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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 »
as are the performances of Gene Hackman and Melvyn Douglas, who portray an alienated father and son, brought together after the death of Hackman's wife, and as his father is becoming in need of more medical assistance and attention.
Anyone who has taken care of an elderly parent may be heartbroken by the performances in this film, as I was. Melvyn Douglas is at once critical, angry and resentful of his son, yet still hopes for his love, in the end. Gene Hackman is torn, whether to sacrifice his life, and ultimately feel better, having done the "right thing" or to marry his new fiancée.
Estelle Parsons is always affecting, as she advises Hackman to "live his own life- why bother..." Therein lies the dilemma; people have to sort through issues like this everyday- there are no concrete answers. Highly recommended. 9/10
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