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American Gigolo


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo, Nina van Pallandt, Bill Duke
  • Directors: Paul Schrader
  • Writers: Paul Schrader
  • Producers: Freddie Fields, Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2000
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792160347
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,939 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Gigolo" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

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".

Customer Reviews

Very dark and a great flick that highly entertains!
I. Fedorenko
The real subject of the film is exactly the sexy surfaces the story somewhat hypocritically pretends (but not too strongly) to condemn.
Charles S. Tashiro
I think the movie would have been better if he would have cried during some point of the movie.
Jewel Schultz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Charles S. Tashiro on June 5, 2000
Format: DVD
American Gigolo is probably writer-director Paul Schrader's most memorable film. Richard Gere is perhaps too well cast as a strutting, smug hustler brought low by his egotism and blindness to the reality of his life. The love story "redemption" centering around Lauren Hutton is pure front-office placation. The real subject of the film is exactly the sexy surfaces the story somewhat hypocritically pretends (but not too strongly) to condemn.
In fact, the film's most memorable sequences are both dedicated to hard-edged commodity glitter and have nothing to do with the love story. In the opening credits, Gere shops on Rodeo Drive then drives down Pacific Coast Highway. Deborah Harry loudly sings out to "Call Me" in the background, Gere smirks in the sunny breezes behind the wheel of his 450SL, while the camera lovingly caresses the bumpers and hub caps. In the famous dressing scene, Gere throws one exquisite jacket, shirt and tie after another on to his bed as he ponders the most effective combination. Both scenes are wonderful evocations of svelte narcissism, cheeky self-satisfaction made into an art.
To achieve these surfaces, Schrader owes a deep debt to cinematographer John Bailey, fashion designer Giorgio Armani and especially "visual consultant" (production designer) Ferdinando Scarfiotti, who is probably chiefly responsible for the film's famous "European" look. It also doesn't hurt that the story is almost exclusively limited to the sleeker parts of LA and Southern California-Beverly Hills, Westwood, Malibu, a side trip to Palm Springs, with a touch of Hollywood grunge thrown in for some kicks and kink.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Get What We Give VINE VOICE on January 13, 2005
Format: DVD
American Gigolo is one of my favorite films and yet it is really not one of the greatest films that you might encounter. Shot in rich tones, particularly blues and greys, the director, Paul Schrader, wants us to know that we are not going to be afforded the opportunity to get to know the characters too well. One might be able to argue that American Gigolo was one of the films that literally catapulted the movie going public into the 1980's mindset of materialism.

Richard Gere in one of his earliest films, protrays straight male call boy, Julian, who is tops in his game. Julian is gorgeous and knows many gorgeous women. He sleeps with those who will pay him. He doesn't bother with those who won't. Julian's lifestyle is one of everything "is a means to an end". He is interested in beautiful clothing and looking good, but because it helps him get something that he wants. He enjoys artwork and stylish digs, but not because he loves them, but because they are status symbols for his success. Julian enjoys being a gigolo because he is the best there is. He wouldn't (and doesn't) enjoy it when it isn't on his terms. For someone like me who feels he is too in tune with his emotions, Gere's Julian is cool, calculating and enviable. He goes about life without a care for anyone but himself.

When Julian meets Lauren Hutton, he is actually smitten with her. This is evidenced by the meeting taking place in a bar with deep reds and comfortable upholstered booths instead of the abounding greys, blues, and steel evidenced elsewhere in the film.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Horner on September 8, 2002
Format: DVD
"American Gigolo" is high on my list of Guilty Pleasures. This 1980 thriller wallows in the troubles of the rich, the infamous and the decadent. Its main characters have too much money, which can be a good thing, and too much time on their hands, which can be a very bad thing. There is a sort of perverse pleasure in watching them sort through their various problems, most of which are indirectly of their own making. Writer-director Paul Schrader has always cast a cynical eye on human endeavors. Sometimes, his insights have been absolutely brilliant. [He wrote both " Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull".] But even when he is playing around, as in "American Gigolo", he creates for us an interesting world, which can also be repellant because we see a certain amount of truth in his characterizations.
Richard Gere is Julian Kaye, a very well paid [and apparently well educated] LA hustler. His specialty is wealthy, older women. Arrogant and self-assured, he has made his share of enemies in his shadowy world, especially among his pimps. Things get complicated for him when he falls for Michelle Stratton [Lauren Hutton], wife of a prominent political figure. But far worse is in store for him after a client is murdered and Julian becomes the number one suspect.
Giorgio Moroder contributes a lively musical score - very 80s. John Bailey's cinematography is first-rate. He captures the vanity and vulnerability of Julian right from the opening shots, for example.
This is one of those movies that has more detractors than admirers. To me, it is wildly entertaining in a dark comedy way. Its one big fault is a contrived happy ending, which is diametrically opposed to the tone of the rest of the movie.
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