Making of a Male Model (1983)


Joan Collins and Jon-Erik Hexum star in this made-for-TV movie about a young cowboy who moves to New York where a modeling agent believes he can hit it big in ads, commercials, and beyond. Naturally, the cowpoke (the insanely handsome Hexum) begins to fall in love with the agent (Collins) and his career begins to soar. But jealousy soon sets in when Collins sets her sights on a younger, newer model, and Hexum begins to see yesterday’s ‘it’ men resort to drugs and plastic surgery.

I suppose some will find Making of a Male Model to be one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ sort of films. To that end, there’s plenty of melodrama and a really goofy costume party scene that stands out in a horrible but awesome way. There are some gay stereotypes on display, but also a commendable push for acceptance of gays within the story line. Objectively, that might be the only thing I can defend in Making of a Male Model. The rest of it, I’m sure, falls on a scale between mediocrity and trash. I mean, it’s 1983 television, for fuck’s sake.

But the heart wants what it wants. And I want Jon-Erik Hexum. I can’t get past his impossibly smoldering good looks to even care about things like trite writing, bad acting, or a lack of style or substance. Some day, I may revisit this review to make a more objective assessment. But I’ll probably have to see the movie again at least a hundred times to really know for sure.

With Kevin McCarthy and Ted McGinley.

Behind-the-Scenes: Hexum died in 1984 after an on-set accident in which he playfully fired a prop gun against his head. Wadding from a blank cartridge proved fatal.

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