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Goodbye, Columbus Details


Based on one of author Phillip Roth's shorter works, Goodbye Columbus stars Richard Benjamin as Neil, a young man of humble means who falls in love with Jewish-American-princess Brenda (Ali MacGraw). Their romance is out of the question so far as Brenda's suburbanite parents are concerned, so Neil and Brenda rendezvous in some of the sleaziest motels ever seen in a 1960s film (and that assessment includes The Bates Motel). Unwilling to take birth control pills because they upset her tummy, Brenda opts for a diaphragm, which unfortunately is discovered by her mother. Their rocky relationship comprises the bulk of the film. The trendy, New Wave-influenced direction by Larry Peerce gained a great deal of critical attention in 1969, notably such self-indulgent devices as having a close-up of a girl's navel dissolve into a long-shot of a swimming pool. Far more memorable is Peerce's amusingly straight-on depictions of upper-class Jewish/American social functions. In their film debuts, Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw are appealingly awkward; the more memorable performance is delivered by Michael Meyers as MacGraw's adenoidal younger brother. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:April 3, 1969


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Arnold Schulman Best Adapted Screenplay 1969 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Ali MacGraw New Star of the Year - Female 1969 Winner
Directors Guild of America Larry Peerce Best Director 1969 Nominee


Richard Benjamin
as Neil
Ali MacGraw
as Brenda
Jack Klugman
as Mr. Patimkin
Nan Martin
as Mrs. Patimkin
Lori Shelle
as Julie
Royce Wallace
as Carlotta
Sylvie Strauss
as Aunt Gladys
Kay Cummings
as Doris
Michael Nurie
as Don Farber
Monroe Arnold
as Uncle Leo
Elaine Swain
as Sarah Ehrlich
Richard Wexler
as Busboy
Mari Gorman
as Simp
Gail Ommerle
as Harriet
Jaclyn Smith
as Model
Ray Baumel
Jaclyn Smith
as Model


Larry Peerce
Stanley Jaffe
Philip Roth
Book Author
Arnold Schulman
Ralph Rosenblum
Manny Gerard
Art Director
Gene Coffin
Costume Designer
Andrew Ciannella