The Idolmaker

Watch The Idolmaker

"He's got the look... He's got the talent... He's got the Idolmaker... He's got it all!"
  • PG
  • 1980
  • 1 hr 57 min
  • 6.9  (1,490)

The Idolmaker, released in 1980, is a musical drama directed by Taylor Hackford. The film stars Ray Sharkey as Vincent Vacari, a talent manager who aspires to turn local talent into nationwide sensations. The plot revolves around Vacari's efforts to launch the careers of two singers, Tomaso DeLorusso (played by Peter Gallagher) and Guido Contini (played by Joe Pantoliano).

The film takes place in the 1950s, in a blue-collar town in New Jersey. Vacari, who is also a songwriter, begins his journey by discovering Tomaso, a mechanic who has a naturally powerful voice. Vacari sees potential in Tomaso and approaches him with an offer to manage him. Although reluctant at first, Tomaso eventually accepts and Vacari grooms him into a polished performer, with a suave image and catchy songs. Vacari's vision is to make Tomaso a heartthrob, and he goes about it by creating a concocted persona for him that includes a love interest, a wholesome backstory, and a distinct style.

Vacari's success with Tomaso leads him to another aspiring singer, Guido, who is a classically trained musician. Guido is hesitant about pursuing a career in popular music, as he sees it as beneath his talents. However, Vacari convinces him that his unique skills could make him a standout in the industry. Guido is initially skeptical about Vacari's methods, but he reluctantly agrees to let him manage his career. Vacari transforms Guido into a rock star with a flamboyant stage persona and a band of backup dancers.

The film's themes revolve around the glamour and the harsh realities of the music industry. On one hand, there is a lot of glitz and excitement around the performances and the life of a superstar. On the other hand, there is a lot of pressure, manipulation, and sacrifice involved in getting there. The characters in the film are all grappling with this duality, with varying degrees of success. Tomaso, for instance, finds himself struggling with the weight of his persona, feeling trapped in his own image. Guido, meanwhile, is conflicted about whether he likes the person he has become, as he feels he has sold out his integrity for fame.

The film features an impressive soundtrack, with performances by the cast as well as covers of classic rock and pop hits of the era. The music is an integral part of the story, as it drives the narrative forward and reflects the characters' emotional arcs. Sharkey's portrayal of Vacari is a standout, as he brings a frenetic energy and a complex mix of charm and ruthlessness to the role. Gallagher and Pantoliano also deliver strong performances, as they embody the contrast between the two singers' personalities.

Overall, The Idolmaker is a captivating look at the music industry through the lens of the 1950s. It is a well-crafted drama that explores the price of success and the complications of personal identity in a world of manufactured images. The film had a modest box office performance but gained critical acclaim and a loyal fan base over the years. The Idolmaker was also notable for launching Taylor Hackford's directorial career, as he went on to make several successful films, including An Officer and a Gentleman and Ray.

The Idolmaker is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.

The Idolmaker
Where to Watch The Idolmaker
The Idolmaker is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent The Idolmaker for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 57 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (1,490)