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American Gigolo Details


A slick Los Angeles callboy finds love and redemption in Paul Schrader's ultra-stylish drama. High-living prostitute Julian Kay (Richard Gere, stepping in for John Travolta) has it all: the Mercedes, the clothes, access to Beverly Hills' swankiest establishments, and a stable of rich, older female clients. But it all falls apart after he does a favor for his former pimp (Bill Duke) and the trick turns up dead a short while later; Julian's actual client won't give him an alibi, and police detective Sunday (Hector Elizondo) doesn't believe the gigolo's denials. The one person who can help him is frustrated politician's wife (and sole non-paying bedmate) Michelle (Lauren Hutton), if only Julian could let down his defenses and accept her gesture of love. Mixing his admiration for European art cinema with a voyeuristic view of the seamier side of sex and affluence, Schrader renders Julian an inscrutable, emotionally disengaged purveyor of pleasure, decked out in Giorgio Armani clothes coordinated with Ferdinando Scarfiotti's meticulous production design. Amid critical doubts about its artiness and distanced eroticism, American Gigolo surprised everyone by not dying on the box office vine. With some audiences reportedly showing up for repeat viewings of Gere's seductive charms, it became a moderate hit, turning Gere into a star and Armani into the new fashion sensation. Whatever reservations one may have about the movie, it provided two indelible images of 1980s decadence to come: Gere's perusing his "artist's palette" of shirts, ties, and jackets, and Gere's cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway in his convertible to the New Wave strains of Blondie's "Call Me". ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:May 8, 1980


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Giorgio Moroder Best Original Song 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Giorgio Moroder Best Original Score 1980 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Deborah Harry Best Original Song 1980 Nominee


Richard Gere
as Julian Kaye
Lauren Hutton
as Michelle Stratton
Hector Elizondo
as Detective Sunday
Nina Van Pallandt
as Anne
Bill Duke
as Leon Jaimes
Brian Davies
as Charles Stratton
K Callan
as Lisa Williams
Patti Carr
as Judy Rheiman
David Cryer
as Lt. Curtis
Carole Cook
as Mrs. Dobrun
Carol Bruce
as Mrs. Sloan
Frances Bergen
as Mrs. Laudner
MacDonald Carey
as Hollywood Actor
Peter Turgeon
as Julian's Lawyer
Robert Wightman
as Floyd Wicker
Richard Derr
as Mr. Williams
Vic Ramos
Paul Schrader
Gordon Haight
as Blond Boy
Frank Pesce
as Suspect #4
Kopi Sotiropulos
as Reporter
Ron Cummins
as Reporter
Frank Pesce
as Suspect #4
Kopi Sotiropulos
as Reporter
Gordon Haight
as Blond Boy


Paul Schrader
Jerry Bruckheimer
Paul Schrader
John Bailey
Giorgio Moroder
Composer (Music Score)
Richard Halsey
Ferdinando Scarfiotti
Production Designer
Ed Richardson
Art Director
Freddie Fields
Executive Producer
Mark Fabus
Set Designer
Peter Bogart
First Assistant Director
Vic Ramos