Oscar Movies: Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)–Tuesday Weld Only Oscar Nomination

Directed by Richard Brooks, the film starring Diane Keaton, Tuesday Weld, and Richard Gere, all in top form is based on the novel of the same name by Judith Rossner, which was in turn based on the real life murder of New York City schoolteacher Roseann Quinn.

The 1977 morality cautionary tale traces the sexual awakening of a young teacher searching for excitement outside of her mundane existence.  The film became nearly prophetic in the early 1980s in the wake of the lethal AIDS crisis.

After an affair with her college professor, no-longer-good Catholic girl Theresa follows the lead of her hedonistic sister (Tuesday Weld, perfectly cast) and moves out of her oppressive family home to forge a life of her own.

Searching for  the “real perfect man,” whom she refers to as “Mr. Goodbar”, she begins losing control of her life as her sexual appetite grows.

Quiet and reserved teacher by day, sexual deviant and bar-hopper by night, Dunn begins to dabble in drugs and unstable men. Her self-destructive behavior is a means of escaping her numbing existence and testing her boundaries and providing excitement in her otherwise safe and boring life.

Dunn prefers the satisfying attentions of unpredictable, danger-tinged stud Tony Lopanto (Richard Gere) to the more noble intentions of social worker James (William Atherton), but she ditches anyone who prevents her from being her “own girl.”

Gere’s sexual partner, a borderline psychotic, turns jealously possessive, and begins to threaten her life. Ultimately, her sexual addiction and high risk behavior put her life in danger.

Tuesday Weld received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress Oscar (her first and only nod) for her performance in the film.

The music video for the Madonna song “Bad Girl” was loosely inspired by the film.

Keaton deserved an Oscar nomination for playing compellingly a compassionate teacher of deaf children by day, Theresa metamorphoses into a sexually free cruiser of singles bars by night  But in the same year, she scored even better in Woody Allen’s comedy, Annie Hall, for which she received the Best Actress Oscar.

Oscar Nominations: 2

Supporting Actress: Tuesday Weld

Cinematography: William A. Fraker

Oscar Awards: None

 

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Supporting Actress Actress was Vanessa Redgrave for “Julia.”

Vilmos Zsigmond won the Cinematography Award for Spielberg’s sci “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

MPAA: R

Running time: 135 minutes.