Cast & Crew
In 1955, orthopedic researcher Dr. Michael Parker leaves his beloved daughter Suzy behind in California in order to speak at a conference in New York City. Since the death of his wife seven years earlier, however, he and Suzy maintain their practice of never saying good-bye. At the conference, Mike's speech is a success, and the National Orthopedic Foundation leaders, Dr. Barnes and Dr. Bailey, invite him out for a drink. They go to Timmy's Tavern, and while Mike uses the pay phone to call Suzy, Bailey spots caricature artist Victor, and invites him to their table. Victor brings with him his pianist, whom he introduces as Dorian Kent, but when Mike returns to the table he recognizes her immediately as his wife, Lisa Gosting. She jumps up in horror and races out into the street, where she is hit by a car. At the hospital, Victor warns that she may not be strong enough for major surgery, as she has suffered many years of trauma in the Russian sector of post-war Austria. Mike, however, champions her strength, and with his help, the operation is a success. While he and Victor wait for Lisa to revive, Victor accuses Mike of being responsible for her tragic imprisonment behind the Iron Curtain, which has killed her spirit. After he leaves, Mike remembers his years with Lisa: In 1945 in Vienna, Mike is an Army doctor who visits the bar where Victor and Lisa entertain. When Lisa sprains her ankle on the stairs, Mike is asked to examine it, and by the time he brings her to the hospital, then carries her into her apartment, they are in love. Weeks later, she reveals to Mike that Victor has arranged a new job in Germany, which will allow her to escape the Communist threat of the Russians. Mike immediately reveals that his boss has asked him to stay on at the American hospital as a civilian, and proposes to Lisa, who accepts with a kiss. At their wedding reception, Victor makes a drunken toast promising to love her forever. Within months Lisa is pregnant and, although they are struggling to stretch out Mike's small salary, the couple remains blissfully happy. Weeks after she gives birth to their adored Suzy, Mike returns home to find Lisa and Victor reminiscing about their days working together, and becomes blindly jealous. Two years later, Mike is working day and night, and when he comes home early one evening, he is furious to discover that Lisa is out with Victor and another friend. She returns home happy and animated, and although Mike is at first resentful, he soon forgives her and shows her Suzy's birthday present, a gold locket. On their third anniversary, Mike plans a surprise party for Lisa, but just as it is about to start, he overhears a neighborhood gossipmonger whispering about Lisa's twice-weekly rendezvous with a strange man. Mike does not believe Lisa's story that she has been giving music lessons to make extra money, but, assuming she is having an affair with Victor, grabs Suzy and leaves. After Lisa finds his note warning her not to try to find them, in desperation she runs to her father, who lives in the Russian sector. He reassures her that Mike will soon cool down and return, and she stays the night, but by the morning the increasingly authoritarian Communists close the border. By the time a contrite Mike returns to the apartment, Lisa has been arrested on suspicion of being a spy, and has disappeared without a trace. Mike searches for her for weeks with the help of American Col. E. R. Washburn, but finally Washburn informs him that Mr. Gosting has been killed, and they must assume that Lisa is also dead. Later, just before he leaves for America, Lisa's blind piano student, a middle-aged man, visits to ask why she has not attended her twice-weekly appointments, and Mike realizes that he has been wrong about everything. In the present, Lisa is brought to her room, where she weakly asks Mike to leave her alone. Desperate to make up his past mistakes, however, Mike returns to the hospital as soon as she is recovered. He begs her to return, and although Victor warns her she may face bitter disappointment, she reluctantly agrees, but only to regain the love of her daughter. They arrive at Mike's to discover that Suzy has become hysterical at the news that he is returning with a new wife. Neighboring pediatrician Dr. Kelly Andrews warns the couple not to further disturb Suzy with the news that her mother, for so long considered dead, has come back. Over the next few days, Lisa, presented only as Mike's new wife, woos Suzy, but the jealous little girl refuses to accept her, swearing that Lisa will never take the place of her real mother. Finally exhausted from having to compete with an idealized version of herself, Lisa reveals the truth to Suzy, who insists that Lisa is lying in an attempt to win her affection. Soon after, Suzy's beloved governess, Miss Tucker, deduces Lisa's real identity and gives notice, explaining that Suzy will only turn to Lisa if she has no one else on whom to lean. Suzy, however, blames Lisa, who decides that there is no hope and she must leave. During Suzy's tenth birthday party, Victor visits and charms the girls with his caricatures, while Lisa informs Mike that she is leaving for Europe as soon as the guests have left. Hours later, as she prepares to go, Mike asks Victor to draw a picture of Suzy's real mother from Suzy's description, and Suzy eagerly awaits the sketch. Lisa joins them and describes her memory of Suzy as a baby, and distraught, Suzy runs off. Now thoroughly defeated, Lisa packs her bags, while outside Suzy asks her father why he told Lisa their private memories. After Mike swears that he has not told Lisa a thing, Lisa says goodbye to Suzy and tells her to remember how much she loves her. Victor then gives Suzy his sketch, and seeing Lisa's likeness on the page, Suzy suddenly realizes the truth and chases after Lisa, calling out for her mother. Victor, who sacrificed his love for Lisa's happiness, watches the Parker family embrace tearfully and return to their home.
John E. Wengraf
Terry Ann Rossworn
Robert F. Simon
Daniel De Jonghe
Leslie I. Carey
Albert J. Cohen
Russell A. Gausman
Joan St. Oegger
Frank H. Wilkinson
The working titles of this film were A Time Remembered and Only Yesterday. Although the New York Times review refers to Rock Hudson's character as "Doctor Michael Carrington," he is listed in the onscreen credits as "Dr. Michael Parker." Never Say Goodbye marked the American debut of noted German actress Cornell Borchers. Studio press materials note that after Borchers won the British equivalent of an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1954, Universal signed her to a five-year contract. According to modern sources, however, despite Borchers' exotic beauty and Universal's marketing efforts, she never caught the attention of American audiences, and eventually gave up acting and returned to Europe.
A Universal press release adds Eric Feldary to the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Never Say Goodbye was loosely based on Luigi Pirandello's 1923 play Come prima, meglio di prima, which Universal had previously adapted into the 1945 film This Love of Ours, directed by William Dieterle and starring Merle Oberon and Claude Rains (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50).
Released in United States Spring March 1956
Clint Eastwood has a bit part in the film.
Released in United States Spring March 1956