7.0/10
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20 user 6 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
Popularity
1,677 ( 23,183)

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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:

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Folk singer and songwriter Judy Collins is featured singing, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" and "Albatross" in this film. See more »

Goofs

1960s vehicles can be seen in the background when Nettie rides the bus out to the seashore. See more »

Quotes

Timmy Cleary: [title] The subject was roses.
See more »

Connections

References Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) 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

 
Viet Nam (Whoops!) WWII Vet Comes Home
13 September 2010 | by iefbr14-1See all my reviews

I never watched (much) of this movie when it was on TCM. I thought it was a Viet Nam Movie. Today the channel was on and I let it go. Patricia Neal's birthday, I think. It seemed like it was a play, and for me most plays are kind of boring. I guess I'm just a '50's action kid and that's from where our current 15 second attention spans were spawned.

Well, this one was cool. For one, my mind was muddled as I have repeatedly misread the DISH synopsis's blurb as about a Viet Nam veteran's return home to "bickering parents". Today it read "WWII Veteran" and I saw the difference.

But it was made in 1968. Seeing this flick in that light, as I remember Viet Nam and the Draft I could watch it as both a relic of the time and surprisingly, as a well written study of the timeliness of the characters we are - then, as well as today. Timothy (Sheen) had returned in remarkably good shape. His parents had little to worry about, and didn't, about how he had survived the war, "I never volunteered for anything, Dad", was one singular thing his character said. I knew guys like this that were draftees from 1968. Life for a U.S.Army draftee could be mild or hot - assignments were random. One could get drafted back then or beat the game and enlist. For me, the envied "Student Deferment" was not an option. I myself had a marginally unique skill and as the Young Moderns say, "leveraged" that to enlist in the Navy. Or maybe they don't say anymore.

If a good play could be made into a good movie, the director (Ulu Grosbard according to IMDb and I've never seen any of his other movies) should get a lot of credit. And play writer Frank D. Gilroy hit one out of the park with this one.


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