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The Idolmaker (1980)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 814 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 13 critic

Based on the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marcucci, who discovered, among others, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.


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Title: The Idolmaker (1980)

The Idolmaker (1980) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Sharkey ...
Vincent Vacarri
Brenda Roberts
Paul Land ...
Tommy Dee
Gino Pilato
Ellen Fields
Mario Vacarri
Richard Bright ...
Uncle Tony
Mrs. Vacarri
Steve Peck ...
Mr. Frank Vacarri (as Steven Apostlee Peck)
Leonard Gaines ...
Deney Terrio ...
Jerry Martin
Charles Guardino ...
Ed Sharp
Kenneth O'Brien ...
Walt Bennett


Based on the life of rock promoter/producer Bob Marcucci, who discovered, among others, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


He's got the look... He's got the talent... He's got the Idolmaker... He's got it all!


PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Idolmaker  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie is based on the career of artists manager Robert P. Marcucci who discovered and managed rock idols Frankie Avalon and Fabian during the 1950s and 1960s. Vincent 'Vinnie' Vacarri (Ray Sharkey) is based on Marcucci; Tommy Del Russo aka Tommy Dee (Paul Land) is based on Avalon; Guido Bevaloqua aka Caesare (Peter Gallagher) is based on Fabian and Vacarri's assistant, Brenda Roberts (Tovah Feldshuh), is based on Marcucci's real-life assistant at the time, Rona Barrett. Marcucci contributed his reminisces of the 50s & 60s music business to the film's script, did a cameo, and acted as a technical consultant to the production. See more »


In the opening sequence taking place in 1959, a one dollar "Green Seal" Federal Reserve bill is shown. The treasury dept introduced them starting in 1963. "Blue Seal" Silver Certificates were in use in 1959. See more »


Vincent Vacarri: Hey, I'm not dumb! You don't even know me and you call me dumb. Wanna know what's dumb? The last eight covers in a row you did on Elvis in the army, with the badges? That's dumb. And that's boring.
See more »


Music and Lyrics by Jeff Barry
Sung by Jimmy Carter
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User Reviews

Perfection in modernism
11 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A lot of postings indicate that this movie could do well in even today's competitive film market. And it could indeed. The late Ray Sharkey gives a very strong award-calbre performance as a repressed performer in the guise of a songwriter/manager for a couple of 1950s style teen idols. A very young Peter Gallagher showed signs that he might have a bigger career than he has apparently had. It's funny how an actor can look so "exotic" and really not actually BE exotic. It's this kind of irony that carries IDOLMAKER to the heights of classic filmaking.

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