99 user 23 critic

Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

A dedicated schoolteacher spends her nights cruising bars, looking for abusive men with whom she can engage in progressively violent sexual encounters.



(based on the novel by), (written for the screen by)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Dunn
Laurie Prange ...
Black Cat
Cap Jackson
Marilyn Coleman ...
Mrs. Jackson


Theresa is a successful teacher of deaf children during the day but after a short unhappy affair starts to spend her nights cruising bars. Her craving first for sex but later also for drugs leads into increasingly demeaning and dangerous situations at odds with her daytime commitment to her children. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1978 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Buscando a Mr. Goodbar  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,837,976, 23 October 1977, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(still photograph montages)| (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The events depicted in both the book and the movie were inspired by the events surrounding the brutal real-life 1973 murder of twenty-seven year old New York City schoolteacher Roseann Quinn. See more »


Despite ostensibly being set in New York City, in the shot right before Theresa fantasizes about running into the street so Martin will hit her with his car, palm trees can clearly be seen reflected in the plate glass store window behind her. See more »


Theresa: Everybody's taking something or they'd never make it till morning.
See more »


Referenced in NewsRadio: Rose Bowl (1997) See more »


All of Me
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons
Sung on a TV show
See more »

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User Reviews

emancipation vs. growing up
2 April 2004 | by See all my reviews

Trying to escape her "perfect" Catholic world under a tyrannic father and the enslaving idea of love, Theresa, a compassionate sister and patient teacher of deaf children, goes out to live her own life. But her freedom turns into bar hopping, drugs, and meaningless sex.

This movie grips you by neck, shakes you, and screams at you "I didn't make this up!". The screenwriting takes us on a path that has been travelled many times before (protagonist goes out to "find herself"), but only few movies struggle with it so skillfully on these levels. It tries to go down the road of the sexual revolution and women's rights, but finds that at the end of that road "free love" is not as free as it might seem. It praises their achievements and condemns them at the same time. Even love is not painted in its traditionally positive color - in fact it is (part of) the culprit that throws Theresa into her decision to leave behind her traditional life in the very beginning. A painful, dark movie, really.

Talking about darkness... the lighting design is innovative and absolutely noteworthy, but extremely low at times - so make sure you watch it on a quality screen.

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