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

Director:

Paul Schrader

Writer:

Paul Schrader
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Julian
Lauren Hutton ... Michelle
Hector Elizondo ... Sunday
Nina van Pallandt ... Anne (as Nina Van Pallandt)
Bill Duke ... Leon
Brian Davies ... Charles Stratton
K Callan ... Lisa Williams
Tom Stewart Tom Stewart ... Mr. Rheiman
Patricia Carr Patricia Carr ... Judy Rheiman (as Patti Carr)
David Cryer David Cryer ... Lt. Curtis
Carole Cook ... Mrs. Dobrun
Carol Bruce ... Mrs. Sloan
Frances Bergen ... Mrs. Laudner
Macdonald Carey ... 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:

Richard Gere is American Gigolo. His business is pleasure. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star John Travolta, who was originally attached to play the lead male role of Julian Kay, had recently starred in a film with Lily Tomlin called Moment by Moment (1978) which had failed at the box-office. Reportedly, it's story-line of a relationship between an older woman and a younger man was believed to be too similar in subject matter for Travolta to do another picture with this kind of plot, especially given the commercial failure of Moment by Moment (1978). Moreover, it is also believed that the then current illness of Travolta's father and the then recent death of Travolta's mother contributed to Travolta leaving the picture. Reportedly also, one of the reasons Travolta in the end turned down the movie was because he wanted final cut approval and director Paul Schrader allegedly would not give it to him. See more »

Goofs

At 17:12, the helicopter carrying the camera is clearly reflected just above the right rear wheel of the Mercedes. See more »

Quotes

Julian Kaye: Michelle, I'm really not part of your problems. And I'm certainly not the solution to your problems.
Michelle Stratton: I brought money.
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Alternate Versions

ABC edited 21 minutes from this film for its 1983 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cat People: An Intimate Portrait by Paul Schrader (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Off Your Uniform
Written and Performed by John Hiatt
Courtesy of MCA, Inc. Records
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User Reviews

 
80s suspense film about a gigolo.
6 November 2010 | by TheSteelHelmetReturnsSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Swedish | French | German

Release Date:

1 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Gigolo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,559,930, 3 February 1980

Gross USA:

$22,743,674

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,743,674
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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