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American Gigolo

Where to Watch American Gigolo


American Gigolo, directed by Paul Schrader in 1980, is a sensational, crime-filled drama that ingeniously combines elements of romance, noir, and intrigue. The film features unforgettable performances from Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, and Hector Elizondo, along with a sharp exploration of the darker side of California's high society.

In American Gigolo, Richard Gere plays Julian Kaye, the eponymous gigolo, a handsome, stylish, and charming young man making a living by providing companionship to the wealthy, lonely, and often desolate older women of Los Angeles' upper-class society. Gere's natural charisma and boyish good looks, combined with an underlying vulnerability, make him perfectly suited to play this complex character navigating through the smooth veneer of the flourishing hedonistic environment of Beverly Hills. Kaye's life, at first glance, might appear to be comfortable and glamorous. Still, as the film progresses, the hidden complexities and dangers lurking behind Kaye's profession unfold, revealing the precariousness of his existence.

Lauren Hutton plays Michelle Stratton, an enchanting and affluent political wife who finds herself drawn towards Kaye's magnetic charm, gradually immersing herself into an unexpected romantic affair, and eventually leading to a compelling exploration of companionship, lust, love and guilt. The chemistry between Gere and Hutton is palpable, and their performances breathe an air of authenticity into their characters' intricate relationship.

Supporting these performances is Hector Elizondo as Sunday, a disquieting yet subtly sympathetic detective with his own complex motivations. Elizondo's portrayal boosts the film's tension quotient and casts ominous undertones that keep the viewers on an emotional knife-edge throughout the film.

American Gigolo is not just an exploration of its main character but also a grand showcase of Los Angeles' high society in the 1980s. Schrader presents Beverly Hills as both a paradise and a prison, full of luxury, opulence, and superficial happiness, yet it leaves Julian and Michelle in spiritual desertion, showcasing the illusion of the American dream.

The aesthetic of the film is an essential factor in constructing its unique atmosphere. American Gigolo captures the early 1980s style beautifully. The sleek automobiles, glamorous interiors, and meticulously tailored suits tell their own story, reflecting the characters' superficial, materialistic pursuits and shiny façades. The visual narrative is accentuated with Schrader's adept direction and John Bailey's inimitable cinematography. The beautifully captured sunsets, the vibrant nightlife, and the opulently decorated indoor settings provide a rich, textured backdrop for the unfolding narrative.

Beyond its arresting visual narrative, the film hosts a captivating musical score by Italian composer Giorgio Moroder, which greatly enhances American Gigolo's overall mood. The movie's iconic theme song, "Call Me" by Blondie, scored a major hit when it was released, embodying the film's edgy, glamorous vibe.

American Gigolo is an adroit exploration of the human condition, seen through the lens of Los Angeles' high society. Schrader's portrayal of the protagonist Julian Kaye delves into the emotional toll of living a double life—from the facade of glamour to the underlying grit, curiosity, and vulnerability. The film is not only a portrayal of a man's struggle for identity amidst the superficial glamour and decadence but also a poignant depiction of loneliness, materialism, and moral deterioration embedded in society's elite.

Schrader masterfully crafts a film that balances tense thriller threads with a deep dive into a character study. The performances of Gere, Hutton, and Elizondo further elevate the brilliance of the film. American Gigolo stands as a stylish, thought-provoking, and engrossing classic that thoroughly explores the ambiguity of human relationships, the societal consequences of materialistic pursuits, and the dark side lurking beneath the glossy veneer of high society.

American Gigolo is a Crime, Drama, Mystery movie released in 1980. It has a runtime of 117 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 57.

How to Watch American Gigolo

Where can I stream American Gigolo movie online? American Gigolo is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Hulu Plus, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent American Gigolo for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Paul Schrader
Richard Gere, Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo, Nina Van Pallandt, Bill Duke
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