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Quotes for
John Cleary (Character)
from The Subject Was Roses (1968)

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The Subject Was Roses (1968)
Nettie Cleary: I never doubted he'd do as well as anyone else.
John Cleary: Where he's concerned, you never doubted, period. If he came in right now and said he could fly, you'd help him out the window.

John Cleary: Bless us and save us, said Mrs. O'Davis.

John Cleary: Joy, joy, said Mrs. Malloy.

John Cleary: Mercy, mercy, said old Mrs. Percy.

John Cleary: You know, it's one of the big regrets of my life I was never in the service?
Timmy Cleary: I know.
John Cleary: The day World War One was declared, I went to the recruiting office. When they learned I was the sole support of the family, they turned me down.
Timmy Cleary: I know.
John Cleary: It's always bothered me. Missing out on the whole thing. I keep wondering what difference it might have made in my life... but then I wonder how I would have made out? Because I wouldn't have settled for a desk job: I would have gone to the Front!
Timmy Cleary: I'm sure of that.
John Cleary: But once there, how would I have done?
Timmy Cleary: Fine.
John Cleary: How do you know?
Timmy Cleary: You're a born fighter.
John Cleary: But they say a lot of guys who were terrors as civilians turned to jelly when they heard those bullets.
Timmy Cleary: Not you.
John Cleary: Well, doesn't seem so... but you can't be sure. See, that's always bothered me.

John Cleary: Hurry up with your breakfast.
Timmy Cleary: What for?
John Cleary: Mass starts in twenty minutes, you're not even dressed.
Timmy Cleary: Mass?
John Cleary: Mass.
Timmy Cleary: I haven't been to Mass in over three years. You know that.
John Cleary: Lots of bad habits you boys picked up you'll have to get over.
Timmy Cleary: Not going to Mass isn't a habit I picked up. It's a decision I came to after a lot of thought.
John Cleary: Now, what way is *that* for a Catholic to talk?
Timmy Cleary: I haven't considered myself a Catholic for quite a while.
John Cleary: [Looks at his son, slightly dumbfounded] There must be something wrong with my ears.

John Cleary: So you've outgrown the Faith, huh?
Timmy Cleary: Well, it doesn't answer my needs...
John Cleary: Outgrown your old clothes, and outgrown the Faith.
Timmy Cleary: Pop, will you listen to me, please?
John Cleary: Millions of people have believed in it since the beginning of time, but it's not *good* enough for you.
Timmy Cleary: It's not a question of "good enough".
John Cleary: Well, what do you say, when people ask you what religion you are?
Timmy Cleary: [pauses to reflect] Nothing.
John Cleary: [Showing disgust] You say you're "nothing".
Timmy Cleary: Yes.
John Cleary: The Clearys have been Catholics since... since the beginning of time. And now you, a Cleary, are going to tell people you're a "nothing"?
Timmy Cleary: Yes.
John Cleary: You're an atheist!
Timmy Cleary: I'm not an atheist.
John Cleary: What are you?
Timmy Cleary: I don't know, but I'd like a chance to find out.

John Cleary: You don't know what you believe in?
Timmy Cleary: Do you?
John Cleary: Yes!
Timmy Cleary: Tell me. Go on...
John Cleary: I believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I believe God created Man in his own image...
Timmy Cleary: [Interrupting] Pop! If your faith works for you, I'm glad. Really, I'm very glad. I wish it worked for me, but it doesn't.
John Cleary: Do you believe in God - yes or no?
Timmy Cleary: I don't believe in heaven or hell or purgatory...
John Cleary: [Interrupting, shouting] YES or NO!
Timmy Cleary: I believe there is something bigger than myself. What you call it or what it is, I don't know.
John Cleary: [Looking disgusted] Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do.
Nettie Cleary: [Calmly] Yesterday you said he was a man. A man has a right to decide such things for himself.