The lodger

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German title The lodger
Original title The goodbye girl
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1977
length 110 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Herbert Ross
script Neil Simon
production Ray Stark
music Dave Grusin
camera David M. Walsh
cut John F. Burnett

The lodger (original title: The Goodbye Girl ) is an American comedy film by Herbert Ross from 1977 . David Gates' title track of the same name became a pop hit.

The film is about three people who live reluctantly together: a selfish actor in Manhattan , the apartment refers his friend, the current inhabitant (the ex-girlfriend of his friend) and their precocious daughter.


Paula McFadden ( Marsha Mason ) has been left by her significant other, Tony. He sublet the apartment they shared to his friend Elliot Garfield ( Richard Dreyfuss ). He is now in the middle of the night completely unexpectedly at the door and wants to move in. Paula has no choice but to let him go and let him live with her and her ten-year-old daughter Lucy ( Quinn Cummings ). It turns out to Paula's displeasure that like Tony, Elliot is an actor. Paula therefore makes it unmistakably clear to him again and again how annoying and annoying she finds him. Lucy, meanwhile, gets along very well with Elliot, and particularly likes his guitar playing.

Paula tries to catch herself again and to pursue her career as a dancer. Meanwhile, Elliot has his own problems: he is supposed to portray a stereotypical homosexual in a new production of Shakespeare's Richard III according to the ideas of his director Mark ( Paul Benedict ) .

Despite their frequent clashes, Paula and Elliot fall in love. But soon Elliot receives the offer to make a film with a famous director. To do this, however, he has to move to Seattle for four weeks. Paula is therefore afraid that Elliot will leave her and not come back like all her other men before. Nor can Elliot's countless assurances reassure her. Only when she realizes that he has left his guitar in the shared apartment is she sure of him.


The film began with the original screenplay by Simon under the title Bogart Slept Here . Originally Robert De Niro and Marsha Mason were supposed to play the leading roles. Only De Niro was not considered suitable, so Dreyfuss was invited to rehearsals with Mason. Simon said "It doesn't work, but they do" ( "It doesn't work, but they both do "). So he rewrote the script within six weeks.

Actually, the role of Paula McFadden is based on Mason himself. Mason and Simon were married from 1973 to 1981.

The exterior shots in the film were shot in New York , the interior shots in Los Angeles .

The film was co-produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Warner Bros. , but is now wholly owned by Warner Bros.

In an interview with Stern magazine , Dustin Hoffman claims that the script was originally based on the circumstances of how he himself once got the role in the film The Graduate Exam. The screenwriter Neil Simon was inspired by it. So a script and later discarded film recordings with the working title Bogart slept here , in which Robert De Niro played the leading role, emerged. Only after the script had been rewritten did the film Der Untertenieter come into being with a new lead role.


Roger Ebert gave the film mixed, but largely benevolent criticism. So he was unimpressed by Mason and the character itself, but praised Dreyfuss and his scenes as Richard III , which he described as " the funniest in a movie since Mel Brooks staged Springtime for Hitler " (the funniest scenes in a film since Mel Brooks Spring staged for Hitler ).

On the other hand, Vincent Canby of the New York Times described the film as "exhausting without being particularly funny".

The film was later directed as a Broadway musical of the same name based on Simon's script .


Oscar 1978

Richard Dreyfuss , aged 30, was for a long time the youngest actor ever to be recognized in this category. Only in 2003 was Adrien Brody able to break the record at the age of 29 (Oscar for The Pianist )

The film was also nominated in the following categories:

Golden Globe Awards 1978

Also nominated:

BAFTA Awards 1979

Also nominated:


  • Robert Grossbach: The subtenant. Based on the script by Neil Simon (Original title: The Goodbye Girl ). German by Juscha Zoeller. Heyne, Munich 1980, 171 pages, ISBN 3-453-01048-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Spotlight - The Goodbye Girl
  2. When the “humorless” de Niro was supposed to play Dustin Hoffman., March 20, 2016, accessed on March 21, 2016 .
  3. ^ Roger Ebert: The Goodbye Girl
  4. Vincent Canby : The Goodbye Girl