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

Complete credited cast:
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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>

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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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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Sheen was nominated for the 1965 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama for "The Subject was Roses" and recreated his role in this filmed production. 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: 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.
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Connections

References Gilda (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Painful observations about a dysfunctional family trio...
20 January 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

A very young MARTIN SHEEN plays a soldier returning from the war and the small apartment he shares with his parents (PATRICIA NEAL and JACK ALBERTSON). Neal is excellent as the drab housewife, somewhat embittered over her strained relationship with a husband who has never recovered from the Depression blues. Sheen finds himself caught again in the tension between his bickering parents and the film is essentially a coming of age tale for the young man who has to cope with what seems an overwhelming domestic problem.

Nothing is really resolved in the course of the story, but it's a realistic slice of life and is played earnestly and skillfully by its three main characters.

It was Patricia Neal's first film after overcoming a long illness associated with her stroke. She looks the picture of a weary housewife burdened by the sorrows of a crumbling marriage and deserved her Oscar nomination.


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