I Never Sang for My Father (1970)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Family Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 18, 1970 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Somber family melodramas with children and parents trying to understand and communicate with each other are a dime a dozen, unless you have a very compelling script or some wonderful actors. I Never Sang For My Father doesn't really have the former, but it makes up for it in spades on the latter. Gene Hackman as the son and Melvyn Douglas as the father deliver powerful performances as two barbed men trying to find each other amidst their own frustration and depression. Hackman garnered his second Academy Award nomination for his role (the first was for Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, and the following year he would win his first statuette for The French Connection). Douglas never got the sort of roles in films that he probably deserved. He was mostly known as a theater and then a television actor, and in fact he is one of the few people to win an Oscar (for both 1964's Hud and 1980's Being There), an Emmy, and a Tony Award. His career was also impaired by the anti-Communist blacklist of the early '50s. The director, Gilbert Cates, had worked largely in TV before this movie, and it shows -- in both the staged set-ups and the relentlessly depressive tone.