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I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

Good intentions and sensationalism compete for viewer interest in this filmization of Hanna Green's novel about the tentative recovery of a psychotic young woman. Unfortunately, both lose. Good intentions resolve into highminded tedium.

Good intentions and sensationalism compete for viewer interest in this filmization of Hanna Green’s novel about the tentative recovery of a psychotic young woman. Unfortunately, both lose. Good intentions resolve into highminded tedium.

The pic’s central problem is its structure. The girl (Kathleen Quinlan) is presented at the outset as a certifiable nutto teenager, being escorted by her parents (Lorraine Gary and Ben Piazza) to what appears to be a tastefully landscaped institution. An improved mental state is a certainty, otherwise there’s no film.

Quinlan is an untypical young actress, who lends freshness and admirable reserve to a role that could have lapsed entirely into histrionic hysterics.

1977: Nomination: Best Adapted Screenplay

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

  • Production: Fadsin/New World. Director Anthony Page; Producer Edgar J. Scherick, Terence F. Deane; Screenplay Gavin Lambert, Lewis John Carlino; Camera Bruce Logan; Editor Garth Craven; Music Paul Chihara; Art Director William Sandell
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1977. Running time: 96 MIN.
  • With: Bibi Andersson Kathleen Quinlan Sylvia Sidney Martine Bartlett Signe Hasso Susan Tyrrell
  • Music By: