7.0/10
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29 user 15 critic

The Idolmaker (1980)

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

Director:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Sharkey ... Vincent Vacarri
Tovah Feldshuh ... Brenda Roberts
Peter Gallagher ... Caesare
Paul Land ... Tommy Dee
Joe Pantoliano ... Gino Pilato
Maureen McCormick ... Ellen Fields
John Aprea ... Mario Vacarri
Richard Bright ... Uncle Tony
Olympia Dukakis ... Mrs. Vacarri
Steve Peck Steve Peck ... Mr. Frank Vacarri (as Steven Apostlee Peck)
Leonard Gaines Leonard Gaines ... Luchetti
Deney Terrio Deney Terrio ... Jerry Martin
Charles Guardino Charles Guardino ... Jesse
Michael Mislove ... Ed Sharp
Kenneth O'Brien Kenneth O'Brien ... Walt Bennett
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Storyline

1959. Twenty-seven year old Vinnie Vacarri works as a waiter at his older brother Mario's upscale Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, but much to Mario's chagrin, Vinnie lets work at the restaurant slide whenever opportunities arise to achieve his dream of being in the music business. Along with his best friend and music partner, pianist Gino Pilato, Vinnie writes songs, and believes he has everything but the most important thing to make it big, namely the look, he most self-conscious about his receding hairline. As such, he and Gino are looking for someone to perform their songs on their own terms. He thinks he's found the person in his friend Tomaso DeLorusso, a saxophonist who has been struggling himself in the club scene to find his niche. With Gino largely staying in the background, Vinnie begins a professional association with Tomaso, who he reinvents as rock singer Tommy Dee, this the beginning of Vinnie's foray into talent manager, he knowing the look and sound he wants, with his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

14 November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Sombra de um Ídolo See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$318,403, 16 November 1980

Gross USA:

$2,625,716

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,625,716
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kirkwood, Koch Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

After Caessare's first successful concert, there is a montage of magazine covers. The only date showing on those issues is July, 1961. Caeasare is then in seclusion for several months, before finally putting on his second appearance in Memphis. The banner above the venue however, announces the second concert occurring March 17, 1961. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

It's Never Been Tonight Before
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Barry
Sung by Peter Gallagher
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ray Sharkey is great!
29 March 2008 | by mrohleeSee all my reviews

I remember going to see this movie when it first came out. It's sort of a formula picture with the struggle to get to the top, the fame/power corrupting, the fall, then the redemption. Two things made this work, first the musical numbers were very good. This is a very difficult thing, making a movie about hit records and having to write original music that sounds like a hit. The movie shows how much work goes into the preparation and planning required to make it. This aspect was surprisingly good.

The main thing that holds your attention though is Ray Sharkey. I just saw it again on Encore. I knew Sharkey was good in the part but looking back now I can see he is very good. It almost seems that Bruce Willis copied Sharkey's style from this movie in several of his own. I could see Sharkey in the "Die Hard" movies. He brings so much energy to the part and is totally believable as wise guy with a quick temper.

When I first saw this movie I thought Sharkey was going to have a great career. I don't know if it was the drugs, a poor choice of parts or both but he really had talent and charisma. If he hadn't gotten hooked on drugs and contracted AIDS he could have been a Joe Pesci if not a Jr Robert DeNiro. If you think I am making this up get a copy of this movie and take a look. He did show flashes of what he could do in some television work but just couldn't keep it together for any length of time.

If you have any interest in the pop music of the late fifties early sixties or just want to watch what a talented actor can do with a formula picture take a look at this.


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