American Gigolo
American Gigolo is a 1980 crime drama film, written and directed by Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader
Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

. It is informally considered the second installment in his "lonely man" trilogy, following the Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian. In 1990 he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, and in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation...

 directed Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film is set in New York City, soon after the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, and Cybill Shepherd. The film was nominated for four Academy...

(1976) and preceding Light Sleeper
Light Sleeper
Light Sleeper is an US-american drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader in 1992. It stars Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, and Dana Delany....



Julian Kaye (Richard Gere
Richard Gere
Richard Tiffany Gere is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol...

) is a male prostitute
Male prostitution
Male prostitution is the practice of engaging in sexual acts for money. Compared to female sex workers, male sex workers have been far less studied by researchers, and while studies suggest that there are differences between the ways these two groups look at their work, more research is needed.Male...

 in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 whose job supports his expensive taste in cars, stereophonic equipment, and clothes. He is, at times, blatantly narcissistic
Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait...

 and superficial; however, he claims to take some pleasure in his work from being able to sexually satisfy women.

When on an assignment for his primary procuress, Anne (Nina Van Pallandt
Nina van Pallandt
Nina, Baroness van Pallandt is a Danish singer and actress.-Personal life:Born Nina Magdelene Møller-Hasselbalch, she married Frederik, Baron van Pallandt in 1960. They formed a singing duo, Nina & Frederik, and achieved worldwide popularity with their calypso-style songs...

), he meets Michelle Stratton (Lauren Hutton
Lauren Hutton
Lauren Hutton is an American model and actress. She is best-known for her starring roles in the movies American Gigolo and Lassiter, and also for her fashion modeling career.-Personal life:...

), the unhappy wife of a local politician, who becomes interested in him. Julian's other pimp, Leon (Bill Duke
Bill Duke
William Henry "Bill" Duke, Jr. is an American actor and film director with over 30 years of experience. Known for his physically imposing frame, Duke's work frequently dwells within the action/crime and drama genres but also includes comedy.-Early life:Duke was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, the...

), sends him to the house of a financier, Mr. Rheiman, who asks Julian to physically abuse and copulate with his wife while he watches them.

As Julian begins to get to know Michelle, he learns that the financier's wife, Mrs. Rheiman, was murdered. Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 4.1 million people, it is the third largest local law enforcement agency in...

 Detective Sunday (Hector Elizondo
Hector Elizondo
Héctor Elizondo is an American actor. Elizondo's first major role was that of "God" in the play Steambath, for which he won an Obie Award...

) investigates Julian as a primary suspect. Though he was with a client, Lisa Williams (K Callan
K Callan
K Callan is an American actress known for playing Clark Kent's mother Martha in the ABC television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman....

), on the night of the murder, the client refuses to give Julian an alibi in order to protect her and her husband's reputations.

As Julian's relationship with Michelle deepens, suspicion of the murder mounts against him. He soon realizes that he is being framed and grows increasingly desperate. His decline is visually represented by a degeneration in style as his clothes become rumpled, he goes unshaven, and he even rents a cheap commuter car after his Mercedes SL has been tampered with.

Julian finally confronts Leon, who confesses that one of the other, younger gigolos who works for him had killed the wealthy man's wife, and Leon had conceived the plan to frame Julian. After an argument, Julian accidentally pushes Leon over the apartment balcony and he falls to his death.

With no one to help him, Julian ends up in jail, awaiting trial for the murder. However, when all seems lost, Michelle risks her reputation and that of her husband to provide Julian with the alibi that can save him from prison.


John Travolta
John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta is an American actor, dancer and singer. Travolta first became known in the 1970s, after appearing on the television series Welcome Back, Kotter and starring in the box office successes Saturday Night Fever and Grease...

, after the successes of Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever
Saturday Night Fever is a 1977 drama film directed by John Badham and starring: John Travolta as Tony Manero, an immature young man whose weekends are spent visiting a local Brooklyn discothèque; Karen Lynn Gorney as his dance partner and eventual friend; and Donna Pescow as Tony's former dance...

(1977) and Grease
Grease (film)
Grease is a 1978 American musical film directed by Randal Kleiser and based on Warren Casey's and Jim Jacobs's 1971 musical of the same name about two lovers in a 1950s high school. The film stars John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway...

(1978) had been offered the Julian Kaye role, but got "cold feet" and dropped out. This is not the only role that Travolta has turned down only to be taken by Richard Gere; it had previously happened with Days of Heaven
Days of Heaven
Days of Heaven is a 1978 American romantic drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard and Linda Manz. Set in the early 20th century, it tells the story of two poor lovers, Bill and Abby, as they travel to the Texas Panhandle to harvest...

(1978) and occurred again when Travolta was offered the lead in both An Officer and A Gentleman
An Officer and a Gentleman
A Officer and a Gentleman is a 1982 American drama film that tells the story of a U.S. Navy aviation officer candidate who comes into conflict with the Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who trains him. It was written by Douglas Day Stewart and directed by Taylor Hackford...

(1982) and Chicago
Chicago (2002 film)
Chicago is a 2002 musical film adapted from the satirical stage musical of the same name, exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Jazz-age Chicago....

(2002). Christopher Reeve
Christopher Reeve
Christopher D'Olier Reeve was an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter, author and activist...

 reportedly turned down the role despite a million dollar fee. Julie Christie
Julie Christie
Julie Frances Christie is a British actress. Born in British India to English parents, at the age of six Christie moved to England, where she attended boarding school....

 was attached to the role of Michelle Stratton at one stage but left the production when Gere was briefly replaced by Travolta. When Gere returned to the project, Lauren Hutton
Lauren Hutton
Lauren Hutton is an American model and actress. She is best-known for her starring roles in the movies American Gigolo and Lassiter, and also for her fashion modeling career.-Personal life:...

 had already been hired for the role. Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

 was also offered the role of Michelle which she declined because she didn't like the tone of the film. Schrader acknowledges that Pickpocket
Pickpocket (film)
Pickpocket is a 1959 film by the French director Robert Bresson. It starred Martin LaSalle, who was a nonprofessional actor at the time, in the title role, with Marika Green as the ingénue...

(1959) by the French director Robert Bresson
Robert Bresson
-Life and career:Bresson was born at Bromont-Lamothe, Puy-de-Dôme, the son of Marie-Élisabeth and Léon Bresson. Little is known of his early life and the year of his birth, 1901 or 1907, varies depending on the source. He was educated at Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, close to Paris, and...

 was a direct influence on the film; the composition of the final shot draws heavily from the film, as does the final dialogue. Schrader later provided an introduction to the Criterion Collection DVD of Pickpocket. Schrader re-visited many of the themes of American Gigolo in his 2007 film, The Walker
The Walker
The Walker is a 2007 drama film that was written and directed by Paul Schrader. It is a British-American independent production and is the latest installment in Schrader's "night workers" series of films, starting with Taxi Driver in 1976, and then followed by American Gigolo in 1980 and Light...

, and says the idea for that film came about while wondering what would have become of the Julian Kaye character. Richard Gere's nude scenes marked the first time a major Hollywood actor was frontally nude in a film, and the wardrobe used in the film put Armani
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a...

on the fashion map.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.