7.1/10
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19 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.

Director:

Ulu Grosbard

Writer:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patricia Neal ... Nettie Cleary
Jack Albertson ... John Cleary
Martin Sheen ... Timmy Cleary
Don Saxon Don Saxon ... Nightclub M.C.
Elaine Williams 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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1970 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

A História de Três Estranhos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Subject Was Roses (1968) 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 »

Goofs

After arguing with Timmy about cousin Willis, Nettie goes into her bedroom and pulls down one blind on the door, leaving one up. In the next shot from outside the bedroom, both blinds are down. See more »

Quotes

John Cleary: So you've outgrown the Faith, huh?
Timmy Cleary: Well, it doesn't answer my needs...
John Cleary: Outgrown your old clothes, and outgrown the Faith.
Timmy Cleary: Pop, will you listen to me, please?
John Cleary: Millions of people have believed in it since the beginning of time, but it's not *good* enough for you.
Timmy Cleary: It's not a question of "good enough".
John Cleary: Well, what do you say, when people ask you what religion you are?
Timmy Cleary: [pauses to reflect] Nothing.
John Cleary: [Showing disgust] You say you're "nothing".
Timmy Cleary: Yes.
[...]
See more »

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Defining a dysfunctional family.
19 March 1999 | by Film DogSee all my reviews

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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