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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.
Growing up, I always thought Venetian blinds where the height of sleazy sophistication, and I'm pretty sure this film is to thank for introducing the trend. This film is incredible, stylistically. Giorgio Moroder's score is a thing of beauty, oozing opulence and decadence and offering a backdrop for the seedier side of night-time Los Angeles. I would steal Lauren Hutton's wardrobe in an instance, and - let's face it - perhaps even Richard Gere's.
The film looks and sounds amazing, and the first 45 minutes are thoroughly enjoyable, but once the murder plot sets it, the film becomes a terrible caricature. Is it supposed to be suspenseful? The film is casually homophobic and misogynist, and there is little attention for…
There is quite a bit I do not know about "American Gigolo." For one thing, I can't tell if the film is misogynistic and homophobic, or just so melodramatic that all of its characters seem a bit like caricatures. I also can't quite tell if the film is legitimately well made, or just so strange that I can't help but become absorbed by it. But one thing is for sure: I was never bored by this movie.
Fueled with a synth score that may feel awfully out of place but is pretty damn good, "American Gigolo" is a moody piece of melodrama fueled by surprisingly decent lead performances. Many of the supporting players do a bad job here, but Richard…
American Gigolo is another of Paul Schrader's "God's lonely man" films. His quartet being Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Light Sleeper and The Walker. They are a fascinating set of films, as much for their flaws, as for their successes. They are character studies of opaque, egotistical demons, increasingly pathetic and less dangerous with age. They mirror Schrader himself, and his own career. American Gigolo is the second of quartet and the first directed by Schrader. The film is built around two magnetic aspects, Richard Gere's preening, marvellous central performance and Giorgio Moroder propulsive and unbeatable score. People went crazy for Nightcrawler last year (a weak, overcooked faux-satire almost rescued by an unblinking Gyllenhaal) however the whole film and more is…
Richard Gere > Rob Schneider
Almost a forgotten masterpiece.
Until the final 15 minutes of this movie I was thinking that I rediscovered a 1980’s film that was under-appreciated and possibly lost in the drudgery that was 80’s cinema. Then the ending derailed the movie enough that I am tempted to give it a negative review.
Written and directed by Paul Schrader, who also wrote classics like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ as well as directing Auto Focus and Affliction, this movie depicts the life of a high class male escort living in L.A. in the early 80’s. The movie’s plot focuses on a murder that the protagonist, Julien as played perfectly by a young and sexy Richard Gere, is…
Whereas Schrader's previous two films "Blue Collar and "Hardcore" feel extremely 70's in their griminess, "Gigolo" steps up the style exponentially basically serving as the blueprint for endless films, music videos and especially advertising in all of it's surface level polish and sleekness. Sexy camera movements, good looking people, expensive things this is the kind of movie that makes you want to do a bunch of cocaine and spend money, that is until the money runs out and your ass gets framed for some weird murder...
This was a part that was shopped around to a number of actors including John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone (!) but really Gere is the only one who could pull this role off. Never…
Underneath the unique gaze of Schrader's framing and plotting is one of the most beautifully-cut films ever made.
Love how the theme song "Call Me" degenerates with each replay as the story unwinds.
American Gigolo divulges, or at least tries to divulge the life of a male prostitute in the form of Julian Kaye. He's a bit high-maintenance - he prefers rich, older women, and only works for himself, something that his employers detest. He meets Michelle, a lonely woman who initially just wanted his services, but they find themselves in a full-blown affair. Beyond his personal life, he gets framed for the murder of a woman he had met once.
Richard Gere thinks he's hot shit because he can get old ladies off, so he acts like an asshole for awhile until he gets framed for murder and falls in love.
2.5 stars for the soundtrack alone.
Very masculine neo-noir with a sexy Gere and one of the greatest pop songs of all time as a theme. It could've been essential Schrader with a better sense of finality.
"Opening to the sounds of Blondie’s “Call Me,” American Gigolo’s editing fetishizes Julian’s two-door black convertible Mercedes Benz with a leather interior. Speeding down the L.A. freeway, Julian seems effortlessly cool and deceptively delicate. In context of Schrader’s career, the convertible represents more than just a sleek representation of the California dream and the fantasy of carefree hedonism — it represents an alternative to Midwest values. Concerned by the work of men, his films up to this point (Taxi Driver, Blue Collar, and Hardcore) have at least been tangentially about men working in the American car industry. Julian, introduced on the road, doesn’t drive an American car, so he’s a different kind of worker. He drives his German car to a fitting for an Italian suit before picking up an American woman. For Schrader, it seems, California is a different kind of America."
For the full review, go to Vague Visages: vaguevisages.com/2016/09/08/of-love-and-other-demons-american-gigolo-paul-schrader-1980/
Love young Richard Gere and the 27 remixes of Blondie's Call Me that were used throughout this film.
The sexiest things about the movie are the perfectly tailored suits, neon production design and Blondie's classic song "Call Me", which usher in the overkill of the 1980s in aggressive and persuasive style. It touched me to see the city I live in portrayed in a flashy but emotionally bereft light. The plot seemed unimportant when measured against the film's overpowering aesthetics.
The bastard child of film noir, born in the era of shoulder pads, smoke machines, and Fredericks of Hollywood.
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…