7.7/10
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29 user 17 critic

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

This was Dorothy Stickney's last feature film role. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Strangers
Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
Sung by Roy Clark
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazing
7 April 2006 | by practicepianoSee all my reviews

I find myself recommending this movie to people all the time. It is such a clear picture of the challenges faced by anyone trying to help an aging parent.

But there is another aspect to it that I love. It is one of the few serious films I've seen that shows the effect of a character being viewed as the salt of the earth, heroic and charming by outsiders, but who is nasty, judgmental and selfish with his own family. Whatever has happened due to Douglas' character aging and beginning to lose his mental faculties, you know that this particular pain has been part of his children's lives forever.

Such a relationship is always difficult -- it is especially so with an older relative who has truly done heroic things, and who is respected and loved even by those he abuses. It puts everyone who knows his darker side in a bizarre and awkward position, seeming like villains for ever saying a word against a much-admired person.

This movie captures the agony and poignancy of such a relationship perfectly, and shows the various levels of maturity with which one's family can choose to respond. The character's daughter needs to stay away, his son takes it with a grain of salt, as evidenced by his wry smile and mild answer when his fiancée finds his father "charming." This is a must-see film, for more reasons than I can list here.


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