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The Idolmaker Photos

Movie Info

Music producer and songwriter Vincent Vacarri (Ray Sharkey) believes that it takes good looks, not talent, to become a teen idol in 1950s America. So when he discovers handsome-faced Tomaso (Paul Land), he sweet-talks him into losing his saxophone and instead becoming a singer. Soon after, Tomaso is transformed into the newest pop star -- Tommy Dee. But when Vacarri takes on a second protégé, Caesare (Peter Gallagher), the rivalry between the two egotistical performers spirals out of control.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Idolmaker

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Idolmaker

  • Nov 30, 2012
    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...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2012
    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 <i>The Idolmaker</i> predates mediocre films <i>That Thing You Do</i> and <i>Cadillac Records</i>, 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 <i>The Idolmaker</I> 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2009
    I thought it was pretty cool. The songs were decent and I enjoyied watching such a driven character. My only gripe is that it ends in the "Hollywood" way.
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2009
    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
    Adam M Super Reviewer

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