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.
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"Death ends a life. But it does not end a relationship which struggles on the survivor's mind, toward some resolution which it may never find." Absolutely unforgettable and powerful opening narration as spoken by Gene Hackman's character. And then the rest of the film proceeds to devastate you. A top-notch Oscar-Caliber performance from Melvyn Douglas. One of the best dramas ever. Period.
This film is so close to my own life, that I find it difficult appraising it as a 'film'. Objectively what I loved about it was the nuance of their relationship. This was no great story, rather a smaller, more subtle one. Visually I thought the brief flashes of scenes elevated the story. The real gems are the performances of Douglas and Hackman. What a shame Hackman was never given better roles. One of the greats!
One of the best dramas ever. This film cemented Hackman as an acting force to be reckoned with. The great Melvyn Douglas chews up the screen here in one of his best late period roles (see The Candidate and Being There for similar greatness). A very personal film, and hit very close to home for me. God what a film. Cant wait to watch it again. So moving. Essential