty much the entire film. It’s raunchy fun at the swimming pool and sure it’s juvenile, but what else should we expect? It’s the proverbial check-your-brain film, but it feels like a love loving throwback to 80s-esque bikini movies where boys do nothing but chase girls, and unlike many ‘homage’ films, this one give a nod to the past with some endearing honesty. It might tread water at times, but is comes ashore nicely.


The Sandlot (1993)

Lifeguard
The Sandlot, 1993 © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Director: David M. Evans     Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Marley Shelton, Chauncey Leopardi

The Story: Not a lifeguard movie, sure, but … you know why it’s here. Young Scottie Smalls (Guiry) moves into a new town and tries to make friends with the sandlot baseball team, even though he barely knows how to throw a ball. But worse, beyond the fence where they play is a monster dog that eats all the balls that come his way, including his stepdad’s prized Babe Ruth signed treasure. A classic coming-of-age film with endless quotable lines and loads of nostalgia.

Lifeguard
The Sandlot, 1993 © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Great Moment: Michael “Squints” Palledorous (Leopardi) is a little guy with a lot of spunk. He also has a huge crush on Wendy Pfefferkorn (Shelton), the well-developed teenaged lifeguard at the local swimming pool. His dream is to get her attention, and in a desperate act, feigns drowning so she will rescue him and give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation (and a chance for a sneaky kiss). Amazingly, it works, and while her kinda-sorta smile when it’s over sends a creepy approval vibe about the overall message, it’s still a funny scene. Now that’s going off the deep end for sure.


Lifeguard (1976)

Lifeguard
Lifeguard, 1976 ©Paramount Pictures

Director: Daniel Petrie     Stars: Sam Elliott, Anne Archer, Kathleen Quinlan, Parker Stevenson

The Film: Rick (Elliott) is a cool kind of guy in his early 30s who still works at the beach, enjoying the sun, women, and quite moments the job offers. That all changes when he goes to his 15-year high school class reunion and runs into his now divorced ex-girlfriend (Archer) who inspires him to make some changes. Lots of hot bodies but a good story make this a charmer and Elliott is just so darned charming, it’s hard not to have a good time with this one.

Lifeguard, 1976 ©Paramount Pictures

Great Moment: The film that actually inspired the Baywatch series (even starring Stevenson who would be cast in Season 1), this light-hearted drama sees Rick dealing with lovelorn teenager Wendy (Quinlan) who is wholly infatuated with Rick, but a great moment is when Rick shows Chris (Stevenson) the ropes per se, as we meet the colorful beach characters that all come into play. This is laid-back fun and a sensational lifeguard movie.


Got a favorite lifeguard movie or moment? Let us know in the comments below.

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