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The Goodbye Girl (1977)

aka The Goodbye Girl

"Thank you Neil Simon for making us laugh at falling in love...again."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 111 mins · English, Japanese · PG (USA)


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Small Elliot Garfield
Small Paula McFadden
No_movie_poster Lucy McFadden
Small Mark
Small Donna
No_movie_poster Mrs. Crosby
No_movie_poster Ronnie
No_movie_poster Rhonda
No_movie_poster Assistant Choreographer
No_movie_poster Dance Instructor
No_movie_poster Linda
No_movie_poster Mrs. Morganweiss
No_movie_poster Mrs. Bodine
Small Liquor Store Salesman
No_movie_poster Mugger


No_movie_poster Albert Brenner Production Design
No_movie_poster Ann Roth Costume Design
No_movie_poster Jennifer Shull Casting
No_movie_poster John F. Burnett Editor
No_movie_poster Dave Grusin Music
No_movie_poster Jerry Wunderlich Set Decoration
Small Herbert Ross Director
No_movie_poster Roger M. Rothstein Producer
No_movie_poster David M. Walsh Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Ray Stark Producer
No_movie_poster Neil Simon Writer


"Thank you Neil Simon for making us laugh at falling in love...again."


Paula McFadden (Marsha Mason) learns she has been dumped by her married boyfriend Tony DeForrest and that he has sublet the Manhattan apartment she lives in with her ten-year-old daughter Lucy (Quinn Cummings). Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss), a neurotic but sweet aspiring actor from Chicago, shows up shortly thereafter in the middle of the night, expecting to live there, as he now rents the apartment. Though Paula is demanding, and makes clear from the start that she doesn't like Elliot, he allows her and Lucy to stay.

Paula struggles to get back into shape to try to resume her career as a dancer. Meanwhile, Elliot has his own problems. He has landed the title role in an off-off-Broadway production of Richard III, but the director, Mark (Paul Benedict), wants him to play the character as an exaggerated stereotype of a homosexual, in Mark's words, "the queen who wanted to be king." Reluctantly, Elliot agrees to play the role, despite full knowledge that it may mean the end of his career as an actor. Many theater critics from television stations and newspapers in New York City attend opening night, and they all savage the production, especially Elliot's performance. The play quickly closes, much to his relief.

Despite their frequent clashes, Paula and Elliot fall in love and sleep together. Lucy, however, begins to dislike Elliot, seeing the affair as a repeat of what happened with Tony, who had also slept with Paula, but then left her. Soon after, Elliot is offered a fantastic opportunity for a role in a movie that he cannot turn down. The only catch is that the job is in Seattle and Elliot will be gone for four weeks. Paula is informed of this and is scared that Elliot is leaving her, never to return, like all the other men in her life. Desperate to make her believe him that he will return, at the last minute, Elliot invites Paula to go with him while he is filming the picture and suggests Lucy stay with a friend until they return. Paula declines, but is happy because she knows Elliot's invitation is evidence that he loves her and will come back. As he leaves for the trip, Paula realizes that he left his prized guitar behind purposely, signaling that he indeed will return, and that he really does love her.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2000-01-18

DVD : 2004-07-20

DVD : 2010-11-09