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stormastor
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« on: August 06, 2009, 01:04:17 AM »

I found this piece on someones site.   Have anyone seen this film what did you make off it?

Fresh off his eye-opening 1979 effort Hardcore, writer/director Paul Schrader struck again in 1980 with American Gigolo. This is the story of a high-end male prostitute (Gere) named Julian Kaye. Julian caters to the every need of several well-to-do older women whose husbands either are unable or reluctant to satisfy them. Julian is good at what he does, and he knows it. But that's his problem. His subtle arrogance is beginning to rub others in his line of work the wrong way. After he is framed for the murder of a kinky wife, Julian finds that none of his associates will help him clear his name. Adding to his misfortune is the fact that in order to clear his name, he will have to reveal much of what he does, as well as the identities of some of his powerful clients to the police. Either way he's screwed. He either goes to jail for the murder, or he never enjoys his profitable career again. The only person who seems interested in helping him is a state senator's wife (Hutton) who has fallen for him.

The film is really not bad. Maybe better than it deserves to be. Much of the credit goes to Richard Gere. Say what you want about the man's odd behavior off screen, but as an actor he is always top drawer. He plays Julian as a smug, intelligent, and sexually ambiguous young man. The performance keeps you guessing as much as the screenplay. Lauren Hutton is very beautiful and plays her part with classic sensuality. This woman never did that much after this, but she gives a fine performance here. Hector Elizondo is on hand as a sleazy detective, and look out for Bill Duke in an early role as a homosexual hustler at odds with Gere.


As for the direction, Schrader does what he can, but he is much better as a writer than a director. There is nothing overly creative about how much of this film is shot. George C. Scott tried to convince Schrader to stick to writing while on the set of Hardcore. American Gigolo is a much better film, so maybe Schrader took those comments to heart and made himself better. Still, the man is just not quite the director you'd hope. Some of the scenes are just a little too stale, with only the actors to breath life into them. One downfall might also be the conclusion. The film just kind of ends without a lot resolved, and a tough choice made by a major character just isn't given the proper motivation you'd think it would need. That said, American Gigolo is not a bad film at all. It was better than I expected, and it is a nice time capsule from 1980 Los Angeles. Give it a try. 7 of 10 stars.

Storm
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lucifer
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 02:53:17 AM »

That seems about right, it's a good staff training DVD ;)
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Megan
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 01:01:07 PM »

My older sister saw American Gigolo when it first came out; she said that when she went to the theater that day, the film she originally wanted to see was overun with little kids, and she bought a ticket to American Gigolo because it was the only R-rated film showing.  That's the excuse she gave her husband anyway; she found it harder to explain when she went back twice to see the movie again.:)  She has been a major Richard Gere fan ever since.

I myself own a copy of the movie; because of some of the violence in the film I don't consider it my favorite film about male escorts (that would probably be The Women's Club with Michael Pare, or the version of The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone with Olivier Martinez and Helen Mirren) but it was very sexy, and I think groundbreaking for its time.
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Meg

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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 01:05:48 PM »

P.S.: There's also a book version of American Gigolo by Timothy Harris; it's much more explicit than the film and really gets more into the characters' minds (and, cough cough, certain other body parts:)
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Meg

I'll try anything once, twice if it feels good, three times just to make sure!

Mae West

A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong she is til you put her in hot water!--Eleanor Roosevelt
stormastor
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 01:18:39 PM »

I prefer to read the book before I normally see the film so!

I shall go and get a copy in the morning to see if there are any hidden treasures lying beneath the surface of the books covers then...

Storm
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Megan
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 02:31:04 PM »

Storm,

If you like you can get it on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/AMERICAN-GIGOLO-Timothy-Harris/dp/B000HHY3KY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249593849&sr=1-1

The scenes with Julian and the wealthy widow and his first love scene with Michelle are the ones I have dog-eared in my copy...:)
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Meg

I'll try anything once, twice if it feels good, three times just to make sure!

Mae West

A woman is like a tea bag.  You never know how strong she is til you put her in hot water!--Eleanor Roosevelt
stormastor
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 02:34:06 PM »

Thanks Megan

I have ordered it  :)  :-*
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visitor001
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2009, 07:34:47 PM »

Thanks Megan

I have ordered it  :)  :-*

The only things that stood out for me in the film was Richard Gere's confidence and his tie collection  ;D.

C
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 12:48:09 AM »

The only things that stood out for me in the film was Richard Gere's confidence and his tie collection  ;D.

C
Funny- I don't remember any of his ties. :)  ;D
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visitor001
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2009, 02:35:37 PM »

The only things that stood out for me in the film was Richard Gere's confidence and his tie collection  ;D.

C
Funny- I don't remember any of his ties. :)  ;D

The ties dear, the ties! Concentrate Mizz Brooks!
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'Love is something eternal; the aspect may change, but not the essence'

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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2009, 06:37:13 PM »

Gaah!! I can't!! Help!! :D  :P:o
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LadyLuck
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 02:57:30 PM »

I still have to see this one. I remember my ex told me his dream car back in the day was a Mercedes SL because of this film. Plus, I think Richard Gere is a fine actor, and has a very classy persona onscreen.
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