The Idolmaker (1980)
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as Vincent Vacarri
as Brenda Roberts
as Tommy Dee
as Gino Pilato
as Ellen Fields
as Paul Vacarri
as Uncle Tony
as Mrs. Vacarri
as Mr. Vacarri
as Jerry Martin
as Jerry Martin
as Ed Sharp
as Walt Bennett
as (As the Sweet Inspir...
as (As London Fog)
News & Interviews for The Idolmaker
Critic Reviews for The Idolmaker
The movie's two main aims -- to blow the lid off the music business and to exalt some of the unsung heroes of American pop culture -- are somewhat contradictory, and haven't been worked into a polished narrative.
Taylor Hackford showed his skills as a commercial director with his very first picture.
Audience Reviews for The Idolmaker
An enjoyable look back at the Italian-American teen idol singers of the 50's and early 60's. The performance by Ray Starkey (super underrated actor) makes this a fun film to see. Peter Gallagher did a fantastic job as a teen idol, too. Not a blockbuster film, but I found this movie very entertaining...
A music manager creates a star out of a singer, but after they part, he has to start all over with a busboy.
Some of the film is stylish, but there's nothing new about this story. Even though The Idolmaker predates mediocre films That Thing You Do and Cadillac Records, I can't imagine that 1980 had not seen the rise and fall of a music manager storyline before. Regardless of its lack of originality, what bothers me most about the film is the main character's hotheadedness and its depiction of women. Vincent is a New York street tough, and he screams and yells at the drop of a hat. Yes, I've met people like Vincent, but there are no layers to his character or to Ray Sharkey's performance. He schemes and he yells, and that's about the extent of it. Women in The Idolmaker are either part of a massive throng of screaming prepubescents or supporting characters who serve the male main characters as verbal punching bags or sex partners or both. They may have interested of their own, as is the case with Ellen, but these interests are either easily manipulated or subsumed to male will.
Overall, this film is a cliche with no noteworthy songs and a sexist portrayal of women.
set in '61 but makes fun of 70s AM pop idols; Ray Sharkey, with his doughy mouth, plays it half cold Svengali, half sensitive child; ending number is such terrible shmaltz, it plants reservations about the whole movie, which has only escaped shmaltz by its brisk editing; the interesting song is a funkified one, "Boys & Girls," that's hilariously direct--exposing the love-swooning pop as empty, a release valve for sex--and happily anachronistic, so happily it's sung by 3 black ladies in LaBelle-like outfits and 3 guys that look like the Temptations on PCP
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