6.3/10
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American Gigolo (1980)

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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:

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:

View content advisory »
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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)

Gross USA:

$23,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$53,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Michelle and Julian are talking in the Botanical gardens, she tells him that she's going away for 2 months and tells him to blame Charles for her trip, at that point, Julian says "That's not what I'm saying," leans against a tree and messes his hair up. In the next shot, after he's walked away from the tree, his hair is neat. See more »

Quotes

Michelle Stratton: How much?
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in A Word in your Era: Episode #1.5 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Off Your Uniform
Written and Performed by John Hiatt
Courtesy of MCA, Inc. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gere is excellent in entertaining Schrader effort
23 June 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

"American Gigolo" really is slick and stylish. As slick and stylish as any film could be, so you really wonder whether this is Schrader's film or Jerry Bruckheimer's? If you look solely at the screenplay, it almost fits into the typical Schrader exploration of any given 'seedy underworld'. You could even argue that Julian and Michelle are in a way similar to Travis and Betty. Looking at the final product, however, I see a slick Hollywood mystery-thriller that's actually far more interesting for its romantic sub-plot than for any of the suspense parts.

Don't get me wrong, in places "American Gigolo" is a quality character study, and the romance is as well-written as you could ever expect from a major, mainstream Hollywood production, but the suspense thriller portion is just so banal, expected, and predictable that it really takes away from an otherwise very good film. Perhaps most worthy of praise here is Richard Gere who gives one of his best performances here, and I certainly cannot even begin to imagine John Travolta in the lead role.

It sounds like I'm criticizing how stylish this film is, I'm really not. It's pulled off pretty darn well in comparison to how many films of this sort have ended up, and you have to admit Gere's wardrobe is impressive. The film is well-shot and well-acted and for the most part quite well-written (although this is far, far from Paul Schrader's best work as a screenwriter). My comments on the film's slickness are really just a natural reaction to this film coming right after "Hardcore". Indeed, it seems like this film is a signpost for the early 80's (the dud of a score proves it) where in Hollywood even homicide cases with a Gigolo as the main suspect are glamorous rather than gritty.

A lot of people hate this film, but it has also gained a large cult following and a respectable following from film critics and aficionados, even landing a spot on the 'They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?' top 1000 list, and I can't really understand why anyone would have such extreme feelings about a film that is just watchable and entertaining. I don't think Schrader did his best work here, but it's not his worst either and the film as a whole is so unimposing and forgettable that I find it hard to believe it has so many fans and so many detractors.

7/10


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