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Goodbye Charlie

Goodbye Charlie title card

Year - 1964
Studio - 20th Century Fox
Stars - Tony Curtis, Debbie Reynolds, Pat Boone, Walter Matthau, Joanna Barnes, Ellen Burstyn
Director - Vincente Minnelli
Writing Credits - George Axelrod (play), Harry Kurnitz (screenplay)
Music - André Previn

Synopsis

At a yacht party, pompous Hollywood producer Leopold Sartori (Walter Matthau) discovers his wife with writer and womanizer Charlie Sorel in a cabin. Sartori shoots him as he tries to escape through a porthole, and Charlie falls to the sea.

Charlie's best friend, George Tracy (Tony Curtis), flies in from Paris to deliver a eulogy at Charlie's memorial service, but there are only three attendees - his agent and two Hollywood wives with whom he also had affairs. The agent, Morton Craft (Martin Gabel) reveals that in his will, Charlie had named George as the executor of his estate, but that he is essentially bankrupt.

That night at Charlie's seaside home, George answers a knock at the door and finds Bruce Minton III (Pat Boone) with a beautiful young girl (Debbie Reynolds), wrapped in his overcoat. He'd found her walking dazed and undressed along the highway, but that she appeared to recognize Charlie's house. George lets her sleep in a guest room for the night, until he can figure out what to do with her.

Goodbye Charlie poster

He's awakened by her screams the next morning, and rushes to her room. She exclaims that she is Charlie Sorel, somehow in this woman's body. She finally convinces George when she recites stories and details that only his best friend could possibly know. That night they attend a party given by Leopold Sartori, who has been released from custody for the shooting. Sartori is very taken by the beautiful woman, who introduces herself as Charlie Sorel's widow.

Eventually accepting her predicament, Charlie begins to scheme how she (he) can blackmail some of her old lovers by threatening to publish a diary kept by Charlie. The wealthy young Bruce Minton III returns to check up on her condition and is immediately smitten. Charlie sees an opportunity to marry Bruce for his money.

Bruce proposes to Charlie at his mother's mansion, but Charlie realizes that he is genuinely in love with her, and decides that she cannot take advantage of him. In the meantime, George has been making plans to get Charlie out of the country, and he goes to Leopold for help. Leopold offers to provide a private ship and a fake passport, and instructs George to go wait for him near the pier. But his intention is to get George out of the way, so that he can seduce Charlie.

At Charlie's house, Leopold tries to force himself on her, but his wife has followed him, and she shoots Charlie, who plunges from a cliff back into the sea.

The next morning, the distraught George prepares to return to Paris by himself, when a large black dog appears at his door. It is followed by a woman, who calls the dog "Charlie". The dog's owner looks exactly like the female Charlie, and says that she is Virginia Mason, and lives by herself nearby.

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