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American Gigolo

american gigolo, american gigolo soundtrack
$22,743,674Domestic1 domestic $30 million International2

$527 millionNet Gross

American Gigolo is a 1980 American romantic crime film3 written and directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo, Nina Van Pallandt and Bill Duke It tells the story of Julian Kaye, a high-price male escort in Los Angeles who becomes romantically involved with a prominent politician's wife while simultaneously becoming the prime suspect in a murder case

The film is notable for establishing Gere as a leading man, and was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to include frontal male nudity from its main star It is also notable for its accompanying soundtrack, composed by Giorgio Moroder and featuring the number-one hit single "Call Me" by Blondie

Schrader considers it one of four similar films, which he calls "double bookends": Taxi Driver, bookended by Light Sleeper, and American Gigolo bookended by The Walker4


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Soundtrack
  • 5 Reception
  • 6 TV show
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


Julian Kaye Richard Gere is a male escort in Los Angeles whose job supports his expensive taste in cars and clothes, and his plush Westwood apartment He is blatantly materialistic, narcissistic and superficial; however, he claims to take some pleasure in his work from being able to sexually satisfy women

Julian's procuress, Anne Nina Van Pallandt, sends him on an assignment with a wealthy old widow, Mrs Dobrun Carole Cook, who is visiting town Afterwards, he goes to the hotel bar and meets Michelle Stratton Lauren Hutton, a senator's beautiful but unhappy wife, who becomes interested in him Meanwhile, Julian's other pimp, Leon Bill Duke, sends him to Palm Springs on an assignment to the house of Mr Rheiman Tom Stewart, a wealthy financier Rheiman asks Julian to have rough, sado-masochistic sex with his wife Judy Patricia Carr while he watches them The next day, Julian berates Leon for sending him to a "rough trick" and makes it clear he does not do kinky or gay assignments

As Julian begins to get to know Michelle, he learns that Judy Rheiman has been murdered Los Angeles Police Department Detective Sunday Hector Elizondo investigates Julian as a primary suspect Though he was with another client, Lisa Williams K Callan, on the night of the murder, she refuses to give Julian an alibi in order to protect her and her husband's reputations

As Julian's relationship with Michelle deepens, evidence connecting him with the murder mounts He soon realizes that he is being framed finding jewels from the Rheiman house planted in his car and grows increasingly desperate His mounting anguish is visually represented by a degeneration in style; his clothes become dirty and rumpled, he goes unshaven, and he goes incognito in a cheap rental car, after discovering that someone is hiring people to follow him

Julian finally concludes that Leon and Rheiman himself are the ones trying to frame him, and that one of Leon's other gigolos is the real murderer He goes to confront Leon, telling him he knows everything, but Leon refuses to help him Julian pleads with Leon to clear his name, even offering to work exclusively for him and do kink and gay assignments, but Leon remains implacable During a brief scuffle, Julian accidentally pushes Leon over the apartment balcony and he falls to his death

With no one to help him, Julian ends up in jail, awaiting trial for the Rheiman murder However, when all seems lost, Michelle risks her reputation and her marriage to provide Julian with the alibi that can save him from prison


  • Richard Gere as Julian Kaye
  • Lauren Hutton as Michelle Stratton
  • Hector Elizondo as Detective Joe Sunday
  • Nina van Pallandt as Anne
  • Bill Duke as Leon
  • Carole Cook as Mrs Dobrun
  • K Callan as Lisa Williams
  • Tom Stewart as Mr Rheiman
  • Patricia Carr as Judy Rheiman


Christopher Reeve reportedly turned down the part of Julian Kaye despite being offered a million-dollar fee,5 before Richard Gere became attached to the role Reeve was offered the role by the studio, namely Barry Diller at Paramount Pictures, but writer/director Paul Schrader didn't want to cast him and telephoned Reeves's agent trying to persuade him not to read the script Gere said in 2012 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"6

