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I Never Sang for My Father

I Never Sang for My Father(1970)


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  • Missed Chances

    • Gloriann
    • 12/20/16

    The movie builds slowly and eventually becomes more intense. The common theme of parent-child expectations and disappointments is showcased in searing detail...the father's trauma in not having a loving father or mother of his own is never fully understood or forgiven by his children. How can anyone be a good parent, who has not had a role model to learn from. Dad has been the great provider, but needed love and recognition from his own offspring. Melvyn Douglas does a superb job of revealing many facets of a man forced into self-sufficiency and emotional neglect at a young age...Gene Hackman is equally complex in his careful listening and yearning for acceptance and love. The ending is harrowing and the scenes of nursing home residents shameful in their neglect and marginalization. Why is it so hard to try a little tenderness...

  • "You're looking for a mother's love in a father"

    • Jeff Boston
    • 9/27/16

    As a past Oscar winner's character tells a future Oscar winner's character about a past and future Oscar winner's character in this insightful film where I think the best scenes were the several interactions between father and son, brother and sister, and daughter and father. The acting is awesome. This film exemplifies the three dimensional households of many a baby boomer. Hackman's former Marine (?!) wants the same love and closeness from his cold and difficult dad that he got from his marvelous homemaker mom, even though it clearly goes against human nature and time tested ways to bring up children in a continuously cruel and difficult world.

  • Great Acting !

    • 7/2/16

    Very realistic view of a relationship. This film's value is worth 1,000 episodes of bogus psychology shows like Dr. Phil. This was much more "actual". Life is tough and relationships are not perfect. Gene Hackman portrays a feeling, loving and dutiful son. Who continually attempts to do the correct "thing" although he doubts he actually owns any of the described attributes. I found him to be successful. His father is a also very "true to life" and although he is portrayed as "self centered" and extremely difficult he is like many other fathers. He is human and riddled with the faults of a person. This is about their relationship. The acting is professional, brilliant and makes the film float. Hackman in an unusual role for him, which could be considered somewhat "passive" exemplifies his true versatility. He is "golden". I really like Hackman in this role. Douglas as the father is equally grand, the two make a rather depressing film which reeks with reality, into a valuable, entertaining slice of an authentic life long father - son interaction. Their are many hidden beautiful moments, one surrounds the title. As Douglas describes the joy he received in privately listening to his son sing.

  • Excellent film!

    • RedRain
    • 6/19/16

    It is Father's Day today and I watched this film once again because of this day. The three main actors in this film certainly give thought-provoking performances! The film is a lesson for all parents to talk WITH your children rather than at them. There has to be a back and forth dialogue for a good relationship, particularly a parental relationship, to succeed. We of the older generation do forget what it is to be younger. Hackman's character is so tied to caring what his parents think that he lost sight of himself. His father, in turn, demanded everything and gave nothing. They both end up with awful regrets. Therein is the lesson this film brings to us. A parent's job is to give your child wings to fly when they are grown. It is not a parent's job to fill the child with so much pressure or guilt that he cannot leave the nest either figuratively, emotionally or literally.

  • Excellent movie; emotional to watch

    • Dimitri
    • 11/29/15

    I can identify with this movie. My dad never really showed me or my siblings or my mom any emotion when we were growing up. He said it wasn't right for boys to kiss, even if it was only dad to son, son to dad, brother to brother, etc. He's turning 90 in a couple months and I finally had the chance to write 'I love you' in a card couple years ago and I'm glad I did. I repeated this a year later. We even told each other 'I love you' a couple times recently. I don't want any regrets after he passes on so that's why I made sure this was done. My next goal is to video record him talking about his life story over an hour or two.Anyway, great movie.

  • Oh, please!

    • Jane Rogers
    • 9/25/14

    I watched this movie for the first time last evening and all I can say is, "Oh, please!" Gene Hackman's character is such a depressing cry baby. He's way too passive and needs to grow up. He could stand up to his father and still remain respectful to him. The father is self-absorbed because his feelings have never been validated. All the son had to do was to validate his father's feelings. It is what it is.

