We look at the all-time top five bodyguards that the movie industry has sent our way.
1 Frank Farmer – The Bodyguard, 1992
No bodyguard list would be complete without Kevin Costner’s portrayal of former secret service agent turned private bodyguard Frank Farmer. OK, he hasn’t got a great name like Oddjob or Terminator (oops – just given away half the list). But he manages to make a global music superstar (played by global music superstar Whitney Houston) always love him whilst still doing an excellent job of protecting her and her family (well apart from her sister who deserved it anyway) from an incredibly determined hired hit-man.
Love it or loathe it The Bodyguard was a smash hit in every sense. It took over $400 million at the box office, propelled Whitney Houston’s career to new heights, spawned the best-selling film soundtrack of all time, and produced one of the biggest selling single ever in ‘I Will Always Love You’, which was number 1 in the US charts for a record 14 weeks.
2 Azeem – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1991
Azeem isn’t the second best bodyguard on the list but he has insisted on being number two so that he could be as close as possible to Mr Costner at all times. Like Chewbacca (that’s the whole list revealed) stubborn and surname-less Azeem (Morgan Freeman) refuses to leave Robin of Locksley’s side, stating that he owes him a life debt for saving his life while the two were in prison together.
While Azeem is a good but not brilliant bodyguard (he does leave Robin to fight on his own when he has to pray) he is almost certainly the most likeable character in this Hollywoodisation of Sherwood Forest. At least playing the Moorish Azeem, Freeman attempts to sound a bit like he‘s speaking in broken English, whereas the apparent residents of Nottingham have accents ranging from Californian to Cornish.
Azeem has a range of skills at his disposal from sword fighting to midwifery. He’s also an alchemist, an inspirational public speaker and has an excellent sense of smell. His most impressive feat in the film though is how he manages to transport himself and Robin 200 miles from The White Cliffs of Dover to Nottingham in a single afternoon. TRULY YOU ARE A WIZARD!
3 Chewbacca – Star Wars, 1977
Chewbacca (or Chewie to his mates) would have been number two on my list if it wasn’t for Azeem. But, like Azeem, he hangs around protecting the story’s protagonist on account of a life debt, and it soon becomes clear that Han Solo has really landed the ultimate security aide here. What more could one want from a bodyguard? He works completely for free on a never-ending contract, he speaks in a language that only you can understand, he fixes things as part of the service, drives/flies you everywhere and shouts like a bear at anyone who comes near you. Seeing as the Star Wars films have grossed way over $4 billion dollars, he’s probably the best known bodyguard on the list too.
4 Oddjob – Goldfinger, 1964
Oddjob is a great great little bodyguard. He keeps himself to himself, dresses well and goes about his job in a professional if sometimes odd manner. Played by actor Harold Sakata, Oddjob (real name unknown) is Auric Goldfinger’s (which translates as Gold Goldfinger) personal bodyguard, chauffeur and henchman. He’s got a couple of party tricks under his hat too; he can crush golf balls in his bare hands, withstand heavy blows from gold bars and chop the heads off of statues with his hat. He would have been higher on the list but homicidal maniac Sean Connery murdered him while he was trying to pick up his bowler hat.
5 The Terminator – Terminator 2, 1991
When the Terminator (or T-800 cyborg) arrived from the future and announced to John Connor that he had come to protect him, he must have thought that he’d just inherited the greatest bodyguard in the world. Arnie as the T-800 had all the characteristics to be the perfect bodyguard seeing as he was unhampered by bullets, brick walls or stupid emotions. John probably thought he had picked up a bargain until he found out that the T-1000 had been recently released to rave reviews; leaving him stuck in a contract with an obsolete model. With a liquid metal re-shapable endoskeleton, replication ability, super-strength, built in HD camera, improved processor and guaranteed better battery life, the T-1000 really was the bodyguard to go for, but John didn’t know that when his upgrade became available. So if you ever have to hire a bodyguard make sure that you do your research.