John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home![3] is a 1965 American comedy film based on the novel by William Peter Blatty published in 1963. The movie was directed by J. Lee Thompson.

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!
1965 Theatrical Poster
Directed byJ. Lee Thompson
Produced byParker--Orchard Productions
Written byWilliam Peter Blatty
StarringShirley MacLaine
Peter Ustinov
Richard Crenna
Music byJohn Williams
CinematographyLeon Shamroy
Edited byWilliam B. Murphy
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 24, 1965 (1965-03-24)
Running time
96 min
CountryUnited States
Box office$3,000,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[2]


The comic spoof of the Cold War was inspired by a May 1960 incident involving American Francis Gary Powers, a CIA operative whose U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking an international diplomatic incident. Writer William Peter Blatty's tale concerns John "Wrong-Way" Goldfarb, a former college football star who once ran 95 yards for a touchdown in the wrong direction. Now a U-2 pilot, his plane malfunctions and crashes in the mythical Arab kingdom of Fawzia.

The country's leader threatens to turn him over to the Soviets unless he agrees to coach a football team. Jenny Ericson, the magazine journalist who made Goldfarb famous, is on an undercover assignment as a member of the King's harem, and when she discovers she was wrong in thinking the King is no longer romantically interested in his wives, she seeks help from Goldfarb. The King blackmails the U.S. Department of State into arranging an exhibition football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and his own team from Fawz University. Jenny becomes a cheerleader and then the quarterback who scores the winning touchdown for Fawz University.


Production notes

Blatty's book originally was written as a screenplay, but when no studios expressed interest in it, he reworked it as a novel, which was published by Doubleday (ISBN 0553142518). The novel's success led Twentieth Century-Fox to acquire the film rights, and Blatty submitted his original script for a feature film directed by J. Lee Thompson.

Fox expected the film to be its Christmas 1964 release; however, the University of Notre Dame filed a defamation lawsuit and got a court injunction to delay the release of the film, claiming the studio had "knowingly and illegally misappropriated, diluted and commercially exploited for their private profit the names, symbols, football team, prestige, high reputation and goodwill" of the university. The lawsuit wasn't settled until the following year, when the studio finally won its case.


The film was a critical failure and earned back only $3,880,000 of its $4 million budget.

According to Fox records, the film needed to earn $6,200,000 in rentals to break even and made $3,880,000, meaning it made a loss.[4]

Later, Jim Backus wrote a memoir called What Are You Doing After the Orgy?, the title taken from one of his lines in the film.


  1. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p254
  2. This figure consists of anticipated rentals accruing distributors in North America. See "Big Rental Pictures of 1965", Variety, 5 January 1966 p 6 and Solomon p 230. Please note figures are rentals not total gross.
  3. Exclamation point is in onscreen title. Also listed as such at "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  4. Silverman, Stephen M (1988). The Fox that got away : the last days of the Zanuck dynasty at Twentieth Century-Fox. L. Stuart. p. 324.
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