Q: A couple of years ago I watched a movie called "The Care and Handling of Roses" starring Ann Jillian and Lee Horsley.  She owned a flower nursery. It may have been on a regular TV channel and not cable. I keep looking for it to be on again -- a ni

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

You might want to give up looking. The advent of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel have produced a bit of a boon for old telefilms, but unfortunately, 1996's "The Care and Handling of Roses" wasn't a Hallmark movie. It was made for CBS, and no one's rushing to dig up its back catalog.

Another thing adding to its obscurity is the fact that it's an Ann Jillian movie -- that's not a comment on the quality of her movies, just the quantity. She stands as a sort of telefilm legend, having starred in more than 20 of them over the course of her long career. Most notably, of course, she starred in 1988's "The Ann Jillian Story," portraying herself in a dramatization of her life and struggle with breast cancer.

Some of her old telefilms can still be found, but usually just the ones with an extra angle of some kind. For example, you can still pick up DVD copies of "MacShayne: Winner Takes All" (1994), but that's primarily a Kenny Rogers movie, and he has a bigger and more enduring fan base (thanks to that music thing he does on the side).

"The Care and Handling of Roses," on the other hand, is a pure telefilm -- a classic example in all the ways that make it unlikely to endure. It was made on a pretty low budget, with a small cast, and tells a slightly sad but ultimately heartwarming story, about two married film-club members who fall for each other.

It also featured two stars who were mostly known for telefilms. Jillian starred opposite Lee Horsley, as you say. "The Care and Handling of Roses" was just one of the 12 telefims he made in his career, and the second one from that year alone.


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.