7.0/10
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23 user 8 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)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Patricia Neal ... Nettie Cleary
Jack Albertson ... John Cleary
Martin Sheen ... Timmy Cleary
Don Saxon Don Saxon ... The Master of Ceremonies
Elaine Williams Elaine Williams ... The 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:

The Story of Three Strangers...A Mother...A Father...And a Son See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Sheen and Jack Albertson reprised their roles (Timothy Cleary and John Cleary) in this film after previously playing the characters in the stage version on Broadway. 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: 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.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Brady Bunch: The Subject Was Noses (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Knows Where the Time Goes
Written by Sandy Denny (uncredited)
Sung by Judy Collins
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User Reviews

 
1968 Film Remains Relevant
21 January 2006 | by jblake1243See all my reviews

This film version of Frank Gilroy's unforgettable play should be considered a classic. Patricia Neal, Jack Albertson & Martin Sheen deliver outstanding performances as the parents & young adult son in an Irish-American, lower middle class family living in the Bronx at the end of World War 2.

The story centers on the son, Timmy, who has just returned home from the Army after fighting in combat as an infantryman in Europe. He returns to a home in which the relationship of his parents is undergoing strain, due primarily to discreet but nevertheless damaging extra marital affairs occasionally indulged in by the father, who is a kind of loquacious, traveling salesman type who meets lots of people in his work. The mother is played as a suffering in silence housewife who, although she loves her husband, has been deeply hurt by his infidelities.

Timmy, now changed by the war & his experiences away from home must come to terms with things as they now are. He loves both of his parents deeply but comes to realize that in order to live his life fully he will have to leave his parent's house which is now no longer what it used to be for him. His parents, while dealing with their own problems, want Timmy to stay but on another level realize that he has to leave. You will have to watch to see how things are resolved.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1970 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

The Subject Was Roses 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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