  • I Never Sang for My Father

    • Bob Lloyd
    • 9/24/14

    Watching the movie made me feel like I was living it. My father never showed me any love and was never close to me as a father. Before he died I tried to make amends with him but he just wouldn't listen. Great movie.

  • superb movie

    • marc sloane
    • 6/14/14

    This movie is not only insightful, with superb writing and acting; but it is a movie with great personal meaning for those who had similar troubled relationships. I saw it about ten days before my own father died; then two weeks after. I was 21, and my father had never been able to convey whatever love and respect for me he might have had. Our relationship had been stormy, and for me degrading.When I saw this movie, so much about it seemed vividly real, and it helped me to understand how many families were just isolated individuals with the same last name...insensitive to those closest to them. Unable, and perhaps unwilling ,to be anything else. And how tragic that was, but what is, is. Whatever else, one has to fight for their own dignity.Melyvn Douglas is brilliant, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons do fine jobs as the children who have resigned themselves to the fact of a brutal parent, and make their own paths in life. Gene Hackman has the pivotal role here. He struggles.Those of us who lived through what this movie portrays are grateful for the insight, understanding, and compassion it offers. It's a memorable work. Fine acting.

  • I never sang for my father

    • Trudi J Ziga
    • 6/20/10

    I guess I was meant to see this movie this morning . It was a thoughtprovoking story of a father and son snd their relationship. The acting by Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman was excellent, as a matter of fact it was quite disturbing . The reason for that is , I believe, that this kind of scenario gets played out in many a household each and every day. The father's generation believed in working hard and providing for the family and not thinking too much about LOVE ,he never got past his own hurts did not talk about things like that ... the son ... a sensitive man ...came so close to FEELING LOVE in the bedroom scene close to the end of the movie ,yet the father could not change ...he could not show any vulnerability , because that would be a weakness and that was not acceptable ..because from the time that he was little he had to be strong.. This movie portrays once again how important true communication is and that for some it is very difficult to get in touch with one's inner self and let go ... and acknowledge that showing and sharing love with our children and parents is so very very important. Kind words make the world a better place and words spoken in anger and passion , well, they stay with us forever.Even though the father spoke very unkind words to the son in the bedroom scene and actually through him out of the house, the ending of the story bothered me a lot ...because the father was alone and died alone .. tied to whatever he thought he needed to be tied to..even as his faculties failed him ...The feeling that remains at the end is still one of sadness for all characters in this story. The lessons learned are many ... the messages are clear ... especially on Father's Day! Thank you for showing this movie today.Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there !

  • I never sang for my father

    • victoria
    • 6/20/10

    love this movie!!!! kinda feel sorry for the dad. because of his childhood, seems like he's incapable to give love to his kids. the acting was great....thanks TCM!!!!

  • I Never Sang for My Father

    • Gail
    • 2/11/10

    I thought this movie was EXCELLENT, as I could relate to my ownrelationship with my own Father. The acting was excellent also.

  • Heartbreaking and resonant

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 2/9/10

    The story and the performances are what make this a keeper. I am glad I had the chance to see it today. It really makes you think about family relationships. I loved the line that started and ended the film: 'death is the end of a life, but not the end of a relationship.' Melvyn Douglas is fabulous, and proves that the second-act of his career was just as good, if not better, than the first act. When most of his old-time Hollywood friends were retiring and fading into obscurity, he kept cranking along with these Oscar-caliber jobs. I like the way his particular character is written in this story, how he repeats the loss of his father, and describes how he died, three different times. Also, I like the way everyone finds him charming, but he is a burden to his son, (played by Gene Hackman), and his daughter (the superb Estelle Parsons). But my favorite part was when the son goes to tour the nursing home and state hospital, and we're not given any dialogue, but just the sound of a heartbeat. The sequence ends with a short conversation in the car about miracle drugs and the grim reality facing people when they get older. So insightful, on so many levels.

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