John Travolta became interested in the part and briefly acted in it before getting "cold feet" and being replaced by Gere78 This is not the only role that Travolta has turned down only to be taken by Gere: it had previously happened with Days of Heaven 19789 and occurred again when Travolta was offered the lead in both An Officer and a Gentleman 1982 and Chicago 200210 Paul Schrader had threatened to sue Travolta if Richard Gere wasn't cast in the film knowing full well that Travolta had his eye on the script of another Paramount production Urban Cowboy 1980 Gere's very brief nude scenes marked the first time a major Hollywood actor was frontally nude in a film1112 According to Gere, the nudity was not in the original script "It was just in the natural process of making the movie I certainly felt vulnerable, but I think it's different for men than women"6

Julie Christie was originally cast in the role of Michelle Stratton, but her departure was precipitated by Gere's replacement of Travolta8 By the time Gere had returned to the project, Lauren Hutton had already been hired Meryl Streep was also offered the part of Michelle, but declined because she did not like the tone of the film13

Schrader acknowledges that Pickpocket 1959 by the French director Robert Bresson was a direct influence on the film;1415 the composition of the final shot draws heavily from the film,1617 as does the final dialogue18 Schrader later provided an introduction to the Criterion Collection DVD of Pickpocket Schrader re-visited many of the themes of American Gigolo in his 2007 film, The Walker,19 and says the idea for that film came about while wondering what would have become of the Julian Kaye character20

The film is widely credited to have established Giorgio Armani in Hollywood, since the Italian designer's clothes are featured prominently in Julian Kaye's wardrobe When John Travolta agreed to star in the film, Armani provided him with many outfits to wear as Julian Kay When Travolta walked off the project, Schrader hired Richard Gere; Travolta was a svelte six-footer, whereas Gere was much shorter and more muscular, so Armani's wardrobe did not fit Gere The designer's team had to make new clothing for the smaller actor21


Further information: American Gigolo soundtrack

The film's soundtrack was composed by Giorgio Moroder The main theme song of the film is "Call Me" performed by Blondie The song was written by Moroder and Blondie vocalist Debbie Harry, and became a huge worldwide hit in 1980 It peaked at number one in various countries including the US and the UK, and became the highest selling single of 1980 in the United States In 1981, the song was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal


The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics, as the film holds a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews

TV showedit

In October 2014, Jerry Bruckheimer announced plans to adapt the movie into a television series22 In October 2016, Neil Labute will write the series for Showtime23

