5 July 2005 | Michael27-1
Well Done, Sirk-Influenced Melodrama
Although Jerry Hopper is the credited director of "Never Say Goodbye", Douglas Sirk oddly goes unrecognized as the co-director. Though Sirk's presence can be felt at times, "Never Say Goodbye" lacks the visual irony and heaving drama of his greatest films. Nonetheless, this is a beautifully-acted, handsomely-crafted affair, with a lush Frank Skinner score and some climactic melodrama thrown in for good measure. Part war romance, part domestic drama, "Never Say Goodbye" is an interesting hybrid that actually works.
Rock Hudson plays a military doctor who falls in love with nightclub pianist, Cornell Borchers. They marry and have a baby and all seems right. That is, until Hudson's seething jealousy wrecks everything that they had established. Tragedy tears the couple apart and Hudson must raise their daughter alone. Years later, fate brings the couple back together and their daughter(played surprisingly well by a young Shelley Fabares)must come to grips with the mother she had never known. The always good George Sanders is sorely underused as the man who blames Hudson for the entire ordeal.
"Never Say Goodbye" has its heavy-handed moments for sure. And you just might roll your eyes at how quickly and cleanly the ending gets wrapped up. But the action gets rolling almost from scene one and it turns out to be a satisfying, if unmemorable, nugget of 1950's soap opera. Uinversal-International continues to churn out the glossy fluff with this one.