Goodbye, Columbus


1h 45m 1969

Brief Synopsis

A romance blossoms between a bookish guy from humble roots and a free-spirited girl from a wealthy, upstate family.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 3 Apr 1969
Production Company
Willow Tree Productions
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Westchester, New York, USA; New York City, New York, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Goodbye, Columbus" by Philip Roth in his Goodbye, Columbus, and Five Short Stories (Boston, 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Synopsis

Recently discharged from the Army, and with no immediate plans for his future, college dropout Neil Klugman has moved into his Aunt Gladys' Bronx apartment and taken a job in the local library. Having been invited by his cousin Doris to spend a day at the country club to which she belongs, Neil is attracted to a vacationing Radcliffe student, Brenda Patimkin, the daughter of a nouveau riche Jewish businessman. Despite his disdain for Brenda's affluent Westchester County way of life, Neil determinedly starts dating her. Mrs. Patimkin becomes concerned about Neil's lack of ambition and concludes that he is unworthy of her daughter, but Mr. Patimkin assures his wife that Brenda will soon tire of the romance. Instead, as her summer vacation nears its end, Brenda invites Neil to spend his 2-week vacation at her home, and each night when the rest of the family is asleep Neil and Brenda make love in her room. Neil discovers that Brenda is not taking birth control pills because they make her sick, and he insists that she get fitted for a diaphragm. On the night before Brenda's return to school, her brother Ron marries his girl friend, whom he met while he was an Ohio State basketball star in Columbus. At the lavish wedding reception, a somewhat inebriated Mr. Patimkin tells Brenda how much he loves her and how much faith he has in her strong moral convictions. Once back at Radcliffe, Brenda writes to Neil and asks him to join her in Boston for a long weekend. In the sleazy hotel room where they check in as husband and wife, Brenda tells Neil that her mother found the diaphragm in her room, shows him reproachful letters from her parents, and tells him that she can't invite him to her home again. Concluding that Brenda's guilt feelings about their affair subconsciously led her to leave the diaphragm where her mother would inevitably find it, Neil accuses Brenda of posing as someone intellectually and morally free while, in reality, she is essentially the model Jewish daughter her parents want. Disillusioned, and with nothing left to say, Neil picks up his suitcase and walks out into the street.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
New York opening: 3 Apr 1969
Production Company
Willow Tree Productions
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Westchester, New York, USA; New York City, New York, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Goodbye, Columbus" by Philip Roth in his Goodbye, Columbus, and Five Short Stories (Boston, 1959).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)

Award Nominations

Best Writing, Screenplay

1970

Quotes

Trivia

The wedding scene, as filmed, included a magnificent 10-minute speech by Monroe Arnold as Uncle Leo - a real tour de force. But 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.

Michael Nouri dances with Ali MacGraw during the wedding scene.

Lesley Ann Warren was supposed to play Brenda, but became pregnant and was replaced.

Future daytime diva Susan Lucci can be seen as one of the wedding guests.

Notes

Location scenes filmed in New York City and nearby Westchester County.

Miscellaneous Notes

1969 Academy Award Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Released in United States April 1969

Released in United States Spring April 1969

Re-released in United States on Video March 23, 1994

Film marks Ali McGraw's screen debut.

c Technicolor

rtg MPAA R

Re-released in United States on Video March 23, 1994

Released in United States April 1969

Released in United States Spring April 1969