Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)


Theresa is a successful teacher of deaf children during the day but after a short unhappy affair starts to spend her nights cruising bars. Her craving first for sex but later also for drugs leads into increasingly demeaning and dangerous situations at odds with her daytime commitment to her children.

Director: Richard Brooks.
Stars: Diane Keaton, Tom Berenger, Tuesday Weld, William Atherton, Richard Kiley, Alain Feinstein, Richard Gere, Brian Dennehy, LeVar Burton, Priscilla Pointer, Laurie Prange, Joel Fabiani, Julius Harris, Richard Bright, Carole Mallory.

1978 Academy Awards – Nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Tuesday Weld).
1978 Academy Awards – Nominated for an Oscar for Best Cinematography (William A. Fraker).


Note: New copy added restored to its original 24fps allowing for the correct runtime of 2h16m instead of the 2h10m of the previous copy (25fps).

How would you rate this movie?

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  1. Les Corbet
    October 20, 2019

    Ugly movie. Moralistic and just deadly. The only scenes I liked were with Tuesday Weld and Diane Keaton who, though they don’t resemble each other, really related as if they were sisters.

  2. Jonathan Shapiro
    October 20, 2019

    One of those Paramount titles, like LITTLE DARLINGS (and maybe DEADHEAD MILES), that has seemingly insurmountable music rights issues which are preventing a DVD release indefinitely. Shame

  3. October 20, 2019

    Brilliant. I’ll definitely be watching this. Thank you Jon!

  4. dl alvarez
    March 8, 2020

    Perhaps a special kind of glasses can be invented for watching films like this to bring together, like the red and green values in old-school 3D films, the disparate parts. Otherwise, the stellar and serious performances by Keaton and Weld land out of tune in this crappy B-film universe.

  5. Lover of '70's cinema
    May 6, 2020

    I first saw the underrated “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” several years ago, and felt it was an amazing film. Great time capsule of the era, and IMHO Diane Keaton’s best work. Amazing disco/rock/pop soundtrack as well. Late ’70’s NYC may as well have been another character in the movie. The novel the film is based on is also worth checking out.

    It’s worth noting that the novel & movie are based on true events – which makes this story all the more disturbing.

    To me, the film is closely connected to the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s/1970’s. The main character didn’t want to fall into the “traditional” role of getting married, settling down, and being a housewife – probably because that’s what her parents wanted her to do. Her behavior was an act of rebellion to a large extent.

    Re: the film’s availability – unfortunately, it’s never even been available on a Region 1 DVD release. I suspect that part/all of the reason this film hasn’t made it to modern home video is because of the copyright(s) involving all/most of the music on the soundtrack.

    I would really like to see this released to Blu (or even just DVD) at some point in the near future. The Criterion Collection is the perfect label/venue, since IMHO LFMG is iconic enough to deserve inclusion here.

    May 6, 2021

    Never a fan, this is the sole Diane Keaton performance I’ve ever really liked.
    And I like what she does here a great deal.
    Tuesday Weld, who never disappoints me, is just so good.
    I wonder what she would have done with THE GODFATHER films’ Kay Adams? Given the times it depicts, I always saw an intelligent “cool blonde” as being Michael Corleone’s only possible ‘outside’ attraction. Keaton’s near asexual dowdiness in those films has never made the slightest human sense to me at all

  7. Øivind Aas
    October 17, 2021

    A gritty, bizarre but very uneven melodrama where Diane Keaton, as expected, gives a great peformance as a teacher living a double life while a young Tom Berenger almost steals it being unrecognizable and Richard Gere annoyingly chews the scenery as a no-good punk trying to be some kind of Dean or Brando. The disco soundtrack makes the night scenes more sad and unsettling rather than joyously party-like, Not to mention the ending which perhaps is one of the darkest most horrifying endings that ever came out of a Hollywood film, even for the 1970s, an era in which they made one daring movie after another

    Having heard so much about it, it’s cult following and it’s unavailability I was hoping to like this so much more than I did. The weak points of the film is that it has too much exposition both in the dialogue and those too many family/ flashback/dream scenes that overexplains the main characters psyche rendering the running time too long for a story so simple in my opinion. The scenes between Weld and Keaton are good but does not always add to the story other than pointing out the contrast between the two characters.

    The most unfortunate aspect is the films schizophrenic message. Unlike the far more focused Paul Mazursky’s “An umarried woman” or Agnes Varda’s “One sings the other doesen’t” which celebrates women’s right and freedom to choose, “Looking for Mr Goodbar” seems to be saying on the one hand that sexual oppression from a religious background leads to excess and self-destruction, while on the other hand, in the film’s last act it seems to be saying: “See? This is what happens to women who chooses not to marry and have kids”.

    Still I’m glad I saw it, and I’m very grateful that Jon put this out on the site.

    Thank you very much

  8. Kathryn Hernandez
    November 23, 2021

    Goodbar was Richard Gere’s film debut.

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