I Never Sang for My Father

Overview

Based on the play by Robert Anderson, I Never Sang for My Father is devoted to the prickly relationship between aged Tom Garrison Melvyn Douglas and his grown son Gene Gene Hackman. A college professor who feels that he has never been fully accepted by his self-made dad, Gene announces that he is going to move from New York to marry a California divorcee. His mother Dorothy Stickney approves of the union but worries that her son's move will have a negative effect on the increasingly truculent Tom. When his mother...
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Overview

Based on the play by Robert Anderson, I Never Sang for My Father is devoted to the prickly relationship between aged Tom Garrison Melvyn Douglas and his grown son Gene Gene Hackman. A college professor who feels that he has never been fully accepted by his self-made dad, Gene announces that he is going to move from New York to marry a California divorcee. His mother Dorothy Stickney approves of the union but worries that her son's move will have a negative effect on the increasingly truculent Tom. When his mother dies just before the wedding, Gene is forced to help his father through his dark days. His sister Estelle Parsons urges her brother to break the ties for good and all--or else he'll wind up as bitter and withdrawn as their father. Gene realizes the wisdom of these words when he tries to reach out to his father during a vulnerable moment, only to have the crabby Tom tell him to get lost and leave him alone.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Somber family melodramas with children and parents trying to understand and communicate with each other are a dime a dozen, unless you have a very compelling script or some wonderful actors. I Never Sang For My Father doesn't really have the former, but it makes up for it in spades on the latter. Gene Hackman as the son and Melvyn Douglas as the father deliver powerful performances as two barbed men trying to find each other amidst their own frustration and depression. Hackman garnered his second Academy Award nomination for his role (the first was for Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, and the following year he would win his first statuette for The French Connection). Douglas never got the sort of roles in films that he probably deserved. He was mostly known as a theater and then a television actor, and in fact he is one of the few people to win an Oscar (for both 1964's Hud and 1980's Being There), an Emmy, and a Tony Award. His career was also impaired by the anti-Communist blacklist of the early '50s. The director, Gilbert Cates, had worked largely in TV before this movie, and it shows -- in both the staged set-ups and the relentlessly depressive tone.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/16/2010
  • UPC: 043396359833
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures Home
  • Language: English
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 3,512

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Melvyn Douglas Tom Garrison
Gene Hackman Gene Garrison
Dorothy Stickney Margaret Garrison
Estelle Parsons Alice
Elizabeth Hubbard Peggy
Conrad Bain Rev. Pell
Lovelady Powell Norma
Daniel Keyes Dr. Mayberry
James Karen Mr. Tucker, Old Age Home Director
Beverly Penberthy Special Nurse
Jon Richards Marvin Scott
Sloane Shelton 2nd Nurse
Technical Credits
Gilbert Cates Director, Producer
Theoni V. Aldredge Costumes/Costume Designer
Hank Aldrich Art Director
Charles Federmack Sound/Sound Designer
Al Gorgoni Score Composer
Morris Hartzband Cinematographer
Barry Mann Score Composer
Angelo Ross Editor
George Stoetzel Cinematographer
Cynthia Weil Score Composer, Songwriter
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