6.7/10
6,521
103 user 30 critic

Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

R | | Drama | 19 October 1977 (USA)
A dedicated schoolteacher spends her nights cruising bars, looking for abusive men with whom she can engage in progressively violent sexual encounters.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writers:

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

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Keaton ... Theresa
Tuesday Weld ... Katherine
William Atherton ... James
Richard Kiley ... Mr. Dunn
Richard Gere ... Tony
Alan Feinstein ... Martin
Tom Berenger ... Gary
Priscilla Pointer ... Mrs. Dunn
Laurie Prange ... Brigid
Joel Fabiani ... Barney
Julius Harris ... Black Cat
Richard Bright ... George
LeVar Burton ... Cap Jackson
Marilyn Coleman Marilyn Coleman ... Mrs. Jackson
Carole Mallory ... Marvella
Learn more

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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark was hired to take pictures of the bars that play during the opening credits. The director rejected the photos as "too realistic." See more »

Goofs

In the book, Theresa's sister Katherine goes to Puerto Rico to procure an abortion during a scene that takes place in the mid-1960s. In the movie, the timeline is changed so that this scene is set in 1975, two years after abortion was legalized by the Roe v. Wade ruling, making the trip to Puerto Rico unnecessary. See more »

Quotes

Theresa: How did Barney take it?
Katherine: Barney? Oh Barney took it real hard. He's already shacked up with a teenybopper with a maxi-mouth and a mini-brain, dirty thief! Oh yes, they also have his and her towels, his and her hairdryers, his and her vibrators!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A still version of the Paramount logo is seen at the beginning, in black and white. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Moon Zero Two (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

She's Lonely
Performed by Bill Withers
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

User Reviews

Cautionary tale holds up over time
31 March 2001 | by mollylaneSee all my reviews

Few viewers can deny the impact of this film – on the '77 crowd and generations afterwards. As a curious 8-year-old up late watching HBO, I never forgot the story or the lesson. Based on a true story, Richard Brooks astutely translated Judith Rossner's best-selling novel to screen, choosing a luminous Diane Keaton, hot off `Annie Hall' and `The Godfather' to play Theresa Dunn, an up-and-coming Richard Gere, a quirky Tuesday Weld , and amazing Richard Kiley as Dunn, the overbearing Irish-Catholic father. The misogynistic Richard Atherton and an ominous Tom Berenger rounds out the solid cast.

Neither traditionally beautiful like her stewardess sister, Katherine or a baby factory like her other sister living at home with her, Theresa is the odd one out, the sister who is searching for approval from a father who barely acknowledges her existence. Childhood traumas mold her and make the fact that Theresa allows herself to be strong and fallible all the more powerful and endearing.

Tired of her father's unyielding rule, Theresa moves into the apartment building owned by Katherine's next attempt at a husband. As the women's freedom movement is underway, Theresa is caught in the position of questioning the traditional roles for women, roles against a new woman in control of her body and her sexuality. By day she teaches at a school for the deaf. By night her nightly jaunts into New York's seamier nightlife scene, expose the dichotomy of being a professional woman by day who must maintain credibility and responsibility, especially with young children while trying to be sexually active, experimental and suffering the stigma attached to both – as whore and as a free woman – wanting purely physical experiences much the same as men, yet realizing the label is different.

Throughout this film, Brooks explores Theresa's perpetual search for acceptance by men but a need to maintain her own identity. From a failed affair with a Prof. she was a TA to, to her fling with Tony, a local hustler, Theresa is perpetually in question of her sexuality and her allure for men, making poor choices in her partners only to endure their violence and possessiveness - much like her father. That she meets up with a homicidal drifter the New Year's Eve night she has decided to quit drugs and cruising, is the irony of her self-discovery.

The only positive male in her life appears to be is LaVar Burton's character, Cap Jackson, –the sullen brother of one of Theresa's students. He is the only male presence in the movie that is not malevolent or trying to extract something from Theresa and during her altercation with Tony at the school, he is the only person to defend and protect her.

While the scare of AIDS stole later generations' promiscuity, this tale still resonates for viewers, especially for women on their own, looking for intimacy yet craving isolation.

While the ending tends to drag with one too many drug scenes the movie still packs a wallop for a finale.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Looking for Mr. Goodbar See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,540,635, 23 October 1977

Gross USA:

$22,512,655

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,512,655
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (still photograph montages)| Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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