Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

R | 136 mins | Drama | 19 October 1977

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writer:

Richard Brooks

Producer:

Freddie Fields

Cinematographer:

William Fraker

Production Designer:

Edward Carfagno

Production Company:

Paramount Pictures Corp.
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HISTORY

A 26 May 1975 Publishers Weekly news item announced that Paramount Pictures Corp. purchased motion picture rights to Judith Rossner’s 1975 novel, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, for $200,000, plus a possible additional $50,000 based on sales of the hardcover book. The 19 Oct 1977 LAT review suggested that writer-director Richard Brooks based his script on both Rossner’s novel and the real-life 1973 murder of Roseann Quinn that inspired it. A Jul-Aug 1977 Millimeter feature pointed out that Brooks “radically changed the book’s story,” and many critics noted that he dropped Rossner’s framing device of opening with the killer’s confession.
       According to a 23 Feb 1978 HR article, the songs "Don’t Ask To Stay Until Tomorrow" and "She’s Lonely, She Wants To" were written specifically for the movie.
       On 15 Sep 1976, DV and HR news items announced Diane Keaton’s casting in the lead role and stated that principal photography was to begin 1 Nov 1976. Brooks told Millimeter that he interviewed 100 actresses for the part before selecting Keaton. Brooks also said that others were offered the film before him, including director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky.
       In a 10 Aug 1977 Var article, former New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, who was campaigning for mayor, criticized the production for using Chicago, IL, for location filming, rather than New York City, the setting of the book. Brooks told Millimeter that he did not produce the motion picture in New York City “because it’s not a film about any one place. I shot it all over the place. It’s ... More Less

