Richard Gere's supremely smug and narcissistic performance as an LA hustler propelled him to stardom in Paul Schrader's AMERICAN GIGOLO, a stylishly sleazy look at moral rot and redemption. The story becomes increasingly implausible as its thriller elements kick in, but the moving last
shot (which owes much to Robert Bresson's PICKPOCKET), achieves a sense of spiritual transcendence and grace rare in American movies.
Handsome Julian Kay (Richard Gere) is a high-class male prostitute working for Scandinavian procurer Anne (Nina Van Pallandt); most of his clientele is made up of wealthy, older women. As a favor to a pimp named Leon (Bill Duke), Julian agrees to do...