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Kiss Me Goodbye

KIss Me Goodbye title card

Year - 1982
Studio - Boardwalk Products, 20th Century Fox
Stars - Sally Field, James Caan, Jeff Bridges, Claire Trevor, Paul Dooley, MIldred Natwick, Dorothy Fielding
Director - Robert Mulligan
Writing Credits - Bruno Barreto, Jorge Amado (suggested by material from), Charlie Peters (screenplay)
Music - Ralph Burns


Three years after the tragic death of her husband, Jolly (James Caan) a famous Broadway dancer and choreographer, Kay (Sally Field) is engaged to Rupert (Jeff Bridges), an "Egyptologist". Visiting her old home where Jolly had died in a fall, Kay decides that she wants to move back in to the house, and to have her wedding ceremony there. Her mother, Charlotte (Claire Trevor) fears that the home will only bring back bad memories for Kay. Rupert, too, is reluctant, believing they should start fresh in a new home, but he gives in to her desire.

The ghost of the jaunty and dapper Jolly appears to Kay and insists he wants to still be a part of her life. He is unseen by Rupert and Kay's family and friends, who become concerned about her stability. Rupert, scientist that he is, attempts, unsuccessfully, to convince Kay of the impossibility of the situation.

Kiss Me Goodbye poster

Rupert then tries a reverse strategy; at a restaurant he orders a chair for Jolly and engages in conversation with him, through Kay. That only results in him looking foolish. But he is eventually convinced that Jolly is real when Kay relays a message about facts in his life that no one but himself knows. Rupert's last resort is to recruit a co-worker, Kendall (Paul Dooley) an ex-priest to perform an exorcism.

At the wedding rehearsal in Kay's house, her friend Emily (Dorothy Fielding) has a plan to confront the ghost, if he does indeed exist. With Kay at her side, she accuses him of having many affairs, including with herself. Jolly sheepishly admits that it is true, and Kay becomes enraged. Jolly confesses that his real purpose in returning was to give Kay a more realistic memory of him, so that she can move on with her life and new marriage. Having accomplished that, he disappears. In the meantime, the "exorcist" Kendall becomes convinced that Kay's dog is possessed with Jolly's spirit. He leaves the house in fear, but Rupert attempts to catch the dog and, instead, tumbles down the stairs leading to the first floor, exactly how Jolly had lost his life. He lies unconscious but the dog licks his face and he revives, to Kay's relief. She announces that, instead of a rehearsal, she wants to be married to Rupert immediately.

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Kiss Me Goodbye is a remake of Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos), a 1976 Brazilian film starring Sonia Braga based on the book of the same name by Jorge Amado.