A 26 May 1975 Publishers Weekly news item announced that Paramount Pictures Corp. purchased motion picture rights to Judith Rossner’s 1975 novel, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, for $200,000, plus a possible additional $50,000 based on sales of the hardcover book. The 19 Oct 1977 LAT review suggested that writer-director Richard Brooks based his script on both Rossner’s novel and the real-life 1973 murder of Roseann Quinn that inspired it. A Jul-Aug 1977 Millimeter feature pointed out that Brooks “radically changed the book’s story,” and many critics noted that he dropped Rossner’s framing device of opening with the killer’s confession.
       According to a 23 Feb 1978 HR article, the songs "Don’t Ask To Stay Until Tomorrow" and "She’s Lonely, She Wants To" were written specifically for the movie.
       On 15 Sep 1976, DV and HR news items announced Diane Keaton’s casting in the lead role and stated that principal photography was to begin 1 Nov 1976. Brooks told Millimeter that he interviewed 100 actresses for the part before selecting Keaton. Brooks also said that others were offered the film before him, including director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky.
       In a 10 Aug 1977 Var article, former New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, who was campaigning for mayor, criticized the production for using Chicago, IL, for location filming, rather than New York City, the setting of the book. Brooks told Millimeter that he did not produce the motion picture in New York City “because it’s not a film about any one place. I shot it all over the place. It’s happening in every single city.”
       A 14 Jan 1977 HR story reported that Val Loring, vice president of the Screen Extras Guild, sought hazard pay for background actors involved in a New Year’s Eve scene with fireworks filmed on the Paramount studio lot. Loring proposed that ninety extras be paid an additional $20 each. Stuntman Bill Hooker and several extras were treated for injuries.
       A 27 Jan 1978 DV article stated that Fourth District Court Judge George Ballif had rejected a request by the city of Provo, UT, to bar the movie. Ballif ruled that the film did not meet the U.S. Supreme Court standard for obscenity. A 21 Feb 1979 Var story noted that Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Slapshot (1977, see entry) were cited as examples of “morally offensive” films when the UT State Senate passed legislation 30 Jan 1979 requiring distributors to screen films in advance for exhibitors.
       The 14 Oct 1977 DV review called Keaton’s performance “excellent” and praised Brooks’s “ability to capture accurately both the tone and subtlety of characters in the most repellent of environments.” The film received Academy Award nominations for Actress in a Supporting Role (Tuesday Weld) and Cinematography (William A. Fraker). The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (Diane Keaton), and Richard Brooks received a Writer's Guild of America (WGA) award nomination for Drama Adapted from Another Medium. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Nov 1977.
---
Daily Variety
26 May 1975.
---
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1976.
---
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1977
p. 3, 6.
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1978
p. 1, 8.
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1975.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Oct 1977
p. 3, 19.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Feb 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Oct 1977
Section 4, p. 1, 18.
Los Angeles Times
22 Feb 1978
Section F, p. 13.
Millimeter
Jul-Aug 1977
pp. 24-26, 28, 30, 116
Motion Picture Prod Digest
2 Nov 1977
p. 42.
New Times
28 Oct 1977
p. 74.
New West
7 Nov 1977.
---
New York
31 Oct 1977.
---
New York Times
20 Oct 1977
p. 19.
Newsweek
24 Oct 1977
p. 126.
Publishers Weekly
26 May 1975.
---
Saturday Review
10 Dec 1977
p. 62.
Time
24 Oct 1977.
---
Variety
10 Aug 1977.
---
Variety
19 Oct 1977
p. 25.
Variety
23 Nov 1977.
---
Variety
1 Feb 1978.
---
Variety
21 Feb 1979.
---
Variety
27 Mar 1985
p. 41.
Variety
3 Jul 1985
p. 46.
Village Voice
17 Oct 1977.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Freddie Fields Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr/Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Title montage photog by
Gaffer
Best boy
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Key grip
Best boy
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Furs by
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd re-rec
Sd re-rec
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opt eff
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Casting
Loc auditor
Guy Lombardo Show
STAND INS
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Looking for Mr. Goodbar by Judith Rossner (New York, 1975).
SONGS
"Try Me, I Know We Can Make It," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Peter Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, performed by Donna Summer
"Prelude To Love," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Peter Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, performed by Donna Summer
"Could It Be Magic," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Barry Manilow and Adrienne Anderson, performed by Donna Summer
+
SONGS
"Try Me, I Know We Can Make It," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Peter Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, performed by Donna Summer
"Prelude To Love," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Peter Bellotte, Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer, performed by Donna Summer
"Could It Be Magic," courtesy of Casablanca Record and FilmWorks, written by Barry Manilow and Adrienne Anderson, performed by Donna Summer
"Machine Gun," courtesy of Motown Records, written by Milan B. Williams, performed by the Commodores
"Don’t Leave Me This Way," courtesy of Motown Records, written by Kenneth Gamble, Leon Huff, and Cary Gilbert, performed by Thelma Houston
"Love Hangover," courtesy of Motown Records, written by Marilyn McLeod and Pamela Sawyer, performed by Diana Ross
"Back Stabbers," courtesy of CBS Records, written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden, and John Whitehead, performed by the O’Jays
"Lowdown," courtesy of CBS Records, written by Boz Scaggs and David Paich, performed by Boz Scaggs
"She’s Lonely, She Wants To," courtesy of CBS Records, written and performed by Bill Withers
"Don’t Ask To Stay Until Tomorrow," music by Artie Kane, lyrics by Carol Connors, performed by Marlena Shaw.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 October 1977
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 19 October 1977
Production Date:
began 1 November 1976 in Chicago, IL, and Los Angeles, CA
Physical Properties:
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
136
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In a college classroom, graduate student Theresa Dunn fantasizes about her professor, Martin Engle, as he reads her essay aloud. Later, Theresa works as Martin’s assistant and relates being stricken with polio at age six, and having surgery to straighten her spine at age eleven, which left her scarred and prone to back pain. He offers her comfort, but she says she would rather be seduced. Martin, who is married, responds that sex between a teacher and a student is immoral, illegal, and tempting. They then make love in his office. Theresa lives in the suburbs with her Catholic family. Her divorced sister, Katherine, a flight attendant, returns home on a layover and confides to Theresa that she has been living with two men, one in Chicago, Illinois, and one in New York City. She is pregnant, unsure of which is the father, and on her way to Puerto Rico for an abortion. That night, Theresa attends a class preparing her to teach deaf children. Afterward, she fantasizes about winning a figure skating medal and being congratulated by Martin. The following day, Martin mocks the sentimentality of the Christmas gift she offers him and tells her he will see her after the holidays. Home alone on New Year’s Eve, Theresa receives a phone call from Katherine, who has married a man she has known for two days. Later, Theresa calls Martin and hangs up when his wife answers. After the holidays, Martin berates Theresa for calling his home, and she responds by seducing him. Sometime later, Katherine introduces new husband, Barney, to the family. Theresa gets a call from Martin and she leaves to meet him. After they make ... +


