AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Goodbye, Columbus
Director: Larry Peerce (Dir)
Release Date:   1969
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 3 Apr 1969
Duration (in mins):   105
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Richard Benjamin (Neil)  
    Ali MacGraw (Brenda)  
    Jack Klugman (Mr. Patimkin)  
    Nan Martin (Mrs. Patimkin)  
    Michael Meyers (Ron)  
    Lori Shelle (Julie)  
    Royce Wallace (Carlotta)  
    Sylvie Straus (Aunt Gladys)  
    Kay Cummings (Doris)  
    Michael Nurie (Don Farber)  
    Betty Greyson (Aunt Molly)  
    Monroe Arnold (Uncle Leo)  
    Elaine Swain (Sarah Ehrlich)  
    Richard Wexler (Busboy)  
    Rubin Schafer (Uncle Max)  
    Jacqueline Smith (Model)  
    Bill Derringer (John McKee)  
    Mari Gorman (Simp)  
    Gail Ommerle (Harriet)  
    Jan Peerce    
    Max Peerce    
    Anthony McGowan    
    Chris Schenkel    
    David Benedict    
    Ray Baumel    
    Delos Smith    

Summary: 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. 

Production Company: Willow Tree Productions  
Production Text: A Stanley R. Jaffe Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures  
Director: Larry Peerce (Dir)
  Steve Barnett (Asst dir)
Producer: Stanley R. Jaffe (Prod)
  Tony LaMarca (Assoc prod)
Writer: Arnold Schulman (Scr)
Photography: Gerald Hirschfeld (Dir of photog)
  Enrique Bravo (Cam)
Art Direction: Manny Gerard (Art dir)
Film Editor: Ralph Rosenblum (Film ed)
Costumes: Gene Coffin (Ward des)
Music: Charles Fox (Mus)
Sound: Jack C. Jacobsen (Sd)
  Charles Grenzbach (Sd)
Make Up: Andy Cianella (Makeup)
Country: United States

Songs: "Goodbye Columbus," "So Kind to You" and "It's Got To Be Real," words and music by The Association, sung by The Association.
Composer: The Association
Source Text: Based on the short story "Goodbye, Columbus" by Philip Roth in his Goodbye, Columbus, and Five Short Stories (Boston, 1959).
Authors: Philip Roth

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Willow Tree Productions 19/3/1969 dd/mm/yyyy LP36734

Physical Properties: col: Technicolor

Genre: Comedy-drama
Subjects (Major): Birth control
  Country clubs
  Family life
  Libraries and librarians
  New York City
  New York City--Bronx
  Nouveaux riches
  Ohio State University
  Radcliffe College
  Westchester County (NY)

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

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.