Never Say Goodbye (1956) Poster

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Well Done, Sirk-Influenced Melodrama
Michael Bragg5 July 2005
Although Jerry Hopper is the credited director of "Never Say Goodbye", Douglas Sirk oddly goes unrecognized as the co-director. Though Sirk's presence can be felt at times, "Never Say Goodbye" lacks the visual irony and heaving drama of his greatest films. Nonetheless, this is a beautifully-acted, handsomely-crafted affair, with a lush Frank Skinner score and some climactic melodrama thrown in for good measure. Part war romance, part domestic drama, "Never Say Goodbye" is an interesting hybrid that actually works.

Rock Hudson plays a military doctor who falls in love with nightclub pianist, Cornell Borchers. They marry and have a baby and all seems right. That is, until Hudson's seething jealousy wrecks everything that they had established. Tragedy tears the couple apart and Hudson must raise their daughter alone. Years later, fate brings the couple back together and their daughter(played surprisingly well by a young Shelley Fabares)must come to grips with the mother she had never known. The always good George Sanders is sorely underused as the man who blames Hudson for the entire ordeal.

"Never Say Goodbye" has its heavy-handed moments for sure. And you just might roll your eyes at how quickly and cleanly the ending gets wrapped up. But the action gets rolling almost from scene one and it turns out to be a satisfying, if unmemorable, nugget of 1950's soap opera. Uinversal-International continues to churn out the glossy fluff with this one.
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Partly Sirk
graham clarke28 January 2004
Although widely acknowledged that parts of "Never Say Goodbye" were directed by Douglas Sirk, the credit is given to Jerry Hopper with no mention of Sirk at all. Filmographies of Sirk's work most often do not include this work.

"Never Say Goodbye" has many of the hallmarks of Sirk's work, though is much lacking in the biting social criticism that elevated his finest work. Like "Interlude" this is pure melodrama, filmed with style but ultimately forgettable.

Rock Hudson and George Sanders turn in predictably solid performances but it is Cornell Borchers an Ingrid Bergman Greta Garbo hybrid, who manages to bring a sense of truth to the more than unlikely drama, which is essential for the melodrama's success.

While obviously not in the class of the major Sirk melodrama's there is enough here of interest to followers of his work.
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Memories from a LONG time ago
dubledeuce31 December 2006
Everyone remembers their first kiss and their "first" time and for me this movie represents my first movie that I can actually remember. My step-mother took me to see it when I was but a tender lad of 10 in St Louis, MO.

This movie set in my mind a kind of will to find my own mother although at the time I had not a CLUE as to HOW, IF, or WHEN I would do this, I just had this intense confidence that I COULD and WOULD find her one day.

About all that I remember about this movie is the bombing of a European city and the loss of this little girls mother. I also remember the character Victor (I always thought he was played by David Nivens) as the little girls confidant and her pained frustration at not being able to understand why she could not find her mother and her resistance to the idea of her father's desire to marry this "outsider" and have her take the place of her missing mother. Of course the outsider was in fact her long lost mother from the war years.

Victor was the only trusted link that she had to her mother, as he knew her during the war.

Finally, at the end of her 8th Birthday party celebration, as the outsider was preparing to leave the family as a failed endeavor at persuading the little girl to accept her as her "NEW" mother, the little girl asks Victor (he was a portrait artist and also did caricatures at the Biirthday party) to draw a picture of her mother as he remembered her some 8 years earlier.

Of course Victor did a charcoal sketch of the "outsider" and presented it to the little girl folded in half. As she opened the large format drawing and looked at the image, she thought there was some sort of deception going on and she questioned him about his attempt to fool her.

I cannot for the life of me remember his actual response but is was in the form of a question of "what she wanted to believe", sorta like the young peasant girl in the film Dr. Zhivago, who did not want to believe something that was not true

The little girl reconciled with her Mother and all ended well that started out so horribly.

For the record, I did search for, and found, my birth mother in Belton, TX in 1970. Unfortunately the ending was not the same, quite the opposite. But until we try there will always be an ache in the heart to want to know. I saw and felt that ache in this movie.

