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The Subject Was Roses (1968)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 708 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

A young man returning home from World War II finds himself caught up in his parents' turbulent relationship.

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Cast

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The Master of Ceremonies
Elaine Williams ...
The Woman in Club
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Storyline

When Timmy Cleary (Sheen), comes home from soldiering, he's greeted by the open but strained arms of his two parents, John and Nettie, (Neal and Albertson). Once considered sickly and weak, he has now distinguished himself in the service and is ready to begin a new life. His parents, however, are still trapped in the bygone days of early and unresolved marital strife and begin emotionally deteriorating through several drama packed encounters. Now mature, the young Tim Cleary finally understands the family dynamics that has played all throughout his boyhood. By the simple act of bringing his mother roses on behalf of his father, Tim realizes he may have destroyed his family, but is helpless to obtain resolution which must come from both his parents. Written by Teresa B. O'Donnell <sun.moon.stars@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Deeply moving film!" See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 February 1970 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

A História de Três Estranhos  »

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Subject Was Roses (1968) was the first film Patricia Neal made after suffering three massive and near-fatal strokes, early in 1965. Neal was in a coma for two-and-a-half weeks and underwent emergency brain surgery. Paralyzed on her right side and unable to talk, she had to learn how to use her limbs again, how to speak again, and had to relearn the alphabet in order to spell the simplest of words. By early 1967, her recovery was so remarkable that it was difficult to tell that she'd suffered a stroke at all, although Neal admitted to still having memory problems. In April 1968, while shooting "The Subject Was Roses" in an old warehouse on Manhattan's West 26th Street, Neal reflected on her ordeal to critic Rex Reed: "I hated life for a year and a half, then I started learning how to be a person again and now I've loved life for a year and a half. And I love it a lot." See more »

Goofs

Though closing credits say movie was filmed entirely in NYC, some was filmed in Spring Lake, New Jersey. See more »

Quotes

Nettie Cleary: In all my life, the past twelve hours are the only real freedom I've ever known.
Timmy Cleary: Did you enjoy it?
Nettie Cleary: Every moment.
Timmy Cleary: Why did you come back?
Nettie Cleary: I'm a coward.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Unearthly (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Knows Where the Time Goes?
Written by Sandy Denny
Sung by Judy Collins
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User Reviews

 
1968 Film Remains Relevant
21 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film version of Frank Gilroy's unforgettable play should be considered a classic. Patricia Neal, Jack Albertson & Martin Sheen deliver outstanding performances as the parents & young adult son in an Irish-American, lower middle class family living in the Bronx at the end of World War 2.

The story centers on the son, Timmy, who has just returned home from the Army after fighting in combat as an infantryman in Europe. He returns to a home in which the relationship of his parents is undergoing strain, due primarily to discreet but nevertheless damaging extra marital affairs occasionally indulged in by the father, who is a kind of loquacious, traveling salesman type who meets lots of people in his work. The mother is played as a suffering in silence housewife who, although she loves her husband, has been deeply hurt by his infidelities.

Timmy, now changed by the war & his experiences away from home must come to terms with things as they now are. He loves both of his parents deeply but comes to realize that in order to live his life fully he will have to leave his parent's house which is now no longer what it used to be for him. His parents, while dealing with their own problems, want Timmy to stay but on another level realize that he has to leave. You will have to watch to see how things are resolved.


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