I Never Sang for My Father (1970) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot 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 <krokus@online.no>
  • Upper middle class octogenarians Tom and Margaret Garrison live in the same expansive suburban New York home they have for decades. Both their health are declining, Margaret who suffered her first heart attack a year ago, and Tom who is slowly slipping into senility, although he does not acknowledge it. To those that look at Tom's life from the outside, they see a long upstanding pillar of the community. Their adult offspring Gene and Alice, however, see a domineering, unbending and unloving man who never truly provided the emotional support they wanted or needed, that type of support always coming from their mother. Tom long ago banished Alice, who now lives in Chicago, from their lives in any meaningful way when she married a Jew. Gene, a professor and published writer, lives in the city and quietly does whatever he can to help them out in their old age, although he does it more for their mother, their father to who he sees it more as an obligation than a want. Tom is however oblivious to Gene's feelings toward him. Widowed now for a year, Gene is thinking of moving to Los Angeles as he met Dr. Peggy Thayer, a physician with her own practice there to who he wants to get married. Although he hates the way his father makes him feel, he also hates the guilt he would feel of possibly "deserting" them, especially as he knows Tom's relationship with his own drunkard father was non-existent. Gene's mixed feelings about what to do are exacerbated after Margaret passes away leaving Tom on his own, he who refuses to move or to get professional help. Gene so wants to love his father, but it may be too late no matter what he decides to do.

    - Written by Huggo
  • 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.

    - Written by mystic80


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