Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, and indeed The Affair, showed how fine a director of actors Cates is, and this earlier movie provides even more convincing evidence. Based on Robert (Tea and Sympathy) Anderson's play, I Never Sang for My Father is a close and fraught piece about that curious, inarticulated love that turns blood relationships tacky and sour. Hackman makes something remarkable of the wrestling with himself as well as with his father - Melvyn Douglas in full flight - and Cates keeps the saccharine, if not always the over-emphasis, at bay. If you're not too laid back to stomach a film about emotions, this is more than just a worthy affair.
Cast and crew