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 <email@example.com>
The Subject Was Roses 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 »
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 »
Basically a stage play set to film, Roses showcases some real acting talent. The talent referred to belongs to Jack Albertson (who one the Oscar for Best Actor), Patricia Neal, and a young Martin Sheen. Aside from two minor roles, these are the only actors in the play/film. So are they good enough to hold your attention? You bet. This film just clips right along.
Reminiscent of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf", Roses is about the cold relationship between a husband, his wife, and, to a lesser degree, their son. There is no laughter, no touching, no warmth. There is plenty of anger, denial, and despair. These people are pretty much total dysfunctional. Do their conflicts end up being resolved? You tell me.
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