In a college classroom, graduate student Theresa Dunn fantasizes about her professor, Martin Engle, as he reads her essay aloud. Later, Theresa works as Martin’s assistant and relates being stricken with polio at age six, and having surgery to straighten her spine at age eleven, which left her scarred and prone to back pain. He offers her comfort, but she says she would rather be seduced. Martin, who is married, responds that sex between a teacher and a student is immoral, illegal, and tempting. They then make love in his office. Theresa lives in the suburbs with her Catholic family. Her divorced sister, Katherine, a flight attendant, returns home on a layover and confides to Theresa that she has been living with two men, one in Chicago, Illinois, and one in New York City. She is pregnant, unsure of which is the father, and on her way to Puerto Rico for an abortion. That night, Theresa attends a class preparing her to teach deaf children. Afterward, she fantasizes about winning a figure skating medal and being congratulated by Martin. The following day, Martin mocks the sentimentality of the Christmas gift she offers him and tells her he will see her after the holidays. Home alone on New Year’s Eve, Theresa receives a phone call from Katherine, who has married a man she has known for two days. Later, Theresa calls Martin and hangs up when his wife answers. After the holidays, Martin berates Theresa for calling his home, and she responds by seducing him. Sometime later, Katherine introduces new husband, Barney, to the family. Theresa gets a call from Martin and she leaves to meet him. After they make love, she asks why they never talk or touch and he tells her he cannot stand being with a woman after sex. In the morning, Theresa’s younger sister, Brigid, who lives with her husband in the same neighborhood as their parents, announces she is pregnant with her second child. When Mr. Dunn relates that his mother had four boys, all perfect, Theresa corrects him reminding him of a sister, Maureen, who died, and Mr. Dunn leaves, angry. In the last session of her teaching class, Theresa is affected by the news that two of her classmates were married that afternoon. As the other students congratulate the newlyweds, Theresa quietly slips away. Later, Theresa helps Martin pack his office for the summer break and he ends their relationship. Outside, she fantasizes about stepping in front of his car and winding up in the hospital. That night, after visiting a bar, she drops by Katherine’s apartment, smokes marijuana, and watches a pornographic film with her sister, her brother-in-law, Barney, and another couple. In the morning, she awakens and is surprised to find the other four sharing a bed. Theresa returns home, where her father is angry that she did not come home the previous night. She packs her bag and moves into an apartment downstairs from Katherine and Barney. The following week, Theresa begins her new job teaching deaf children. In the evenings, Theresa goes to singles’ bars and strip clubs, where she reads and drinks. One night, a young hustler named Tony attempts to take her home, but she is slow to respond and he leaves with another woman. On the last day of summer school, Theresa asks a student’s brother, Cap, if she can spend the afternoon with the girl. Later, Theresa takes the girl home and encourages the girl’s mother, Mrs. Jackson, to purchase a hearing aid for her daughter. Mrs. Jackson is on the verge of losing her welfare check and Theresa attempts to intervene with the case officer, James. When school starts again after Labor Day, Mrs. Jackson’s daughter returns with a hearing aid, courtesy of James, the welfare officer, and he and Theresa begin dating. Theresa’s family loves that James is a Catholic, who lives with his widowed mother and once studied for the priesthood. Another night, Theresa encounters Tony again at the bar. After they have sex, she asks him to leave and he promises to return Sunday at 6 p.m. On Sunday, Theresa cooks for Tony, but he does not show. When James phones, Theresa meets him at a discotheque, where a drug dealer follows her into the restroom and she unwittingly buys $10 worth of cocaine. James walks her home and asks her to dinner the following Saturday. In her apartment, Theresa is furious to find Tony and asks him to leave, but Tony finds the cocaine and they use it while having sex. Tony gives her a Quaalude and tells her he will be in touch. In the morning, Theresa is late for school and the children are unforgiving. Later, she arrives at a hospital where her father is apparently near death with a malignant tumor. The family priest, Father Timothy, congratulates her on the new man in her life, referring to James, who arrives and offers Mrs. Dunn a ride home. Later, at her apartment, Theresa is angry with James for insinuating himself into her family. She taunts him and he responds by telling her he will take her to the hospital the following day. There, Theresa imagines her father’s death, but listens as the man tells Katherine on the phone that he is well. Theresa returns to the bar looking for Tony and runs into Martin, who has quit teaching, is getting divorced, and is writing a novel. The next day, James visits Theresa at school and she cannot understand why he is still interested. Later, they meet at Theresa’s apartment for dinner. James claims that he does not know if his father is actually dead, then relates that his father walked out on the family after abusing James’s mother. Theresa seduces him, but bursts out laughing when he attempts to use a condom. James confesses he made up the story about his parents and leaves. Theresa goes to a bar and buys drugs. Time passes and Theresa regales a new man, Chuck, with tales of her past sexual encounters. Chuck takes her to a gay bar and they return to Theresa’s apartment, but while Theresa is in the bathroom, Tony arrives and chases Chuck away. He tells Theresa that he has been in Miami, Florida, and needs a place to stay because his welfare has been cut off. She tries to throw him out and they slap each other, but Tony leaves when Katherine comes downstairs to check on her sister. At school, Tony attempts to extort money from Theresa, but Cap, Mrs. Jackson’s son, intercedes. That night, Theresa gets a threatening phone call from Tony and fantasizes about the police raiding her apartment, causing her to lose her job and have her double-life exposed. She throws away her drugs and finds James sitting in his car outside her apartment. It is Christmas Eve and he tells her he is in love with her, but she is not interested and leaves. At her parents’ house, she has a confrontation with her father. He asks how she can give life to the deaf children, but not want a family of her own. She tells him she is afraid of passing on scoliosis, which he insists was caused by polio; however, Theresa forces him to admit that it was congenital, the same ailment that afflicted his deceased sister, Maureen. On New Year’s Eve, Theresa takes a bath and Tony attempts to break into her apartment. When Theresa calls the police, Tony threatens her again. After he leaves, she goes to the bar. Meanwhile, on the streets, a female impersonator, Gary, violently breaks up with his male lover and heads to the bar, where he plays pinball and inhales alkyl nitrites, or poppers. When another man insinuates he is gay, Gary becomes angry and hurts him. Across the bar, Theresa sees James, but does not wish to talk to him. She approaches Gary and explains her predicament. James sees them together and leaves. When midnight strikes, Theresa and Gary kiss. She takes him to her apartment and learns he has twice been in prison. They become intimate, but Gary has difficulty performing. Theresa is understanding, but asks him to leave. He mistakenly believes she is insinuating that he is gay and becomes enraged, then attacks and kills her. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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