The Idolmaker

Overview

The story of Philadelphia-based rock 'n' roll starmaker Bob Marcucci is given a pointed a clef treatment in The Idolmaker. Ray Sharkey plays Vincent Vacarri, who takes a couple of raw young kids Peter Gallagher and Paul Land and molds them into teen idols. If Gallagher and Land seem at times to be clones of Fabian and Frankie Avalon, then you've gotten the point. As played by Sharkey, Vacarri comes off as both maven and monster: he gives his boys everything they need professionally and everything they want ...
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Overview

The story of Philadelphia-based rock 'n' roll starmaker Bob Marcucci is given a pointed a clef treatment in The Idolmaker. Ray Sharkey plays Vincent Vacarri, who takes a couple of raw young kids Peter Gallagher and Paul Land and molds them into teen idols. If Gallagher and Land seem at times to be clones of Fabian and Frankie Avalon, then you've gotten the point. As played by Sharkey, Vacarri comes off as both maven and monster: he gives his boys everything they need professionally and everything they want personally, but it's subliminally clear that his interest is purely mercenary incredibly, Bob Marcucci is the film's technical advisor. An excellent, clear-eyed view of show biz mechanics, The Idolmaker falters only in its anachronisms, notably the style of music performed by Vacarri's proteges.
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Special Features

Commentary by Academy Award-Winning Director Taylor Hackford
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
An underrated minor gem from debut director Taylor Hackford that, while often compared to Grease (1978) and the same year's odious remake The Jazz Singer (1980), actually owes considerably more to the Oscar-winning The Buddy Holly Story (1978) in tone and execution. While certainly not displaying the charm and emotional impact of that classic film, Hackford's introduction is not without its charms, which include a pair of nicely turned-on performances from Tovah Feldshuh and Golden Globe-winner Ray Sharkey (this film and the series Wiseguy standing as two of the ill-fated actor's finest projects), as well as some memorable tunes from legendary pop songwriter Jeff Barry, co-author of "Da Do Ron Ron," "Be My Baby," and "Leader of the Pack," among other hits of the Brill Building era. The drama's limited budget shows in its rather skimpy efforts to depict the time period, and the story is predictably rags-to-riches-to-rags, but in this thinly veiled bio of "power behind the throne," Bob Marcucci crackles with a raw, nervously sexual energy, fairly bristling with enthusiasm for its subject matter. Not yet cynical and jaded by an industry that would so often misrepresent and poorly promote his work, Hackford is fully engaged here, and it shows on all levels, from casting (Peter Gallagher and Joe Pantoliano both make their feature film bows with the film) to the picture's subtly frisky, funny (and most likely totally intentional) homoerotic undercurrent. It's not the definitive rock & roll film, but The Idolmaker (1980) still trumps later-model cousins such as Rock Star (2001).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/27/2013
  • UPC: 826663143072
  • Original Release: 1980
  • Rating:

  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 2:00:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 33,988

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ray Sharkey Vincent Vacarri
Paul Land Tommy Dee
Olympia Dukakis Mrs. Vacarri
Peter Gallagher Caesare
Joe Pantoliano Gino Pilato
Tovah Feldshuh Brenda Roberts
Maureen McCormick Ellen Fields
John Aprea Paul Vacarri
Richard Bright Uncle Tony
Steven Apostlee Peck Mr. Vacarri
Lenny Gaines Luchetti
Denny Terrio Jerry Martin
Charles Guardino Jesse
Michael Mislove Ed Sharp
Penny Perry Davis
Barbara King
Kenneth O'Brien Walt Bennett
James Saito
Technical Credits
Taylor Hackford Director
Arthur Schmidt Editor
Jeff Barry Score Composer, Songwriter
Clifford C. Coleman Asst. Director
Bob Glass Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Hliddal Sound/Sound Designer
Adam Holender Cinematographer
Gene Kirkwood Producer
Buzz Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Howard W. Koch Producer
Howard W. Koch Jr. Producer
Barbara Krieger Set Decoration/Design
Edward di Lorenzo Screenwriter
R.J. Louis Associate Producer
Don MacDougall Sound/Sound Designer
Bob Marcucci Consultant/advisor
Steve Potter Editor
Rita Riggs Costumes/Costume Designer
David Snyder Art Director
Denny Terrio Choreography
Neil Travis Editor
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nona and Vincent

    This is one of the best little movies I've ever seen and I had no idea it was biographical. The scene between Vincent and Cesare's grandmother is PRICELESS! I have the video and spometimes fast forward just to that wonderful scene. Acting was superb and believable and Taylor Hackford's direction was the best he did before An Office and a Gentleman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews