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 -- Based on the Robert Anderson play, it is the story of an 80-year-old man's dominance over his widowed son, and belligerence towards his daughter who married a Jew. The son tries unsuccessfully to communicate with his father after his mother's death, and the years of competition and looking for recognition cause futility.


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7.8/10   1,596 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Anderson (play)
Robert Anderson (screenplay)
View company contact information for I Never Sang for My Father on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 November 1971 (Sweden) 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:
The title is haunting and sad... 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 ... Dr. Peggy Thayer
Lovelady Powell ... Norma
Daniel Keyes ... Dr. Mayberry

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

James Karen ... Mr. Tucker (old age home director)
Gene Williams ... Dr. Jensen (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
(in alphabetical order)
Robert Anderson  play
Robert Anderson  screenplay

Produced by
Gilbert Cates .... producer
Original Music by
Al Gorgoni 
Barry Mann 
Cinematography by
Morris Hartzband 
George Stoetzel 
Film Editing by
Angelo Ross 
Casting by
Tom Ward 
Art Direction by
Hank Aldrich 
Costume Design by
Theoni V. Aldredge 
Makeup Department
John Alese .... makeup artist
Philip Leto .... hair stylist
Production Management
Phillip M. Goldfarb .... unit production manager
George Goodman .... production manager
Everett Rosenthal .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stanley Panesoff .... first assistant director
Allan Wertheim .... second assistant director
Art Department
Sante Fiore .... master scenic artist
Sound Department
Nathan Boxer .... boom operator
Charles Federmack .... sound mixer
Stanley Mittledorf .... sound recordist
Walter Nolan .... sound effects editor
James Sabat .... sound recordist
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Samuel Dinen .... still photographer (as Sam Dinin)
Jamie Jacobson .... second assistant camera
Morton Novak .... gaffer
Fred Porrett .... camera operator
Albert Taffet .... camera operator
Felix Trimboli .... first assistant camera
Robert M. Volpe .... key grip
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 producer
Bert Gold .... title designer
Shirley Marcus .... production secretary
Peter L. Skolnik .... assistant to producer
Renata Stoia .... script supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Netherlands:AL (2010) (DVD) | Sweden:Btl | UK:A | 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 »
Margaret Garrison:Look how he walks. Like a brigadier general. He may not always remember where he is going, but he always goes there with a firm step.See more »
Movie Connections:
StrangersSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
The title is haunting and sad..., 26 July 2006
Author: MarieGabrielle from United States

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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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for I Never Sang for My Father (1970)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Straightforward, honesty filmmaking onegreendress
Would have loved to see Gene as the father iamthetopp
Powerful & realistic fbm72751
Last Scene mguevarra61-1
Script? nauval
Other issues besides parent-child practicepiano
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