David Bowie, Marlene Dietrich Just a Gigolo (1978 film) (Memory Holed Classic )

David Bowie, Marlene Dietrich Just a Gigolo (1978 film) (Memory Holed Classic )

This Film is one that has been panned by the critics but it is in the tradition of Catch 22 and Oh What a Lovely War. It is a west German produced Film from the height of the Cold War and The Nuclear Scares of Late 70’s Early 80’s.

The Themes are massively relevant to the Climate of the Late Teens of the second Millenium.

I found the Film subtle and gauche, Ironic and poignant a Glorious contradictory Whole that paints a Grey Space upon which contemporary Events might be painted revealing the unspoken Taboos of The Great War, and The Unspoken Taboos of today’s Military Industrial Complex and Corporate Government.

Just a Gigolo (1978 film)

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Just a Gigolo
Just a gigolo (1979).jpeg

Original film poster
Directed by David Hemmings
Produced by Rolf Thiele
Written by Ennio De Concini
Joshua Sinclair
Starring David Bowie
Sydne Rome
Kim Novak
Maria Schell
Curd Jürgens
Marlene Dietrich
Music by John Altman
Günther Fischer
Cinematography Charly Steinberger
Edited by Susi Jäger
Distributed by United Artists Classics
Release date
  • 16 November 1978 (West Germany)
  • 14 February 1979 (UK)
  • 1 May 1981 (US)
Running time
Germany 147 mins
UK 105 mins
USA 98 mins
Country West Germany
Language English, German
Just a Gigolo (Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo) is a West German 1978 film directed by David Hemmings and starring David Bowie. Set in post-World War I Berlin, it also featured Sydne RomeKim Novak and, in her last screen appearance, Marlene Dietrich. The hostile reception the film received led Bowie to quip that it was “my 32 Elvis Presley movies rolled into one”.[1]


Prussian officer (David Bowie) returns home to Berlin following the end of the Great War. Unable to find employment elsewhere, he works as a gigolo in a brothel run by the Baroness (Marlene Dietrich). He is eventually killed in street fighting between Nazis and Communists. Both sides claim his body but the Nazis succeed in capturing it and bury him with honours, “a hero to a cause he did not support”.[2]



Around the time of its release, David Hemmings said that Just a Gigolo was intended to be “highly ironic, tongue-in-cheek, about the period”.[3] Marlene Dietrich was persuaded to come out of retirement to make the film, reportedly receiving $250,000 for two days’ shooting.[4]
It was Bowie’s first movie role after Nicolas Roeg‘s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). As Roeg’s film had played upon Bowie’s earlier identification with science fiction and alienness,[5] so Just a Gigolo fitted his then-current interest in pre-war Berlin, pricked by meeting Christopher Isherwood,[2] whose Goodbye to Berlin had inspired the musical Cabaret. The city had also been the recording location for Bowie’s latest studio album, “Heroes” (1977).
The singer has variously claimed that he took the role “as a favour to Hemmings”,[6] who at the time was also planning to produce a documentary of Bowie’s 1978 concert tour,[7] and because “Marlene Dietrich was dangled in front of me”.[2] Actually, the two stars never met. Dietrich played her brief part in Paris, where she lived, with the result simply being cut into Bowie’s scenes that were shot, along with the rest of the film, in Berlin.


Author: rogerglewis

https://about.me/rogerlewis Looking for a Job either in Sweden or UK. Freelance, startups, will turń my hand to anything.

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