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The Subject Was Roses (1968)

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

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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Don Saxon ...
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Elaine Williams ...
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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:

The Story of Three Strangers...A Mother...A Father...And a Son 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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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Subject was Roses" by Frank D. Gilroy opened at the Royale Theater (and four other theaters) in New York on May 25, 1964, ran for 832 performances and won the 1965 Tony Award (New York City) for the Best Play. See more »

Goofs

When the family goes out on the town for the night, a marquee for We Were Strangers can be seen. However, that film was not released until 1949, well past the time when Timmy would have come home from the war. See more »

Quotes

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

Featured in Pat Neal Is Back (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Albatross
Written by Judy Collins (uncredited)
Sung by Judy Collins
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User Reviews

 
Bouquets for the Weary
12 January 2002 | by (South Carolina) – See all my reviews

Martin Sheen returns home from the war to the New York apartment of his parents Patricia Neal and Jack Albertson. The return of the soldier brings to the head unspoken hurts and slights that have flamed within this family circle for years. Neal's first role after recovering from several strokes finds her shaky yet determined as the long-suffering wife/mother, while Jack Albertson is full of spit and vinegar as the husband/father who longs to be king of his 2-bedroom castle. Sheen finds himself used as a weapon by each of the parents against each other, yet he sees that deeper than the sparring and disappointments is a deep love between Neal and Albertson. There is a truly moving section of the film, when Neal leaves the family for a day with no explanation and wanders along the beach while the soundtrack plays Judy Collins' haunting "Who Knows Where the Time Goes". I saw this film for the first time last year on TCM, and it has become one of my favorites, due primarily to the emotional performances of Neal, Albertson, and Sheen.


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