Just a Gigolo

Dvd Details >> Just a Gigolo Review >> Marlene Dietrich & Just a Gigolo >> Dvd Specifications >> Buy Dvd

Bowie Mobile Responsive Pages

Just a Gigolo Dvd Details

  • Actors: Marlene Dietrich, David Bowie, David Hemmings, Kim Novak, Sydne Rome
  • Director: David Hemmings
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: Dutch

  • Region: Region 2 (UK & Europe)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Run Time: 101 minutes

    Just a Gigolo Review

    Here it is! David Bowie's 30-odd Elvis movies rolled into one. Not my words: Bowie's. To be fair I think Bowie is being very harsh: I love it for how can such a cast oozing quality and iconography be anything other than watchable? Oh, this is so nearly Art. It's a must-see for all Bowie & Dietrich fans and at the moment this is really the only thing apart from an Aussie release available on Dvd. Further tech info: Dutch Import [ Region 2 - Europe ] Audio : German ( 95 min ) or English ( 101 min ) / subtitles : Dutch ( removeable ) - Anamorphic widescreen.

    July 2011: Just found a great selection of Just A Gigolo reproduction posters. More details can be found here.

    Just a Gigolo, handsomely photographed in Berlin and directed with finesse by David Hemmings, sees David Bowie as a Prussian war vet back from the dead who drifts from one demeaning job to another and finally into employment as a gigolo.

    The fascinating casting includes Marlene Dietrich and the return of Kim Novak. Sydne Rome is an appealing revelation.

    Dietrich, so long away from the screen, is perforce hypnotic in what amounts to a cameo (she also touchingly croons the evergreen title song), in which she adds Bowie to her gigolo stable. Novak also makes a strong impression.

    The film delivers a lot of bittersweet entertainment and is never less than engrossing. Period mood is a great strength, with an effective visual mixture of sepia and soft colour tints, and a music track of period ballads and jolly ragtime tunes.

  • Filming locations were Berlin and for the Dietrich scenes in Paris. Bowie and Dietrich never actually met even though they seemingly appear together on screen - Bowie was touring when Dietrich filmed her scenes.

  • Dietrich was paid $250,00 for two days' work.

  • After World War I, a war hero returns to Berlin to find that there's no place for him--he has no skills other than what he learned in the army, and can only find menial, low-paying jobs. He decides to become a gigolo to lonely rich women.

    February 1978

    Few people in or out of the film industry found it easy to believe producer Joshua Sinclair when he announced to the press, late in 1977, that Marlene Dietrich was about to break her retirement and self-imposed isolation within her Paris apartment. She had, Sinclair continued, agreed to appear on screen in her first speaking role in eighteen years, in the German-English film Just a Gigolo, with rock star David Bowie. Lonely for precisely the human contact she paradoxically but insistently rejected, she also found irresistible a salary of $250,000 for two half-days of work in a Paris studio, where the sets for her scene were transported from Berlin.


    On a bitterly cold morning in February 1978, she arrived on time for work, 'her jaw set and her shoulders hunched with determination,' as an eyewitness recalled. Dietrich walked slowly, unsteadily, because of her failing eyesight, clinging constantly to the arm of make-up artist Anthony Clavet. She looked, quite simply, like a wizened old lady.

    Two hours later, her make-up painstakingly applied, she emerged from a makeshift dressing room wearing a costume of her own design: a wide-brimmed black hat with a delicate but strategically concealing veil, shiny black boots, white gloves and a black skirt and jacket - everything just right for her brief appearance as the Baroness von Semering, manager of a ring of Berlin gigolos just after the First World War. Director David Hemmings, producer Sinclair and a small crew awaited, and in a few moments one of her two brief scenes were easily photographed.


    Next morning, Dietrich returned for the more difficult second task - to sing the film's title song, which was to be heard near the end of the picture. 'I will sing one chorus of that horrible old German song in two seconds flat,' she told Hemmings and Sinclair. Everyone stood by nervously, for it was uncertain she had the strangth or the breath to fulfil the promise.


    But an astonishing transformation then occurred, attested by all who were present in the studio that wintry day. First she was photographed in close-up, the hat and veil deliberately almost hiding her eyes as she stood to one side of the set, an empty hotel dining room. Then she walked - cautiously but unaided - towards pianist Raymond Bernard, and standing proudly, she began to sing. Far from offering the perfunctory delivery of a song she disliked, Marlene Dietrich sang with heart-rending simplicity:

    Just a gigolo: everywhere I go
    People know the part I'm playing
    Paid for every dance, selling each romance
    Every night some heart betraying.
    There will come a day youth will pass away,
    Then what will they say about me?
    When the end comes, I know,
    They'll say 'Just a gigolo,'
    And life goes on without me

    Nothing she had done on stage or screen over a period of sixty years could have prepared witnesses that day (or viewers of Just a Gigolo since then) for her astonishing rendition of this simple confessional songs. On the words 'youth will pass away,' there may be heard a tremor of sadness in her voice that was without precedent in any prior recording or theatrical appearance - a moment of exquisite pathos too genuine to have been concorted from the usual counterfeit emotion.


    And when she came to 'life goes on', the voice became plangent, almost a whisper as she managed, to poignant effect, an octave. In only one take, the scene and the song were captured for ever. There was a moment of reverential silence round her, and then the bystanders broke into applause; many of those who knew her films, recordings and live stage appearances could be seen brushing away tears.

    Unable to see them across the bright studio lights, Marlene Dietrich, in her seventy-seventh year, nodded and found her way back to the cramped dressing room. An hour later she was alone again, back at her apartment on the fashionable Avenue Montaigne, just opposite the grand Plaza-Athenee Hotel. Except for a very few visits to doctors and hospitals, she never again left this residence.

    Germany 1978
    Dutch subtitles (removable)
    Enhanced for widescreen TVs
    Original German & English
    Uncut version
    101 mins. approx.


    Just a Gigolo Dvd Buy

    amazon.co.uk (uk) | amazon.com (us) >

    Just A Gigolo Poster

    Exciting news: reproduction posters from the cult movie at affordable prices!

    Bowie Mobile Responsive Pages

    Just a Gigolo

    Dvd Details >> Just a Gigolo Review >> Marlene Dietrich & Just a Gigolo >> Dvd Specifications >> Buy Dvd

    David Bowie Site Map

    Biog. >> Gallery >> Record/CD Price Guide >> Shop


    The Buddha Of Suburbia >> ChangesBowie CD >> Christiane F Dvd >> Christiane F Soundtrack CD >> David Live CD >> Heroes/Lodgers CD >> iSelect CD >> Labyrinth Dvd >> Live Santa Monica 72 CD >> London Boy CD >> Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence Dvd >> Peter and the Wolf CD >> Singles Collection CD >> Sound & Vision Dvd >> Stage CD

    Extensive Scans

    David Bowie Official Calendar UK (1985) >> Is (2013) >> The Glass Spider Tour Official Tour Programme UK (1987) >> Serious Moonlight: 1983 World Tour Book


    Bowie Facebook Page >> StumbleUpon Page

    Movie Posters/Photos

    The Hunger >> Just A Gigolo >> Labyrinth >> Man Who Fell to Earth >> Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence >> Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

    Movie/TV/Play Reviews

    The Elephant Man >> Just A Gigolo

    Smartphone Pages

    Bowie German/French Book Covers

    Top of Page >> Search Site

  • Releases & Links

    Bowie Site Index Here. Gallery here. Bowie Store here. Search site. Bowie Facebook Page.

    Bowie Releases

    david bowie is book

    david bowie is book

    Website design: Lenin