Friday, November 2, 2012

'American Gigolo' by Paul Schrader

The opening scene in the shooting script for American Gigolo by Paul Schrader is as follows:  


Pre-credits. We only see his face, speaking through the shadows. He brushes his index finger lightly across his lips as he speaks. He knows: his lips are his most sexual organ. 

You know who I am. I know who you are. We have no secrets. I know what you're thinking. You know what I'm thinking. We have our own methods of communication. You don't have to say anything. I can read your thoughts. I know what you need. You're afraid. You're afraid of your husband. You're afraid of yourself. You're afraid of your own sexuality. You're afraid to ask for what you need. You're afraid of being hurt.  

Julian sits in a dimly lit booth with a middle-aged woman. His eyes are only on her. His crème brûlée is untouched. The woman nervously sips her coffee as he spins his web

There's no reason to be afraid. I don't know why you're afraid. I don't even know why we're sitting here. Why we're wasting time eating things we don't want to eat, doing things we don't want to do, talking in front of people who don't matter. It's so simple. You know who I am. You want to be here. You want to be with me. You know what I can do. I can make you relax, relax like you've never relaxed before. Make you aroused like you've never been aroused before. Excited. I know how to touch you. Where to touch you. How to kiss you. Where to kiss you . . . 

End pre-credits. 


The opening of the finished film omits this scene entirely, and starts with the credit sequence. However, part of the monologue can be found in the trailer (I think some of the lines were incorporated in a later scene in the finished film, and the snippets in the trailer are probably taken from there):

P.s. Someone has compiled lots of critical opinions on American Gigolo, but s/he missed a rather less positive assessment from a sex worker.

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