28 user 14 critic

The Idolmaker (1980)

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



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


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Fields
Mario Vacarri
Uncle Tony
Mrs. Vacarri
Steve Peck ...
Mr. Frank Vacarri (as Steven Apostlee Peck)
Leonard Gaines ...
Deney Terrio ...
Jerry Martin
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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The crowds, the cheers, the top of the charts. They don't just happen. He makes them happen. See more »


PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Sombra de um Ídolo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nino Tempo: Uncredited, the singer and musician who sings three songs on the movie's soundtrack as a Saxophone Player. See more »


There are two scenes in the parking lot of the club/bar where Vincent went to see Tommy play saxophone. The first one is where Vincent tells Tommy he would like him to record his songs. The second one is when Caesore is puking after running offstage at his debut which took place two years after the first.The cars in the parking lot are the same cars parked in the exact same order in both scenes. See more »


Vincent Vacarri: True sex comes from between your ears, not from between your legs.
See more »


A Boy and a Girl
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Barry
Sung by The Sweet Inspirations & The London Fog
See more »

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User Reviews

Great All-Time Lost Treasure
27 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tragically, released at a time when United Artists was busy going bankrupt making "Heaven's Gate" (see book FINAL CUT), this film was lost among a number of gems (Rich Kids; Pope of Greenwich Village; TrueRomance), "Idolmaker" is truly in a class by itself. Its acting is uniformly impeccable, direction, cinematography and both writing and song score--by the legendary Jeff Barry--of Barry and Cynthia Weil fame, the film is refreshingly bereft of dead spots,contrived moments and false notes (and I'm not just talking about the music).Ray Sharkey is at his volcanic best. JOE PANTOLIANO is cast against character as (no kidding) Sharkey's milquetoast songwriting partner--and acquits himself magnificently. Olympia Dukakis gives a FINE performance as Sharkey's mother--and Peter Gallagher does his own singing--while delivering the performance of a lifetime as the naive-turned-meglomaniacal Avalon character.Due to his heroin addiction, Sharkey's career floundered in years following this star-making role... lowering him to parts in the likes of "Hellhole" with Marjoe Gortner. He ended up flat broke, living with his mother in NYC.What followed was bittersweet and merits extra attention to a wonderful First Act scene: While watching the movie on TV, he was struck by scene where his mother urges him to swallow his pride and ask his estranged father to finance his start in show business.Seeing That one scene years later restored his self-esteem and inspired him to get clean and sober and get back into the game. He was barely out of rehab when he landed the role of Atlantic City mobster Sonny Steelgrave in TV's"Wiseguy"'s very first story arc. Those episodes remain cult classics,and are available on DVD. Loosely based on the career of Bob Marcucci, and his protégés Fabianand Frankie Avalon, this movie truly has it all: pathos, humor, an unflinching look at the free-for-all pre-Beatles Teen Idol gap that resulted from Elvis' stint in the Army.

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