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      The Idolmaker

      PG Released Nov 14, 1980 1h 59m Musical List
      90% Tomatometer 10 Reviews 85% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings 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. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (10) Critics Reviews
      Joseph Gelmis Newsday There's no one with whom to sympathize and there's no accumulation of honest emotion by film's end. Nonetheless, in the style of a live-action comic book, The Idolmaker is colorful and brash and vulgar entertainment much of the time. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 10, 2023 Full Review Noel Murray The Dissolve 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. Rated: 3/5 Aug 27, 2013 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times At the core of The Idolmaker, making it a better film than it might otherwise have been, is the hungry, lonely ego of the movie's hero, Vince Vacarri. Rated: 3/4 Oct 23, 2004 Full Review Lawrence O'Toole Maclean's Magazine Part of the reason why The Idolmaker is as compelling as it is comes from Ray Sharkey's performance as Vinnie. Jul 19, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Taylor Hackford showed his skills as a commercial director with his very first picture. Rated: B- Jul 31, 2011 Full Review Film Threat Rated: 4/5 Dec 6, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (47) audience reviews
      Gary O A favorite going way back to its theatrical run, saw it twice in theaters, this movie never disappoints. If Peter Gallagher's performance of "However Dark the Night" does not stir you on some level then maybe you're just not stirrable! ;) Rated 5 out of 5 stars 12/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Music producer and songwriter Vincent Vacarri played by Ray Sharkey believes that it takes good looks, not talent, to become a teen idol. Taking place in 1950s America he discovers handsome-faced Tomaso played by Paul Land and sweet-talks him into losing his saxophone and instead becoming a singer. Tomaso is then transformed into the newest pop star -- Tommy Dee. He's a heartthrob success. But when Vacarri takes on a second protégé, Caesare played by Peter Gallagher, the rivalry between the two egotistical performers spirals out of control. This is a classic example of old vs new/the fresh talent vs the even more fresher talent. Vaccarri is the one who makes dreams happen. The one who makes people into superstars. He's got the power and the influence but where does his loyalty lie? Deep down Vincent wants to be the star but doesn't have the talent or starpower. To be honest I am a stranger to these two leads Sharkey and Land, the only face I know in this cast is Gallagher. But the music is still very rocking from the 1950's era, Gallagher shines in one of his earliest roles, and it's a true example of shifting your abusive executive power from one person to another. Being very proud and insecure can pour onto others and a person's overreaching ambition can be too much to handle, we can pick up and start living again, we don't cut out the people we love, there's a fine line between being successful and wanting that success to be only yours Still, Sharkey should be commended for a performance such as this and since he's no longer around it's a treasure to be cherished for some time. 'Idolmaker' is a worthy watch for the actors, the music, and the face of the music industry succeeding or failing altogether Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/15/23 Full Review Stephen C Taylor Hackfords debut is a rich tribute to the teen idols of the early 60s before the Beatles landed and blew them all away. Ray Sharkey is excellent as the manager who will cut his own throat to make it in the music industry. Jeff Barry a Brill building expert provides the songs and Hackfords direction is sure and fleet of foot. Good fun Rated 3 out of 5 stars 07/05/23 Full Review Roger D The late 50's and early 60's was a special time for the teen idols in America and England. While Elvis was in the army from 1958 till 1962 , there was an opportunity to come up with a new pop sensation, this film tells the story of a singer songwriter who understands what the teen audience was looking for. This film tells that story in a graphic way , while the films ending is a bit contrived , for the most part it's a gripping story with some fine acting that holds it together. And an original soundtrack that captures that time period. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/01/23 Full Review jon c For 2020: Music producer and songwriter Vincent Vacarri played by Ray Sharkey believes that it takes good looks, not talent, to become a teen idol. Taking place in 1950s America he discovers handsome-faced Tomaso played by Paul Land and sweet-talks him into losing his saxophone and instead becoming a singer. Tomaso is then transformed into the newest pop star -- Tommy Dee. He's a heartthrob success. But when Vacarri takes on a second protégé, Caesare played by Peter Gallagher, the rivalry between the two egotistical performers spirals out of control. This is a classic example of old vs new/the fresh talent vs the even more fresher talent. Vaccarri is the one who makes dreams happen. The one who makes people into superstars. He's got the power and the influence but where does his loyalty lie? Deep down Vincent wants to be the star but doesn't have the talent or starpower. To be honest I am a stranger to these two leads Sharkey and Land, the only face I know in this cast is Gallagher. But the music is still very rocking from the 1950's era, Gallagher shines in one of his earliest roles, and it's a true example of shifting your abusive executive power from one person to another. Being very proud and insecure can pour onto others and a person's overreaching ambition can be too much to handle, we can pick up and start living again, we don't cut out the people we love, there's a fine line between being successful and wanting that success to be only yours Still, Sharkey should be commended for a performance such as this and since he's no longer around it's a treasure to be cherished for some time. 'Idolmaker' is a worthy watch for the actors, the music, and the face of the music industry succeeding or failing altogether Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Fabulous! Bergman at her finest! A stellar performance! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Idolmaker

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      Cast & Crew

      26% 69% The Jazz Singer 22% 37% Can't Stop the Music 60% 75% Honeysuckle Rose 83% 87% Hair 0% 54% Roller Boogie Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis 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.
      Director
      Taylor Hackford
      Distributor
      United Artists
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Musical
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 14, 1980, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 14, 2018
      Runtime
      1h 59m
      Sound Mix
      Surround