American Gigolo (1980)

PAUL SCHRADER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1980.  Screenplay by Paul Schrader.  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Golden Globe Awards 1980.

 made an icon of himself in this supposedly groundbreaking film, one that is only memorable because for once it is a man selling his body for money in the centre of a sex thriller and not a woman (with a heart of gold or otherwise). He plays a high-priced gigolo who services the bored and wealthy women of Beverly Hills without the slightest hitch in his perfect routine. His game is nearly over when he meets a beautiful politician’s wife () who begins to develop genuine feelings for him. Muddying it up is a murder mystery that occurs when one of Gere’s clients is killed and he is left as the main suspect. Some good acting, particularly from the star himself, who pulls off the suave character without the slightest bit of apprehension, but the story is boring and tries to disguise its mundaneness with sensationalistic scenes of supposedly liberal sexuality (and male frontal nudity). A more personal examination of the life of a prostitute who falls in love would be more interesting without a mystery plot that only serves to classify it into an easily recognizable genre.

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