The Subject Was Roses (1968)


 subjectw as roses“Joy, joy, said Mrs. Malloy. Mercy, mercy, said old Mrs. Percy. Bless us and save us, said Mrs. O’Davis” – John Cleary

Number of Times Seen – 1 (11 May 2014)

Brief Synopsis – When their son returns from fighting in WWII, a couple needs to find a way to deal with their own struggles

My Take on it – I had never heard of this movie and happened to just “stumble” upon it when seeking out movies featuring actors who have won Oscars for their roles.

This movie was based on the Tony award and Pulitzer Prize winning play by Frank D. Gilroy based on his own personal experiences upon returning from WWII and is written amazingly.

The dialogue is quite snappy and you can really feel as if you are in the room with these three characters as they all constantly spar among one another.

There are basically only 3 actors in this movie and they are all superb.

The Father – Jack Albertson won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role (He had also won a Tony for the same role on Broadway).  He is one of just 9 actors to have won the acting Triple crown (an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony). His role in this movie was great.  He plays a man who was a difficult father to his son and now that his son has returned from war, wants to find a way to learn to love him properly and must decide at the same time what he wants from his passionless marriage.

The Son – This role is played by a very young Martin Sheen.  His role is difficult because he needs to show his parents (especially his mother) that he is no longer a child and must find a way to live his own life while trying to find ways to mend fissures between his parents.

The Mother – This was probably the best character in the movie and was played exceptional well by Patricia Neal who had just returned to acting after having suffered 3 strokes which almost killed her and her unborn baby (who was born healthy a few months later) and left her partially paralyzed.  She relearned how to speak, walk and move and you can’t even tell while watching her that she had gone thru such a debilitating ordeal.  Her role is great because she is a mother who once her son returns home from war must find meaning in life since she is not happy in her marriage.  Neal was nominated for Best Actress for this role, but didn’t win.

Bottom Line – Excellent written dialogue, great performances by all 3 actors. Albertson won a Best Supporting Oscar for his role here. Based on Tony Award and Pulizer Prize winning play.  Highly Recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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4 thoughts on “The Subject Was Roses (1968)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Oscar Best Acting Winners |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1968 |

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1968 |

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