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


Paul Schrader


Paul Schrader
2 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


His business is pleasure. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In 2012, star Richard Gere said that he was drawn to the role because of its gay subtext. "I read it and I thought, 'This is a character I don't know very well. I don't own a suit. He speaks languages; I don't speak any languages. There's kind of a gay thing that's flirting through it and I didn't know the gay community at all.' I wanted to immerse myself in all of that and I had literally two weeks. So I just dove in." See more »


When Julian and Anne are talking on the beach, the positions of the sun and shadows on them change between shots, indicating that the shots were taken at different times. See more »


Leon: I heard about your problems.
Julian Kaye: What problems?
Leon: Your clientele, Julie. Your rich pussy. They won't touch you. Say it's too hot. They're looking for new boys.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Featured in 20 to 1: Hollywood's Hot List (2009) See more »


Love and Passion
by Giorgio Moroder and Paul Schrader
Performed by Cheryl Barnes
Courtesy of Polydor Records
See more »

User Reviews

The movie that made Richard Gere a star
27 September 2020 | by dierregiSee all my reviews

As a gigolo Julian Kaye is the most stylish you can imagine. He lives in a tasteful apartment, minimalistic before minimalism became fashionable. His lady friends lavish him with expensive gifts. He wears only the best clothes, assembling outfits with good taste and knowledge of colours. He's also, smart, witty, charming and polyglot.

The perfect man? If you are rich, lonely and middle-aged. Julian prides himself of being able to pleasure women neglected by their men.

However, behind this glamorous facade, Julian is lonely and despised by his peers for his arrogance. When a rich, kinky wife gets killed in a kinky way, Julian becomes quickly suspect number 1.

In the meantime, he managed to start a "real" relationship with Michelle, the trophy wife of a politician. Will their love survive the storm?

Gere - allegedly chosen to replace John Travolta - plays the role of his life with deceptive nonchalance. He made it so simple, the public believed he was Julian and the critics always underestimated him as another pretty face.

It's a shame, because Gere is a talented actor who never received the praise he deserved. This movie is a modern, unmissable classic, ushering the materialistic Eighties with style, sophistication and an unforgettable soundtrack inclusive of Blondie and Moroder smash hit "Call me".

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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Swedish | French | German

Release Date:

1 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

An American Gigolo See more »


Box Office


$4,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,559,930, 3 February 1980

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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