Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
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AisleSeat
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:16 pm
Location: Arlington, VA

Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

#1 Post by AisleSeat » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:25 pm

Goodbye, Columbus (1969) is a film that is slipping into obscurity. It shouldn't be, but with no DVD in print, meaning no Netflix, it's fading. To be sure, it can be viewed via Amazon streaming, and second-hand DVD and VCR copies can be purchased; nevertheless, for the average viewer, it's not an particularly easy movie to see.

But a troubling aspect with the DVD and most likely any streaming, as well, is that the movie has been cut, edited to receive the PG rating, as opposed to the original R. On Amazon, a review for the 2004-released DVD bemoans the fact that the famous Ali McGraw nudity scenes have been trimmed. IMDB lists Goodbye, Columbus as being 102 minutes. On Amazon, the DVD is also listed at 102 minutes, as are old VCR copies. Hmm. What exactly is the true length of this film? How much was actually trimmed? A minute? Less than minute? But, perhaps, more important (at least to me) is whether the uncut version of this movie can be acquired and viewed. Are there any complete editions available? Is the Paramount 1994-released VCR version uncut?

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Ashirg
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:10 am
Location: Atlanta

Re: Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

#2 Post by Ashirg » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:22 pm

The film is also on DVD-R released by Warner Archive. I wonder if nudity issue is theatrical aspect ratio on DVD masks the nudity that was seen in open matte TV aspect ratio.

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GaryC
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:56 pm
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK

Re: Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

#3 Post by GaryC » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:47 pm

I haven't seen the film, and it hasn't had a UK VHS or DVD release either, but in the cinema the BBFC passed it uncut in 1969 for a X certificate with a running time of 101:53. It was last shown on the BBC in 2001.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

#4 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:57 pm

Ashirg wrote:The film is also on DVD-R released by Warner Archive. I wonder if nudity issue is theatrical aspect ratio on DVD masks the nudity that was seen in open matte TV aspect ratio.
I haven't seen the film yet but a cursory Google search comes up with lotsa VHS caps with much of the nudity placed firmly in the center of the screen, ie nothing that would be cut off via matting

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

Re: Goodbye, Columbus (Larry Peerce, 1969)

#5 Post by Dylan » Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:01 am

Having seen Goodbye, Columbus on cable TV as a kid, I re-watched it on DVD a couple years ago after reading the Philip Roth source material and all of the nudity I remembered (because as a kid such things make an impression) was still there (and I was paying attention because I also read accounts of it having been deleted from the DVD). I'm guessing the alleged loss of nudity after a re-rating is just misinformation that has been passed down over the years and there isn't anybody out there who has done the work to disprove it.

As for the film itself... it's not a good adaptation (though the opening scene nicely illustrates the wonderful opening line of the story), but it's pretty good if just taken as a late 1960's Hollywood drama. Nice period song/score soundtrack. I would love to see the ten-minute scene that Monroe Arnold filmed that was deleted after an early press screening (apparently in a hasty/desperate attempt to tighten the film up) - by all accounts from those who saw it or were present during the filming/cutting, Arnold gave an Oscar-caliber performance in those ten minutes. Who knows if that footage still exists though...

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