IMDb > I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
I Never Sang for My Father
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I Never Sang for My Father (1970) More at IMDbPro »

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I Never Sang for My Father -- Gene Garrison (Gene Hackman), a forty-year-old New York college professor, is forced to put his plans  to marry and move away from his aging parents on hold when his mother dies. Never able to please his irascible father, Tom (Melvyn Douglas), he�۪s now forced to contend with him without his mother�۪s gentle intervention. His sister, Alice (Estelle Parsons), tells her brother he must assert himse..


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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Anderson (written by)
Robert Anderson (based on "I Never Sang For My Father" by)
View company contact information for I Never Sang for My Father on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1970 (UK) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
It's Like Watching My Life See more (26 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Melvyn Douglas ... Tom Garrison

Gene Hackman ... Gene Garrison
Dorothy Stickney ... Margaret Garrison

Estelle Parsons ... Alice
Elizabeth Hubbard ... Peggy
Lovelady Powell ... Norma
Daniel Keyes ... Dr. Mayberry

Conrad Bain ... Rev. Pell
Jon Richards ... Marvin Scott
Nikki Counselman ... Waitress
Carol Peterson ... 1st Nurse
Sloane Shelton ... 2nd Nurse

James Karen ... Old Age Home Director
Gene Williams ... State Hospital Director
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean Dexter ... Hostess (uncredited)
Valerie Ogden ... Nurse #3 (uncredited)
Beverly Penberthy ... Special nurse (uncredited)

Directed by
Gilbert Cates 
Writing credits
Robert Anderson (written by)

Robert Anderson (based on "I Never Sang For My Father" by)

Produced by
Gilbert Cates .... producer
Original Music by
Al Gorgoni 
Barry Mann 
Cinematography by
Morris Hartzband (director of photography)
George Stoetzel (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Angelo Ross 
Art Direction by
Hank Aldrich 
Costume Design by
Theoni V. Aldredge (costumes)
Makeup Department
John Alese .... makeup artist
Philip Leto .... hairdresser (as Phil Leto)
Production Management
Phillip M. Goldfarb .... unit manager (as Phil Goldfarb)
George Goodman .... production manager
Everett Rosenthal .... production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stanley Panesoff .... assistant director
Allan Wertheim .... second assistant director
Art Department
Sante Fiore .... master scenic artist
Sound Department
Nathan Boxer .... boom man (as Nat Boxer)
Charles Federmack .... sound mixer
Stanley Mittledorf .... recordist
Walter Nolan .... effects editor
James Sabat .... recordist
Dick Vorisek .... re-recordist (as Richard Vorisek)
Camera and Electrical Department
Samuel Dinen .... still photographer (as Sam Dinin)
Jamie Jacobson .... second assistant camera
Morton Novak .... gaffer (as Morty Novak)
Fred Porrett .... camera operator
Albert Taffet .... camera operator
Felix Trimboli .... first assistant camera
Robert M. Volpe .... key grip (as Robert Volpe)
Tom Volpe .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yvonne David .... wardrobe mistress
Editorial Department
Peet Begley .... assistant film editor
Other crew
Janise Bogard .... assistant to the producer
Gilbert Cates  (as produced on the Broadway stage by)
Bert Gold .... titles
Shirley Marcus .... production secretary
Everett Rosenthal .... for the producer
Peter L. Skolnik .... assistant to the producer
Renata Stoia .... script supervisor
Doris Vidor  (as produced on the Broadway stage by in association with)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Black And White (still photograph) | Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Netherlands:AL (2010) (DVD) | Sweden:Btl | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (VoD rating) (2013) | USA:PG | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:12 (video)

Did You Know?

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 »
Gene Garrison:I hate him. And I hate to hate him.See more »
Movie Connections:
StrangersSee more »


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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
It's Like Watching My Life, 21 August 2009
Author: dogeatdog7 from United States

I saw this film as a child on late night TV in the 70's and never really grasped it's truthful portrayal of the classic dysfunctional family. I didn't realize at the time just how dysfunctional my family was and how my father's controlling behavior and self centered personality shaped our family dynamics and still does. The close, loving adult relationship I always wanted with my father never happened because of his overbearing personality and utter disinterest in his children's adult lives. The children of such parents are often made to feel that it's either their fault or at least their responsibility to fix it. I saw the film again today on TCM and it perfectly captured the devastating long term effects from growing up in such a household. There's not a wasted word in the script. Tom doesn't give a wit about Gene. He doesn't even know him or care to. It's all about Tom. Boy, do I know what that feels like. I wished I had written Gene Hackman's dialog down so I could use it during my next frustrating visit with the old man.

This film should be required viewing for any adult son (or daughter) who is guilt-ed on a regular basis and told that everything their parents ever did for them as children has strings attached.

I'm an actor and I hope I get the chance to play Gene Garrison some day...with my father in the audience. Who am I kidding? He still wouldn't get it.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
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Great Line Blondfashionisto
I would like to know lolarites-894-174248
The search for a nursing home scenes Pearsey
Straightforward, honesty filmmaking onegreendress
Would have loved to see Gene as the father iamthetopp
Last Scene mguevarra61-1
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