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Goodbye, Columbus
Goodbye Columbus
Actors: Richard Benjamin, Ali MacGraw, Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers
Director: Larry Peerce
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG     2004     1hr 42min

Philip Roth's novel of Jewish identity and assimilation in the suburbs of New York gets a spirited comic reading in this 1969 film, which marked the acting debut of model Ali McGraw (and who thought that was a good idea?)....  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Richard Benjamin, Ali MacGraw, Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers
Director: Larry Peerce
Creators: Enrique Bravo, Gerald Hirschfeld, Ralph Rosenblum, Stanley R. Jaffe, Arnold Schulman, Philip Roth
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/08/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 14
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Fond and Eternal Memories
gobirds2 | New England | 11/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this film while I had first entered high school way back when. This movie holds a special place in my heart. The film was told through the eyes of Neil Klugman (Richard Benjamin). I know he was enraptured by the lovely Brenda Patimkin (Ali MacGraw) but I also knew he had another eye on the success of her family. I know that I had my eye on Ali MacGraw. At that time in my life she was the epitome of poise, grace and beauty. The way I see this film it is about two lovers or would-be lovers that never seem to be on the same page. Benjamin is genuinely attracted to MacGraw but does she really like him or is he just a convenient partner for her sexual coming of age? Is she just using him? Then there is a change. By the end of the film you wonder if the message is that you make the bed that you sleep in. I read Phillip Roth's novel after I had seen the film. I thought the scene in both the film and novel where Brenda and Neil first meet was heartfelt and magical. However, the most memorable scene in the entire film is between Ali MacGraw and Jack Klugman (Mr. Patimkin, Brenda's dad) at the wedding. Jack Klugman gave an excellent performance throughout this film. But in this wedding scene you can really feel a father trying to protect his daughter from the worldliness of life and if only he could really be there all the time for her to help ease her pain. This film may look dated but for me it is eternal."
"R" rated original has been trimmed for a "PG" DVD
Only-A-Child | 04/07/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The original "R" rated version is 5 stars-trimmed DVD 3 stars.

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.

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.

The cinematography is first-rate and while the widescreen DVD showcases this, the original theatrical release has been trimmed of its most explicit material. 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.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
Argghhh, an EDITED dvd version of Goodbye Colulmbus
D. Latino | East Lee, Massachusetts, USA | 08/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I loved this film when I first saw it. I must admit to being a fan of Richard Benjamin. I waited and waited for the film to be released on dvd and when it became available, I immediately ordered one. Imagine my HORROR when upon the initial viewing I realized that the studio had released an EDITED version on dvd!! I have never heard of such a thing. All of MacGraw's nude scenes have been severly cut to allow a PG rating as opposed to the original release which had an R rating. I absolutely HATE censorship. I don't care whether the cuts are of sex, violence or simply to shorten a film. I want to see a film as the director wished it to be seen. Is the movie still good? Yes, of course...but this release will always be tainted by the cuts the studio made to attain a wider audience. Shame, shame."
"It Must Be summer if Doris is Reading 'War and Peace'..."
Kenneth M. Gelwasser | Hollywood, Fl USA | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For years "Goodbye Columbus" has been an old movie favorite of mine, popping up sporatically on late night, broadcast television in various edited forms. I'm delighted, that this satirical 'slice of life', romantic-comedy (based on a novella by author, Phillip Roth) has now finally made it's appearence in the DVD format. The story is pretty simple. Neil Klugman (Richard Benjamin) is a guest at his Cousin, Doris' ritzy, country club. It is there, he catches sight of and is instantly attracted to the beautiful, Brenda Patimkin (Ali MacGraw). This poor young man from the Bronx asks out and starts dating the wealthy, spoiled girl from Westchester. We watch the relationship blossom over the course of the summer, as Neil falls in love with Brenda and gets involved with her crazy family. On the simplest level, this film is a satirical look at being young, Jewish and dating in 1960's suburbia. But it is also a film about being young and not knowing what you want out of life. Throughout the film, Neil is questioned repeatly about his low paying, Librarian's job and what his plans are. The truth is he dosn't really know. He dosn't want to "grub his whole life away trying to make money", yet he also finds the counter-culture answers of 1960's youth just as ridiculous.The film looks at the different view points on a variety of topics (sex, marriage, children, work) between baby boomers and the WWII generation, that came before them. This is all wrapped up in delicious satire, that pokes fun at Jewish life in suburbia (including, the most overly ostentatious wedding ever put on film). Director, Larry Peerce and Screen Writer, Arnold Schulman have created a wry movie, which is both humorus and inciteful.I love the scene where Brenda's father gives Neil a speech about the "contempt" that today's youth show for their elders. He pointly reminds Neil, that at one time he felt the same way. The casting for the film is also brillant. Actor, Richard Benjamin shines as the young man in love, who is trying to find his place in life as well as among Brenda's loud and obnoxious family. Ali MacGraw (in one of her first roles) is equally good as the spoiled, rich girl. But the cast member who really gives a memorable performance is actor Jack Klugman as Brenda's Father, Ben. He gives a great nuanced reading, showing us a father who works hard, loves his family and will do anything to make his daughter happy. The DVD itself has both good and bad points. The mastering of the picture is crytal clear, but the sound is only fair (but what do you expect from a 1969 film). The DVD is bare bones without any extras (not even a trailer). I would have loved to hear audio comentaries from either Bejamin or MacGraw. This is a great film comedy which makes for a wonderful evening of entertainment! Highly recommended!"