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Goodbye, Columbus

3.9 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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(Jun 08, 2004)
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$49.40 $13.99
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Editorial Reviews

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?). Actually, she's pretty good as the Jewish princess whose father has made a fortune in plumbing supplies. Richard Benjamin, who went on to become an odd sex symbol of the '70s, had just the right comic twist as the young man who can't overcome McGraw's middle-class morality with his sense of passion and romance. Jack Klugman is outstanding as her hard-driving and unyieldding father. A touchstone film. "--Marshall Fine"

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Benjamin, Ali MacGraw, Jack Klugman, Nan Martin, Michael Meyers
  • Directors: Larry Peerce
  • Writers: Arnold Schulman, Philip Roth
  • Producers: Stanley R. Jaffe
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTWNI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,679 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Goodbye, Columbus" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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4 Comments 45 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
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.Read more ›
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