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Mike Vecchio and Susan Henderson are preparing for their upcoming wedding. However, they seem to be the only two people at the wedding that are happy. Mike's brother Richie and his wife ... See full summary »
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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>
"I Never Sang for My Father" has to be one of the saddest films ever made. Relations between parents and grown up children are examined in this tight drama that rings true from beginning to end. We can relate to how the dynamics in a family change as parents get older and children are now involved in problems of their own with their families.
This is basically about the special relationship between a father and a son. Tom Garrison, the father, is in his eighties. His son Gene has lost his wife and is now seeing a woman doctor in California. When Margaret, the mother, suffers a heart attack and dies, Tom and Gene come to a confrontation because the father wants to keep a grip on his son to help him during that adjustment period. Gene, who has always been a good son, has to make a decision that will put him at odds with his father.
The idea of children taking care of their parents during their old age is questioned here. On the one hand, Tom, the father, is a self made man who struggled hard for all he achieved in life. Gene, the son, is in the eyes of the father, a failure, because of his passive nature. Tom has counted on relying on Gene for those late years and because of his intransigent nature, he is not willing to compromise in the solution the son has for him.
The film version of Robert Anderson's play, and directed by Gilbert Cates, gathered a stellar cast to bring the family alive. Melvyn Douglas, in one of his best screen appearances, makes Tom Garrison come alive. Mr. Douglas' take on his character shows a man that while giving an appearance of being strong, underneath, shows his vulnerability. Gene Hackman, who plays the son, is a perfect match for Melvyn Douglas. Their scenes together show a raw energy between a domineering father and a son that has gone along to please him. Estelle Parsons is seen as Alice, the estranged daughter and Dorothy Stickney who plays Margaret, the mother.
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