13 user 7 critic

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (1977)

A disturbed,institutionalized 16-year-old girl struggles between fantasy and reality.



(novel) (as Hannah Green), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Misadventures of four groups of guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, Maggie Smith
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dedicated schoolteacher spends her nights cruising bars, looking for abusive men with whom she can engage in progressively violent sexual encounters.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Tuesday Weld
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A new English teacher at a violent, unruly inner-city school is determined to do his job, despite resistance from both students and faculty.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Glenn Ford, Anne Francis, Louis Calhern
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor
Agnes of God (1985)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a naive novice nun is discovered with a dead newborn in her convent quarters, a court-appointed psychiatrist investigates her case.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly
Outrageous! (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A story about a female impersonator who rooms with a pregnant schizophrenic.

Director: Richard Benner
Stars: Craig Russell, Hollis McLaren, Richert Easley
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Equus (1977)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Richard Burton, Peter Firth, Colin Blakely
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When Jimmy's idol, James Dean, dies on September 30, 1955, the small-town Arkansas college undergraduate goes berserk. He and his friends hold a vigil which turns into a drunk and, finally,... See full summary »

Director: James Bridges
Stars: Richard Thomas, Susan Tyrrell, Deborah Benson
Bloodbrothers (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young man is torn between following in his brothers' footsteps or striking out on his own.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Paul Sorvino, Tony Lo Bianco, Richard Gere
Baby Doll (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A steamy tale of two Southern rivals and a sensuous nineteen-year-old virgin.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Fried
Jay Blake
Ester Blake
Secret Wife
Margo Ann Berdeshevsky ...
Drawing Patient
Darlene Craviotto ...
Miss Coral
Shark, Baseball Pitcher
Nurse (as Elizabeth Dartmoor)


Based very loosely on the intricate novel by Joanne Greenberg. A young woman's devotion to a childhood fantasy kingdom has taken over her entire life and causes her endless pain and degradation. Placed in a mental hospital, she has the great good fortune to have a truly caring therapist who tries to help her accept reality, even though reality isn't so great either. Written by Molly Malloy <mailcall@bluemarble.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Best Selling Novel Is Now a Triumphant New Film


Drama | Fantasy


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 October 1977 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Nunca te prometí un jardín de rosas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1970, it was announced as a co-starring vehicle for Liza Minnelli and Estelle Parsons. See more »


In the New Year's party scene, Deborah is seen with loose hair talking to Dr. Fried and then there is close-up of Deborah with her hair pulled back from her forehead. See more »


Referenced in Maps to the Stars (2014) See more »


Singing the Greens
Written by Susan Tyrrell and Georg Michalski
Performed by Susan Tyrrell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ultimately, the setting becomes oversatured and the characters explored but not understood
23 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

But there is still a very interesting movie in here with a number of memorable sequences.

The movie is about our protagonist, who to our understanding, is a teenaged girl, who apparently either hallucinates about some bizarre fantasy world (and not in a fun Terry Gilliam way but a seriously bizarre "why would she even consider this superior way?") or merely is in fantasy about it in escaping from reality, it's not explained. It begins as she goes to a mental hospital in the countryside it looks and almost immediately our main character inexplicably stabs herself and gets thrown in a disturbed section as opposed to the initial summer camp section. It is here, where our story follows the rest of the film, a series of up and down spirals and looks at her interactions with the other patients.

The thing about all of this is we never actually get to understand the characters at all. We are never told what they're about, why they feel this way, what their backgrounds are, and why they do what they what they do. They just are, and throughout the whole piece the audience feels like with any of the characters, it never surpasses the point of acquaintment because even, if the characters be developed, they were never characterized in the first place, so it's irrelevant. At the same time, though the movie certainly to its benefit explores the setting and situation in a very visceral way, by the movie's end, everything feels oversaturated, because it feels as though we have spent such time in this setting watching similar things with people that don't really mean much for so long that it just starts to wear thin. When the film end, we aren't really sure why the events have turned out as they did, because we aren't really sure why they were the other way in the first place. It just feels like a breath of fresh air to get a new sense of scenery.

The thing is, though, despite that, the movie is still successful probably because the happenings themselves are rather interesting, the unflinching portrayal has the power to captivate, and there is claustrophobic intensity to the asylum as well as a general heterosexual male (being the viewer) to recessive female women appeal, which really adds a type of close-knit feel with the characters.

So, it's not the most satisfying nor the most well-devised film of its genre out there, but if you be a fan of asylum films, this is definitely worth checking out. I also must note that out of all the mental hospital films out there, this is probably the most intense. This movie is 100% serious and very frightening and unsettling. There's no comedy nor light-heart in this movie. The tone is closer to a horror film (despite that it is a pure dramatic realism) than it is to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. From that perspective this film is actually very unique.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page