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When cholera takes the parents of Mary Lennox, she is shipped from India to England to live with her Uncle Craven. Archibald Craven's house is dark and drafty, with over 100 rooms built on the edge of the moors. Mary finds that her Uncle does not wish to see her, which is fine with Mary as she herself is rude and spoiled. While walking the gardens the next day, Mary notices that there is a area in the garden surrounded with a high stone wall and no doorway. Dickon, brother of a housemaid, tells her of the garden behind the wall. By the path, the raven unearths the hidden key so that Mary and Dickon are able to enter the walled garden to find it overgrown and neglected. Inside the house, she finds that Archibald has a son named Colin, who is crippled and as spoiled as she. Together these three work to make the secret garden their own world. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Though a noteworthy MGM adaptation of the acclaimed 1909 childhood tale by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this film, complete with three Technicolor sequences, failed to garner a contemporary New York Times review. See more »
In the opening title sequence of the movie, someone unlocks the door to the Secret Garden, and pushes it open, inward from the right side. In the rest of the movie, the door opens inward from the left. See more »
I've watched thee go about the garden. There's no way in.
The secret garden. He locked the gate long years ago.
Who locked the gate?
The master. Lord Craven, thy uncle.
What do you know about it?
I know what's said. He locked the gate and buried the key, and nary's a soul been in there since.
I don't believe you. Do you know why I don't believe you? Because there isn't any gate. I've looked.
Eh, so've I.
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No screen credit is given for the Technicolor sequences. See more »
This film's sweet imagery and quiet pace made me long for my own secret garden. It's hard to imagine there ever was a time when people could live in this sort of peaceful solitude, with no telephones, radios or any of modern life's other annoying distractions. I strongly recommend this movie for anyone who needs a brief respite from their hectic life. It will serve as a much needed reminder of the joys of a simpler time, whether that time ever really existed or not. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to check on available cottage rentals on the moors.
P.S. While this film was originally intended for children, I doubt that any but the brightest and most thoughtful of today's kids will enjoy it, due to it's slow, deliberate pacing and complete lack of comic-book action, though the tantrum scene between Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell will probably grab their attention.
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