Long Hello and Short Goodbye

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Long Hello and Short Goodbye
Directed by Rainer Kaufmann (de)
Starring Nicolette Krebitz
Release date
  • 1999 (1999)
Country Germany
Language German

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.

The film features 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 original American screenplay by Jeff Vintar featured a complex neo-noir flashback structure that centered on the 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. The producers of the German film got cold feet shortly before the movie's release, and re-edited the film as a linear story, diluting its effect and polarizing critics and audience members alike, although it remains a cult favorite among noir buffs, and received a positive review in Variety that predicted the film would play in broad-minded festivals around the world, where genre fans should lap it up.

An English-language version of Vintar's original screenplay has struggled to reach the screen for many years, under a variety of producers and production companies, making his script almost perpetually under option. One incarnation had Gustavo Mosquera (Moebius) directing, with Face/Off director John Woo and his partner Terence Chang producing under their Lion Rock banner. The screenplay is currently being developed by the production company Circle of Confusion.

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