7.1/10
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16 user 4 critic

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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Writer:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Don Saxon ...
Nightclub M.C.
Elaine Williams ...
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  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "shabby genteel" Bronx apartment in Frank D. Gilroy's largely autobiographical "The Subject Was Roses" was recreated and filmed in a warehouse on New York's West 26th Street. Exterior scenes of the Bronx were filmed in that borough's University Heights section, where Pulitzer-winning playwright Frank D. Gilroy spent the first eighteen years of his life before serving in World War II. The neighborhood had changed a great deal in twenty-plus years and was now "down at the heels" but a number of older residents remembered the Gilroy family from back in the day. For authenticity, crew members rolled back prices in the window of a vegetable store to 1946, posted signs to buy War Bonds, and lined the street with period automobiles. Said one older resident: "They even cleaned up the streets. Humph, it takes a movie company to get this neighborhood cleaned up." 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: Bless us and save us, said Mrs. O'Davis.
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Connections

References Flying Down to Rio (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Pretty Baby
(uncredited)
Written by Tony Jackson, Gus Kahn and Egbert Van Alstyne
Portion hummed by Jack Albertson
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User Reviews

Intense Character Study.
6 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

Parents Patricia Neal (Oscar-nominated) and Jack Albertson (Oscar-winning) welcome back son Martin Sheen from World War II and the event leads to emotional fireworks for all involved in this intense and sometimes difficult-to-sit-through drama from 1968. Albertson has ruled with an iron-fist for years and basically done whatever he has wanted to do, while Neal has been stuck in a loveless and heartless marriage. Sheen has always been somewhat unaware of all that had transpired due to being physically sick for much of his youth. Sheen brings roses to his mother and say they are from Albertson and this small, kind gesture starts an almost unending string of events that will affect all three of the key players and in the end happiness is not a certainty by a long-shot. The film is an intense character study in the tradition of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". Albertson, known for comedy and sometimes uninspired performances, gives the performance of his lifetime and easily one of the best performances of the 1960s. 4 stars out of 5.


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