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I Never Sang for My Father

Film version of Robert Anderson's 1968 play is distended and lacking clear point of view. Mostly the story of a middle-aged man still strung up by a family umbilical cord, the film veers awkwardly into problems of the aged. However, the performances of father Melvyn Douglas, mother Dorothy Stickney, son Gene Hackman and daughter Estelle Parsons are superb.

With:
Melvyn Douglas Gene Hackman Dorothy Stickney Estelle Parsons Elizabeth Hubbard Lovelady Powell

Film version of Robert Anderson’s 1968 play is distended and lacking clear point of view. Mostly the story of a middle-aged man still strung up by a family umbilical cord, the film veers awkwardly into problems of the aged. However, the performances of father Melvyn Douglas, mother Dorothy Stickney, son Gene Hackman and daughter Estelle Parsons are superb.

Anderson’s basic plot line involves the widower Hackman, still lashed to his parents through the verbal bonds of Douglas’ cold-hearted feelings. Parsons as the daughter was luckier: she was banished for marrying a Jew, and was forced to make a new life.

Trouble is, given all this acting talent, the direction, writing and pacing are dreary.

1970: Nominations: Best Actor (Melvyn Douglas), Supp. Actor (Gene Hackman), Adapted Screenplay

I Never Sang for My Father

Production: Columbia/Jamel. Director Gilbert Cates; Producer Gilbert Cates; Screenplay Robert Anderson; Camera Morris Hartzband; Editor Angelo Ross; Music Al Gorgoni, Barry Mann; Art Director Hank Aldrich

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 92 MIN.

With: Melvyn Douglas Gene Hackman Dorothy Stickney Estelle Parsons Elizabeth Hubbard Lovelady Powell

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