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I Never Sang for My Father (1970)

GP  |   |  Drama  |  22 November 1971 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,596 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 13 critic

A man who wants to move on with his life by moving to California and marry his girlfriend, finds it difficult as he still lives in the towering shadow of his aging father.



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Title: I Never Sang for My Father (1970)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Stickney ...
Elizabeth Hubbard ...
Lovelady Powell ...
Daniel Keyes ...
Jon Richards ...
Nikki Counselman ...
Carol Peterson ...
Nurse #1
Sloane Shelton ...
Nurse #2
Mr. Tucker (old age home director)
Gene Williams ...
Dr. Jensen (state hospital director)


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 <>

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Release Date:

22 November 1971 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Strangers  »

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Did You Know?


This was Dorothy Stickney's last feature film role. See more »


Gene Garrison: Death ends a life. But it does not end a relationship;which struggles on the survivor's mind,toward some resolution,which it may never find.
See more »


Referenced in Murphy Brown: I Never Sang for My Husband (1992) See more »


Written by Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
Performed by Roy Clark
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User Reviews

The title is haunting and sad...
26 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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