Long Hello and Short Goodbye

Long Hello and Short Goodbye is a 1999 German crime film produced by Studio Hamburg Letterbox Filmproduktion and co-authored by Jeff Vintar and Martin Rauhaus.

Long Hello and Short Goodbye
Directed byRainer Kaufmann
StarringNicolette Krebitz
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)

Plot summary

The film presents a recently released safe-cracker named Ben, and an undercover police agent named Melody. Melody's job is to dupe Ben into another job so that he can be put away once more by her sinister and ambitious boss Kahnitz. But complications arise when the talkative cop falls for the taciturn gangster.

The film features a complex neo-noir flashback structure that centers on seemingly dead characters littering the bloody floor of a fancy apartment. As the story progresses, we find out that some of these dead people are not dead at all, more are hiding in the closet, and slowly the pieces of the puzzle come together in classic film noir fashion, but with a distinctly modern edge.

Production history

Based in an original English-language screenplay by I, Robot writer Jeff Vintar, the English-language version of Vintar's screenplay struggled to reach the screen for many years. The work was under a variety of producers and production companies; hence, the script was under option for a very ling time. At one time, Gustavo Mosquera, who had directed Moebius, was slated as its director, with John Woo and partner Terence Chang producing under their Lion Rock banner.

The screenplay that eventually made it to the screen was developed by the production company Circle of Confusion. Shortly before the movie's release, the film's producers "got cold feet" and re-edited the film to give it a linear narrative, which became the version that made it to the screen.


Critical reception

The film became a cult favorite among noir buffs, and received a positive review in Variety that predicted that the film would play in broad-minded festivals around the world, and that genre fans would "lap it up".

The final editing that gave the film its linear narrative is said to have diluted its "effect", which resulted in its polarizing critics and audience members alike.

Futther reading

  • Elley, Derek (July 12, 1999). "Reviews: Long Hello and Short Goodbye". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
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