7.7/10
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I Never Sang for My Father (1970)

GP | | Drama | June 1971 (UK)
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.

Director:

Gilbert Cates

Writers:

Robert Anderson, Robert Anderson (based on "I Never Sang For My Father" by)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Melvyn Douglas ... Tom Garrison
Gene Hackman ... Gene Garrison
Dorothy Stickney ... Margaret Garrison
Estelle Parsons ... Alice
Elizabeth Hubbard Elizabeth Hubbard ... Peggy
Lovelady Powell Lovelady Powell ... Norma
Daniel Keyes Daniel Keyes ... Dr. Mayberry
Conrad Bain ... Rev. Pell
Jon Richards Jon Richards ... Marvin Scott
Nikki Counselman Nikki Counselman ... Waitress
Carol Peterson Carol Peterson ... 1st Nurse
Sloane Shelton Sloane Shelton ... 2nd Nurse
James Karen ... Old Age Home Director
Gene Williams Gene Williams ... State Hospital Director
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Strangers See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (still photograph)| Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Jessica Walter (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Strangers
Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
Sung by Roy Clark
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User Reviews

 
It's Like Watching My Life
21 August 2009 | by dogeatdog7See all my reviews

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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