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directed by Jerry Hopper, Douglas Sirk (uncredited)
USA 1956

 

Like ONE DESIRE, NEVER SAY GOODBYE - not to be confused with Warner's 1946 Errol Flynn/Eleanor Parker screwball comedy of the same name - is a Sirkian Rock Hudson "women's picture" produced by Ross Hunter (MADAME X) directed by Jerry Hopper (PONY EXPRESS). This one, however, is rumored to have been at least partially directed by Douglas Sirk (ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS); but even the master of Technicolor melodrama could not save this tired and clichéd remake of Universal's own William Dieterle-helmed Merle Oberon-vehicle THIS LOVE OF OURS (1946), itself a loose adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's play Come Prima, Meglio di Prima. Dr. Michael Parker (Hudson, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS) has spent the past several years believing that his wife Lisa (Cornell Borchers, THE BIG LIFT) was dead and made their young daughter Suzy (Shelley Fabares, just two years away from THE DONNA REED SHOW) the center of his life. While having drinks with his colleagues at a bar after a convention speech, Michael runs into Lisa who has been traveling as a pianist accompanying Bohemian artist Victor (George Sanders, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY). Lisa is so shocked to see Michael that she runs out of the bar into the path of a truck. While waiting for Lisa to regain consciousness after a life-saving operation, Michael is reproached by Victor for already killing her soul when he left her. Michael is determined to seek her forgiveness when she wakes; but, before that, we are treated to a dull forty-five minute flashback depicting the couple's love at first sight in post-war Vienna when the army doc treated the lovely pianist's ankle.

Turning down a potentially lucrative club booking with Victor in Hamburg, Lisa marries Michael who stays on in Vienna and the couple have a baby girl. Michael never questions how Lisa is able to take care of the mounting bills and buy nice things while he is away at work until he starts hearing rumors of his wife getting into a chauffeured car two days a week. Although Lisa claims that she is giving piano lessons, Michael assumes that she has a lover and storms off taking Suzy with him. Lisa travels to the Soviet side of Austria to seek the counsel of her father (John Mylong, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION) but is unable to return when the Iron Curtain falls. She makes a daring attempt to cross the border only to be arrested along with her father. Unable to ascertain Lisa's whereabouts after three weeks of searching, Michael takes his daughter with him back to the United States and Lisa is assumed to be dead. The third act of the film finds Michael trying to help Lisa reconnect with Suzy as her stepmother since the girl's pediatrician (Raymond Greenleaf, ALL THE KING'S MEN) that Suzy's worship of her father is pathological ("an advanced Elektra Complex [...] and, like most little girls, has a touch of Camille in her too") and that telling her the truth might be devastating. As stepmother "Dorian", Lisa is made to feel unwelcome and hated by Suzy to the point that she considers going back to Europe with Victor and a broken heart. A pre-RAWHIDE Clint Eastwood makes an early uncredited appearance. David Janssen (TV's THE FUGITIVE), Jerry Paris (THE LADY TAKES A FLYER), and John Banner (HOGAN'S HEROES' Sergeant Schultz) also star.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 10 March 1956 (USA)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:30:00
Video

2.00:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.83 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.00:1

Edition Details:
� none

DVD Release Date: July 4th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

As the more accessible edition on pressed physical media, the UK disc would be recommended if an authoring error had not shaved over two minutes off the ending as the disc reverts to the scene menu at exactly 90 minutes (the master Simply Media submitted to the BBFC ran the complete PAL timing of 91:57). Simply Media has not as yet responded on whether they are going to recall and/or replace the title.

Previously issued on DVD in the UK by Universal as part of their "Classic Clint Eastwood Collection" (even though he has an uncredited appearance in a single scene) and last year in Spain and the states as part of Universal's Vault Series of MOD DVD-Rs, Simply Media's DVD of NEVER SAY GOODBYE is framed, like other Hunter/Sirk fifties Universal films in the 2.00:1 aspect ratio (although there is no mention of SuperScope on the advertising) and probably dates from the same period as the aforementioned ONE DESIRE transfer, but the more modern settings and costumes make it harder to be drawn in to the look of the film and dismiss the shortcomings of the transfer. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio is in find condition. There are no subtitle options or extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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Screen Captures


Uncredited early appearance by Clint Eastwood (right)

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

 

 



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