6.6/10
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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 »

Director:

Larry Peerce

Writers:

Philip Roth (novel), Arnold Schulman
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Every father's daughter is a virgin.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Goodbye Columbus See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$22,939,805
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Willow Tree See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wedding scene, as filmed, included a ten-minute speech by Monroe Arnold as Uncle Leo. However, it didn't fit the mood of the rest of the picture, and was cut to 45 seconds. It was a bitter blow to Arnold, and helped him decide to retire from acting not long afterward. See more »

Goofs

At one point Chris Schenkel mentions the "red and white" in reference to Ohio State. Anyone who was ever near Columbus (or followed the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry) knows that the colors are "scarlet and gray". (The incorrect "red/white" reference to the Ohio State Buckeyes comes from Philip Roth's book itself; see in Chapter 7, page 104, line 7 from the top [Houghton Mifflin Co. edition, 1959].) See more »

Quotes

Brenda Patimkin: Look, I'm not gonna take the pills, and that's the end of it. In the first place, you don't just *take* the pills: you have to start taking them at a specific time.
Neil Klugman: You get a diaphragm.
See more »

Connections

References The Odd Couple (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Hava Nagila
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Played at the wedding]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
More Contempory Today Than It Was in 1969
2 April 2005 | by aimless-46See 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.


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