See alsoedit

  • Candaulism
  • American Gigolo soundtrack


  1. ^ Box Office Mojo 2010 American Gigolo 1980 Online IMDbcom, Inc Updated 2010 Available at: http://wwwboxofficemojocom/movies/id=americangigolohtm Accessed 24 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n28WEaQlurl=http://wwwboxofficemojocom/movies/id%3Damericangigolohtm
  2. ^ http://wwwthe-numberscom/movie/American-Gigolo#summary
  3. ^ http://mimdbcom/title/tt0080365/
  4. ^ "American Cinema of the 70s" The Story of Film: An Odyssey Season 1 2011 Event occurs at 28 minutes in More4  |access-date= requires |url= help
  5. ^ Holley, J, 2004 A Leading Man for Spinal Cord Research The Washington Post, internet 12 October Available at http://wwwwashingtonpostcom/wp-dyn/articles/A23222-2004Oct11html Accessed 25 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n3XvSoO5url=http://wwwwashingtonpostcom/wp-dyn/articles/A23222-2004Oct11html
  6. ^ a b Richard Gere Accepted American Gigolo Role Because of Gay Subtext
  7. ^ Jones, C 2002 Richard Gere: On guard Online BBC Updated 27 Dec 2002 Available at: http://newsbbccouk/1/hi/in_depth/uk/2000/newsmakers/2591237stm Accessed 25 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n2vlsIV6url=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsbbccouk%2F2%2Fhi%2Fin_depth%2Fuk%2F2000%2Fnewsmakers%2F2591237stm
  8. ^ a b Yahoo! Movies 2010 Julie Christie Biography Online Yahoo! Updated 2010 Available at: http://moviesyahoocom/movie/contributor/1800020090/bio Accessed 26 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n4P3DZgYurl=https://moviesyahoocom/movie/contributor/1800020090/bio
  9. ^ Gilbey, R 2009 Who's next for a Mickey Rourke-style comeback Online Guardiancouk Updated 17 Feb 2009 Available at: http://wwwguardiancouk/film/filmblog/2009/feb/16/mickey-rourke-wrestler Accessed 25 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n2wXCKBRurl=http://wwwguardiancouk/film/filmblog/2009/feb/16/mickey-rourke-wrestler
  10. ^ Lawrence, W, 2007 Travolta as you've never seen him before Times Online, internet 30 June Available at http://entertainmenttimesonlinecouk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article1989219ece Accessed 25 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n2wl0xoVurl=http://entertainmenttimesonlinecouk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article1989219ece
  11. ^ Persall, S, 2009 Male movie stars' naughty bits are nothing new St Petersburg Times, internet 7 March Available at http://wwwtampabaycom/features/movies/article981982ece Accessed 24 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n26DnQUFurl=http://wwwtampabaycom/features/movies/article981982ece
  12. ^ Dirks, T 2009 History of Sex in Cinema: The Greatest and Most Influential Sexual Films and Scenes Online Filmsiteorg Updated 2009 Available at: http://wwwfilmsiteorg/sexinfilmshtml part 27 Accessed 24 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n26j4TVJurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwwwfilmsiteorg%2Fsexinfilms27html
  13. ^ Smurthwaite, N, 1984 The Meryl Streep Story Beaufort Books ISBN 978-0-8253-0229-9
  14. ^ Thompson, RJ, 1998 Pickpocket Senses of Cinema, online 1998 Available at: http://archivesensesofcinemacom/contents/cteq/00/7/pickpockethtml Accessed 27 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n6kr6A2Surl=http://archivesensesofcinemacom/contents/cteq/00/7/pickpockethtml
  15. ^ Auty, C 2008 Robert Bresson's Pickpocket Online Film Forum Updated 4 Aug 2008 Available at: http://wwwfilmforumorg/films/pickpockethtml Accessed 27 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n6lFFD91url=http://wwwfilmforumorg/films/pickpockethtml
  16. ^ Johnston, S, 2003 Film-makers on film: Paul Schrader Telegraphcouk, internet 25 January Available at http://wwwtelegraphcouk/culture/film/3589003/Film-makers-on-film-Paul-Schraderhtml Accessed 26 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n5CfRHMBurl=http://wwwtelegraphcouk/culture/film/3589003/Film-makers-on-film-Paul-Schraderhtml
  17. ^ Dawson, T 2005 Pickpocket 2005 Online BBC Updated 3 Apr 2005 Available at: http://wwwbbccouk/films/2005/04/04/pickpocket_2005_reviewshtml Accessed 26 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n5CyDtouurl=http://wwwbbccouk/films/2005/04/04/pickpocket_2005_reviewshtml
  18. ^ Sight & Sound 2007 Robert Bresson: Alias Grace British Film Institute, internet November 2007 Available at: http://wwwbfiorguk/sightandsound/feature/49407 Accessed 26 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n5DP9fzcurl=http://wwwbfiorguk/sightandsound/feature/49407
  19. ^ Malcolm, D, 2007 American gigolo in the frame London Evening Standard, internet 9 August Available at http://wwwthisislondoncouk/film/review-23407689-american-gigolo-in-the-framedo Accessed 27 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n65HEfVhurl=http://wwwthisislondoncouk/film/review-23407689-american-gigolo-in-the-framedo
  20. ^ Schrader, P 2007 The Walker Online Landmark Theatres Updated 2007 Available at: http://wwwlandmarktheatrescom/mn/walkerhtml Accessed 27 January 2010 Archived at http://wwwwebcitationorg/5n65msC6gurl=http://wwwlandmarktheatrescom/mn/walkerhtml
  21. ^ http://clothesonfilmcom/american-gigolo-armani-gere/13314/
  22. ^ Goldberg, Lesley "Jerry Bruckheimer Adapting 'American Gigolo' for Paramount TV" Thehollywoodreportercom Retrieved 11 January 2016 
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie "American Gigolo’ TV Series Adaptation Set At Showtime From Paramount TV, Jerry Bruckheimer & Neil LaBute" Deadline Retrieved January 6, 2017 

External linksedit

  • American Gigolo on Internet Movie Database
  • American Gigolo at AllMovie
  • American Gigolo at Rotten Tomatoes

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American Gigolo

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