After her death on February 11, 2012, The Voice -- Whitney Houston -- was reintroduced to the world as her rendition of I Will Always Love You from The Bodyguard echoed through the air waves. For many it brought back memories of her film debut in The Bodyguard. The film was originally to star Diana Ross and Steve McQueen in the 1970s. Another attempt to make the film fell through, with Diana Ross and Ryan O’Neal in the 80s.
Instead it became known as the film that catapulted Whitney Houston to cinematic stardom.
Handpicked by Hollywood heavyweight Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) to star as singer/actress Rachel Marron, the story follows the former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect Marron after she receives a death threat. Farmer falls for Marron after he becomes intrigued by her beauty and talent. Take a look at what a few top critics had to say at the time of Houston's film debut in 1992.
"Houston makes a solid debut and looks glorious, snapping off saucy dialogue." -Variety
"I felt cheated by the outcome, although I should have been able to predict it, using my Law of Economy of Characters." - Roger Ebert
"Crowd-pleasing ingredients…Solid film debut for Houston." - Leonard Maltin
"Rachel and Frank seem no closer than seatmates on a long bus trip. It takes a dizzying 360-degree shot of them embracing, plus the swelling of the hit-bound soundtrack, to suggest any passion." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
The Bodyguard earned $411 million worldwide -- an accomplishment many attribute to the sensational soundtrack released just eight days prior to the film's November 25 opening. The film received two Oscar nominations for Best Original Song for Run to You and I Have Nothing. The soundtrack also won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
I remember sitting in the theater wondering where it was all going. It started off as a thriller, and then moved into some pretty dramatic scenes to end with a memorable love story. Whitney Houston came to do a job and delivered on all levels. What started out as a Kevin Costner film will always be remembered as a Whitney Houston treasure.