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American Gigolo (1980)

A Los Angeles male escort, who mostly caters to an older female clientèle, is accused of a murder which he did not commit.

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sunday
Nina van Pallandt ...
Anne (as Nina Van Pallandt)
...
Leon
...
Charles Stratton
...
Lisa Williams
Tom Stewart ...
Mr. Rheiman
Patricia Carr ...
Judy Rheiman (as Patti Carr)
David Cryer ...
Lt. Curtis
...
Mrs. Dobrun
...
Mrs. Sloan
...
Mrs. Laudner
...
Hollywood Actor (as MacDonald Carey)
William Dozier ...
Michelle's Lawyer
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Storyline

Julian makes a lucrative living as an escort to older women in the Los Angeles area. He begins a relationship with Michelle, a local politician's wife, without expecting any pay. One of his clients is murdered and Detective Sunday begins pumping him for details on his different clients, something he is reluctant to do considering the nature of his work. Julian begins to suspect he's being framed. Meanwhile Michelle begins to fall in love with him. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's the highest paid lover in Beverly Hills. He leaves women feeling more alive than they've ever felt before. Except one. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 February 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An American Gigolo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture is considered the first installment of Paul Schrader's unofficial "Lonely Man Trilogy", the other parts being Light Sleeper (1992) and The Walker (2007). See more »

Goofs

At Perino's, when Julian and Anne are talking, Julian says to Anne, "Excuse me, I'll be back in a second," but his lip movements don't match what he's saying. See more »

Quotes

Michelle Stratton: How many languages do you speak?
Julian Kaye: Five or six.
Michelle Stratton: Plus the, uh, international language?
Julian Kaye: That's right.
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Connections

Referenced in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Love I Saw in You Is Just a Mirage
by Smokey Robinson (as W. Robinson) and Marvin Tarplin (as M. Tarplin)
Performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
Courtesy of Motown Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
80s suspense film about a gigolo.
6 November 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Giorgio Moroder's signature synths followed by Deborah Harry's instantly recognisable new wave classic, Call Me, opens up American Gigolo as we see a pretty suave 80s Richard Gere in a black Cadilliac driving along the beachside. Gere has all the trappings of a wealthy 80s lifestyle so usually romanticised in a Bruckheimer production but the film establishes in its first few scenes that Gere is pretty much a buck for hire with little sway over his Aryan madam. This form of bait and switch appears throughout the movie, with Gere appearing in control and pretty cool at first and then as a total whore. The dichotomy between these two personas plays a big part of the film's plot as Julian K., Gere, becomes entangled in a murder investigation of a trick who is the wife to a wealthy S&M aficionado and learns that he should question the many friendships he's procured during his career as a loverboy. Lauren Hutton plays a random woman that Gere meets and develops into the film's love interest after one of the most minimalist sex scenes in an 80s film. The set production, music, acting and story is all very connotative of the eighties. Apartments are gray or salmon coloured with minimalist artwork and expensive vases and silver blocky stereo systems - it's clear with some scenes, including one where Gere hangs upside down to do some crunches, that the set design heavily influenced the mise-en-scene of Mary Harron's adaptation of American Psycho. Moroder's various compositions of Blondie's Call Me highlight the continuing descent of Julian k. as the chorus becomes more melancholic and ominous - it's all very suspenseful from an eighties perspective. Some may find the final scenes slightly ridiculous and most likely unrealistic, but one should remember that American Gigolo was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and even on the tail end of New Hollywood, the film does show caution in its dark themes as not to alienate mainstream audiences. I definitely felt the material was pretty subdued for a film written and directed by Taxi Driver's Paul Schrader. However, it doesn't matter as the film is effective as a time capsule of the seedier side of the eighties.


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