Original Australian Daybill movie poster. American Gigolo is a 1980 American film starring Richard Gere, written and directed by Paul Schrader. It tells the story of Julian Kaye, a high-price male escort in Los Angeles who becomes romantically involved with a prominent politician's wife while simultaneously becoming the prime suspect in a murder case. The film is notable for establishing Gere as a leading man, and was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to include frontal male nudity from its main star. It is also notable for its accompanying soundtrack, composed by Giorgio Moroder and featuring the number-one hit single "Call Me" by Blondie. Christopher Reeve reportedly turned down the part of Julian Kaye despite being offered a million-dollar fee. John Travolta became interested in the part and briefly replaced Gere before getting "cold feet" and dropping out. Meryl Streep was also offered the part of Michelle but declined as she didn't like the tone of the film-Lauren Hutton accepted the role instead.