“Tell her the roses were your idea.”
When a young soldier (Martin Sheen) comes home from fighting in WWII, he soon finds himself caught between the squabbling marriage of his mother (Patricia Neal) and father (Jack Albertson).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Grown Children
- Marital Problems
- Martin Sheen Films
- Patricia Neal Films
- Play Adaptation
Belgian director Ulu Grosbard helmed this adaptation of Frank Gilroy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play (which he also directed on stage). Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen reprised their original roles, while Patricia Neal — having spent the previous few years recovering from a series of aneurysms — took over the lead female role, using this as an opportunity to prove to herself that she could still perform (she very much could). The tale itself is harsh and challenging; however, the truths it unearths about a troubled marriage — as well as the direct impact this can have on kids well into their adulthood — is timeless, and well played.
Unfamiliar viewers should note that the film takes place just after WWII, not the Vietnam War, as one might think from Judy Collins’ folksy music playing across the credits.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Patricia Neal as Nettie
- Jack Albertson as John
- Martin Sheen as Timmy
Yes, as a fine adaptation of Gilroy’s play, and especially for Neal’s performance.
- Noteworthy Performance(s)