Some time ago we dedicated an article on this blog to make a brief list of some of the most famous movies about prostitutes in the history of cinema. We cited in that article, among others, titles such as Pretty woman , Belle de Jour , Irma la dulce , Taxi Driver , Breakfast at Tiffany's or Young and pretty .
From one point of view or another, in a more documentary and stark way or in a more sweetened way and close to the standards of the Hollywood industry, all these films had female prostitution and the exercise of it as a theme more or less central to his argument.
On this occasion we want to focus our gaze once again on the world of cinema to talk about those films in which that central plot changes genre. That is to say: we are going to take a brief tour of some of the most famous movies about male prostitution in the history of cinema.
As with films about women who prostitute themselves, films about male prostitution can be very varied. In some of them, a portrait and denunciation objective prevails. In others, the theme is approached in a somewhat more frivolous way.
Among all those films we want to highlight a handful of essential works.
Famous movies about gigolos and hustlers
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). This film, directed by Blake Edward, based on Truman Capote's novel Breakfast at Tiffany's , not only talks about female prostitution. It also does the masculine. And it is that if the rhythm of life of the girl whose role Audrey Hepburn plays is sustained by a more or less long list of what we now know as sugar daddies , that of the frustrated writer whose role George Peppard plays is supported by some rich New Yorkers.
This film has a tone of comedy and some romantic outbursts that, as in Capote's novel, does not quite hide the sordid atmosphere that is hidden behind the experiences of its protagonists.
Midnight Cowboy (1969) was an Oscar winner for best picture and directed by John Schlesinger, it was rated X for its "explicit homosexual background". In this film, the role of gigolo or chapero is played by John Voight .
Newly arrived from his town in New York, Joe Buck, the young man played by Voight, wants to make a living as a gigolo for rich women. His performance, along with that of Dustin Hoffman, a small con man who proposes to Joe to be his pimp and who ends up becoming a kind of friend and confidante, figure with gold letters in the history of cinema on male prostitution . One of the merits of this film is, without a doubt, that of capturing quite realistically what it could be like to earn a living on the streets of New York in the sixties.
American Gigolo (1980). Paul Schrader was the director of this movie about gigolos that served to consecrate who was destined to be one of the great stars of Hollywood in a few years, Richard Gere. Gere (who was chosen for a role that had previously been rejected by Christopher Reeve and John Travolta) is here a luxury escort who has the gift of making any woman enjoy and who, deep down, feels ashamed to earn the life as you earn it. That way of earning a living, however, allows him to enjoy luxury cars, expensive clothes, stereos and cocaine. Meeting Michelle, one of his clients, changes his life.
My Private Idaho (1991). Starring Keanu Reeves and the ill-fated River Phoenix, this feature film is on its own merits among the most prestigious titles in the genre. The film, which has a bit of a road movie due to the continuous going from here to there of its protagonists, tells the story of two young people who travel a good part of the United States looking for a life as hustlers.
The one, Scott, played by Reeves, is the son of the mayor of Portland. The other, Mike, a character played by Phoenix, a narcoleptic who is time and time again abandoned by those around him. This gritty film deals with the friendship between these two hustlers from such different social origins.
Not in the mouth (1991). It has been said over and over again that prostitutes do not allow themselves to be kissed on the mouth by their clients. Beyond the false myth of this statement, what is intended to symbolize with it is that the kiss as a demonstration of true love is beyond what a sex worker is obliged to do in the exercise of her profession.
On this premise typical of the existing myths about female prostitution and the exercise of it, the director André Trechiné builds this film. In this film about male prostitution we are told the story of Manuel Blanc, a young hustler who sells his body out of absolute necessity and who considers that not kissing his clients on the mouth is a way of restricting the act of kissing to the territory of true affections.
By not kissing his clients, Manuel seems to save a part of his former purity. From the relationship of this young hustler with Ingrid, a young prostitute, and with a gay intellectual (a role played by Philippe Noiret) who hires his services and who tries to teach him life lessons while treating him with exquisite education, is what This movie is basically about male prostitution .
Mysterious Skin ( Dark Innocence ) (2004). Californian Gregg Araki was the director of this raw film which, thanks to its good reviews at the Venice Film Festival, can be considered a great success of independent cinema. What does the film tell us? The story of Neil, a young homosexual traumatized by experiences of his adolescence, who prostitutes himself with older men and who has recurring dreams in which all those traumas surface again. Undoubtedly, a film about male prostitution that is very impressive.
Gigolo's Apprentice (2013). Of all the movies about male prostitution that we are citing in this article, this is, without a doubt, the least crude. Not surprisingly, this film is raised in a comedy key. It is enough to look a little at the plot and, above all, at the cast of the film, to realize how crazy this film can be.
This feature film tells the story of two women who are looking for a man to have a threesome with. To find that man, these two women (who are none other than Sofia Vergara and Sharon Stone) hire a broke, middle-aged book seller as a pimp. The role of this character is played by Woody Allen, who gets them a gigolo with no vocation as a gigolo and largely without the conditions to be one.
The role of gigolo who had to sexually satisfy these two undoubtedly charming women was reserved for himself by the film's director, John Turturro. Undoubtedly, this film does not serve in any way to know what life is like within the environments of male prostitution. Of course: it serves to have a good time.
Finally, we are going to cite one of the latest films about gigolos that have been released and to which the image that heads this article belongs. The film we are talking about is Sauvage ( Wild ), a film directed by Camille Vidal-Naquet that contains scenes of explicit sex and that had an impact at the Cannes Film Festival.
Sauvage tells the story of Leo (Félix Maritaud), a twenty-two-year-old who prostitutes himself on the streets of the city and who, in turn, is in love with another hustler like him.
After the premiere of this film, critics highlighted how this film avoided any type of Manichaeism, myth or paternalism to deal with the issue of male prostitution.