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Busy and often absent father must take care of his two boys after his wife dies. They all live in Tunisia because of their father's job. The older boy is handling the difficult changes much better than the younger one.
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Hackman plays a New York professor who wants a change in his life, and plans to get married to his girlfriend and move to California. His mother understands his need to get away, but warns him that moving so far away could be hard on his father. Just before the wedding, the mother dies. Hackman's sister (who has been disowned by their father for marrying a Jewish man) advises him to live his own life, and not let himself be controlled by their father. Written by
Kristian Krokfoss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Richard Widmark was playwright Robert Anderson's first choice for the son role in both the theatrical and film versions of the play. One proposal had Fredric March as the father, another had it as a TV special with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as the parents. See more »
Overflowing with deep feeling and insight into father-son-family relationship...
I can count on this movie to move me, to bring up feelings for me EVERY TIME I see it. Robert Anderson, the writer, nailed it, caught the essence of the difficulty children have relating to their fathers. Melvyn Douglas is outstanding as the father who, when his son (Gene Hackman) comes to visit falls asleep in front of the TV watching inane Westerns and then says to his son, "Gene, Gene are you leaving so soon? We hardly get to spend any time with you..." And the daughter says: "I am grateful to him (her father) because he taught me a very important lesson: This world is cold and lonely and uncaring and if you can't get the love and attention you need from your own father, who can you get it from? Yes, I am grateful to him..." This is powerful stuff. Great writing and acting except for the woman who plays Hackman's future bride. Bad casting there. The rest is superb. If you want to be moved (and some movies SHOULD move you -- that's another reason they're called 'movies,' right?!!), this is it.
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