Zandy Allan purchases a mail-order bride, Hannah Lund. He treats her as a possession, without respect or humanity, until their shared ordeal as they struggle to survive develops in him a ... See full summary »
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 find myself recommending this movie to people all the time. It is such a clear picture of the challenges faced by anyone trying to help an aging parent.
But there is another aspect to it that I love. It is one of the few serious films I've seen that shows the effect of a character being viewed as the salt of the earth, heroic and charming by outsiders, but who is nasty, judgmental and selfish with his own family. Whatever has happened due to Douglas' character aging and beginning to lose his mental faculties, you know that this particular pain has been part of his children's lives forever.
Such a relationship is always difficult -- it is especially so with an older relative who has truly done heroic things, and who is respected and loved even by those he abuses. It puts everyone who knows his darker side in a bizarre and awkward position, seeming like villains for ever saying a word against a much-admired person.
This movie captures the agony and poignancy of such a relationship perfectly, and shows the various levels of maturity with which one's family can choose to respond. The character's daughter needs to stay away, his son takes it with a grain of salt, as evidenced by his wry smile and mild answer when his fiancée finds his father "charming." This is a must-see film, for more reasons than I can list here.
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