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Undistinctive but enjoyable tearjerker
rfkeser23 November 1999
Undistinctive but enjoyable tearjerker: American doctor loves/loses/finds Vienna nightclub entertainer. The skillful screenplay mixes motherhood, medicine and the Iron Curtain, plus manages a few provocative digs at American male behavior. Rock Hudson and George Sanders give appealing performances. In the central role, German actress Cornell Borchers looks like Ingrid Bergman but lacks her warmth. A rich supporting cast includes a bit by Clint Eastwood . Old-fashioned, but done with some dignity.
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Superior Romance; a Wartime Film for Everyone; Borchers is Lovely
silverscreen88830 June 2005
This is a beautiful color film which many might classify as a '"woman's picture". However, it has three very fine performances by Rock Hudson, George Sanders and Cornell Borchers, very good supporting actors and a moving storyline told from the point of view of the male participant. So it is a romance, a dramatic film, and a frankly superior "tear-jerker" all rolled into one. The storyline is fairly straightforward. Michael Parker, a doctor, married a German girl and lost her during WWII, having to go on while thinking she is dead. She reenters his life in the US with an old friend as escort, one who blames him for what she had to suffer. She wants to get back together with Parker, but first has to win over his daughter who idolizes the mother she has never known; finally, the escort, an artist, draws the little girl a picture of her mother, and seeing it, the little girl learns who is her real mother accepts her joyfully. The film was written from a Luigi Pirandello play, and the final version of the screenplay was done by Charles Hoffman. The cast is an unusually good one. Directed by Jerry Hopper, it also features Ray Collins, David Janssen, Casey Adams, Jerry Paris, John Banner, Robert F. Simon, Helen Wallace, Frank Wilcox and many others. The remarkable fact of the production is the realism of its motivations and reactions; it is never glossy, never cheap, often very moving. Shelley Fabares as the stubborn little girl is quite good also. But lovely Cornell Borchers and suave George Sanders are the best actors in this solid film. The technical production is very good, for any era. Sets by Russell A Gausman and Julia Heron, music by Frank Skinner, Bill Thomas's costumes and hairstyles by Joan St. Oegger plus makeup by Bud Westmore insured that this was to be an expensive-looking ad beautiful finished product. This is an appealing story, which qualifies as a wartime film also, one partly told in interesting flashbacks; it has never been appreciated for what it avoided becoming nor for what it was made to be--a very fine story about people whose lives were torn asunder by war...
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Clearly depicts one of many personal struggles during WWII
bavariancreme18 September 2001
I think this movie shows how much a persons life can change and be affected by the events that occurred in WWII. This movie, unlike many newer movies today, has a real hard-hitting story that can truly be felt by the viewer. A movie that doesn't have to live off of sex and violence, and can, I believe, is a great movie!
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Say Hello to Goodbye ***1/2
edwagreen6 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Terrific 1956 film where Dr. Rock Hudson accidentally runs into his wife. Hudson had thought that wife, an excellent Cornell Borchers, was long dead. In the company of an artist, the picture reverts back to Austria and how Hudson met and married Borchers.

Of course, Borchers having to go back to East Germany and trapped there, leads to her separation from Hudson, who eventually gave up and thought she was dead.

This film, a prime tear-jerker, has solid performances by all concerned. Hudson displays that emotional anger and as stated, he gives a tremendous performance. Borchers, whose film career in America, was greatly limited is certainly the Ingrid Bergman of her time. Surprised that Bergman didn't snag the role for herself, but in 1956 she was busy winning the Oscar for "Anastasia."
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Realizing too late how you can hurt the one you love
lora645 September 2001
This isn't high drama but appeals more to one's tender side and family life values. The doctor Michael (Rock Hudson) finds romance with Lisa, an entertainer (Cornell Borchers) while in Europe; they wed and in time a daughter becomes a part of their life too. But his streak of jealousy gets the upper hand when he thinks she is secretly meeting another man. It causes havoc and estrangement for them in the years ahead and much needs to be set aright again, especially for the little girl who in all this time of separation is deprived of a mother.

George Sanders as Victor, has a typical role of being the outsider, almost the observer. Here he's an artist, a devoted confidante of Lisa, and cares for her well-being as years pass.

For fans of Rock Hudson this is a fine movie from his heyday of being a top Hollywood heart throb.
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Review of Never Say Goodbye starring Rock Hudson
Islandjam119 November 2011
Please, does anyone knows where this movie can be found? To either buy or rent! Please advise and thank you in advance.

A wonderful family movie...yes with drama! I liked it very much and thought it was well put together. With the war surrounded this couple and the jealousy of Rock made the wife a bit uncomfortable. However he seemed to have loved her very much and was very concern for her safety after she was missing and wanted to take her with him to the States especially since she was his wife and the mother of his very young daughter. It was hurtful for all 3 of them with her missing for so many years.

How can I get to watch this movie again? It has been quite a number of many years and I just cannot find it to purchase and not in rental stores either. Can someone please advice on this? Much thanks
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Positively Noble
bkoganbing12 May 2015
German film star Cornell Borchers stars with Rock Hudson in this Fifties romance of love and sacrifice Never Say Goodbye. Who would have thought that George Sanders would not be a cad in a film.

Hudson plays an army doctor in post war Europe awaiting home and discharge and he runs into Borchers and Sanders in a nightclub. He and Borchers marry and they have a kid who grows up to be Shelley Fabares. But the way she and Sanders keep hanging around together arouses the old green eyed monster in Rock. He confronts her and she takes off behind the Iron Curtain in post war Vienna where who knows she might have run into Harry Lime.

Fast forward to the present being 1956. Borchers and Sanders are in Los Angeles doing their club act and she runs into Hudson who has told his daughter that her mother was dead. After this the film becomes positively weepy.

I won't say more, but everybody here becomes positively noble and noble does not wear well on George Sanders.

Never Say Goodbye was what was termed a woman's picture back in the day and for those who are inclined to these type films this one is for you. Look fast and you'll see Clint Eastwood as one of Rock's medical colleagues.

Douglas Sirk guided Rock through a few of these kinds of films in their salad days. But Sirk knew enough to keep his hands off this.
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