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Goodbye, Columbus (1969)

A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archtypical Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved... See full summary »




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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Klugman
Brenda Patimkin
Ben Patimkin
Mrs. Ben Patimkin
Michael Meyers ...
Ron Patimkin
Lori Shelle ...
Julie Patimkin
Monroe Arnold ...
Uncle Leo
Kay Cummings ...
Doris Klugman
Sylvie Strause ...
Aunt Gladys
Royce Wallace ...
Anthony McGowan ...
Boy in Library
Mari Gorman ...
Laura Simpson Sockaloe
Chris Schenkel ...
Voice on Columbus Record (voice)
Jay Jostyn ...
Voice on Columbus Record (voice)
Jan Peerce ...
Uncle Manny


A Jewish man and a Jewish woman meet and while attracted to each other, find that their worlds are very different. She is the archtypical Jewish American Princess, very emotionally involved with her parents' world, and the world they have created for her, while he is much less dependent on his family. They begin an affair, which brings more differences to the surface. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every father's daughter is a virgin.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 May 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Goodbye Columbus  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Nouri dances with Ali MacGraw during the wedding scene. See more »


At the dinner table, Julie is told that it is earlier in Columbus, where Harriet is calling from, than where she lives in New York. In fact both cities are in the same Eastern Standard Time Zone. In the book, Harriet is calling from Milwaukee in the Central Time Zone, which is correct. However, when the screenplay changed her location to Columbus, the writer failed to realize this fact and change the dialog or the city. See more »


Neil Klugman: [discussing birth control] What do you take?
Brenda Patimkin: Nothing. Turn off the water.
Neil Klugman: Nothing?
Brenda Patimkin: Listen, I tried the pills, but they made me fat and made me sick, and besides every single day you read something new about them in the paper, so I decided I was better off with nothing.
Neil Klugman: [pause] Brenda, I'd like to talk to you about nothing.
See more »


Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »


Moon River
Music by Henry Mancini
[Instrumental version plays on Ron's stereo]
See more »

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User Reviews

More Contempory Today Than It Was in 1969
2 April 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

A splendid film for a lot of reasons. The Phillip Roth novel from which the film was adapted supplies unusually good dialogue for the script and an excellent structure on which the director can hang visual and audio elements that meaningfully support the story. Check out how well the musical score shifts to support the mood of each scene. Then there is an excellent cast.

The title is a reference to the brother, a basketball player at Ohio State in Columbus, who frequently listens to an OSU sports commentary that signs off with "Goodbye Columbus". And the song lyrics "Hello life, goodbye Columbus" relate to leaving the protection of home/school to face the world.

Although "Goodbye Columbus" is usually thought of as the "The Graduate" with a different ending, it is much more like "Adam at 6AM". The three films were made at the very end of the 1960's, all had a searching young man as their main character, and all revolved around a new romantic relationship. But in "Goodbye Columbus" and "Adam" the tension is not between different generations but between different backgrounds and values. In both the young man eventually realizes that these differences cannot be overcome and both films go out with shots of him leaving.

At the time of its release "Goodbye Columbus" was more dated than the other two more "with-it" movies, which at least acknowledge the counterculture changes that were taking place at the time. Ironically, 35 years later, its failure to incorporate these references make it the least dated of the three films.

The soundtrack album featuring "The Association" (and incidental music composed by Charles Fox) was probably the kiss of death for that group's credibility whatever their musical merits. While cool to be part of an outside film like "Easy Rider", it was uncool to be associated with a Hollywood product like "Goodbye Columbus". This was the summer of Woodstock and by then "The Association" had pretty much lost their audience. In addition to the title song they contributed "It's Gotta Be Real" and "So Kind To Me."

It's two most famous scenes have held up very well: the montage of Ali MacGraw swimming during the title sequence and the comical wedding guests "pig-out" at the buffet table.

This was the film that really introduced fashion model Ali MacGraw to movie viewers. She was 28 playing a 21 year-old college student. Much more believably than just a year later in the somewhat pathetic "Love Story". Physically MacGraw passes fine for a younger woman and being older probably helped her hold her own in scenes with the more experienced Richard Benjamin, Nan Martin, and Jack Klugman. She is excellent in this role and manages to stay accessible and genuine while also projecting poise, grace and beauty.

Benjamin's character is genuinely attracted to MacGraw but seems to maintain a healthy skepticism about the romance (along with pretty much everything in life). MacGraw's Brenda finds him attractive because of his differences but she is really her Daddy's girl and her rebellion is more playful than serious. The best scene is the father-daughter session at the wedding very late in the film. Jack Klugman character knows just the right buttons to push and it is at this point that you know the romance is truly doomed.

The cinematography is first-rate and while the widescreen DVD showcases this, it has been inexcusably trimmed to qualify it for a "PG" rating. The DVD version is only 101 minutes long. Entire sequences have been deleted including the critical first sex sequence where birth control methods are discussed (foreshadowing) and the sequence with the rationale for his moving in with the family for two weeks. Also missing is all the vaguely graphic elements dealing with her initial refusal to have sex. If you are a first time viewer watching the DVD version and find puzzling narrative gaps in the story or incomplete motivational explanations, the trimming is the reason. The trimmed sequences are on the "R" rated VHS, so to see this as intended (widescreen and uncut) you will need to buy both the DVD and the VHS and reconstruct things.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Did Brenda Just Want to Hurt Him? kdm-9
Brenda's brother, Ron. psaxe-2
Original Version UNCUT bttf-3
Cutting a film for DVD release should be ILLEGAL! greg888
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The speach 'So Goodbye Columbus...' Doug-169
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