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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Powerful

8/10
Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
22 March 2005

"The Secret" is a very good movie about letting your secrets go. Kirk Douglas plays Mike Dunmore, a well-liked man in his community. When he is asked to be a councilman he wants to do it, but he has a secret. His grandson is his life and Mike's son Patrick always resents him, so does he tell the truth? Mike's secret is actually pretty different. I didn't expect it.

Kirk Douglas puts in a great performance as usual. You really feel for him. The only weakness is the grandson who seems a little too coached for his line readings. Besides that, "The Secret" is an excellent movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Dunmore Family Values

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
3 September 2013

Even before his stroke Kirk Douglas was gracefully transitioning into elderly character roles as he is in The Secret. I've always admired him for taking charge of his own career and having a very good instinct over what was a challenging role for him.

In The Secret he plays Mike Dunsmore a well respected businessman in a small New England coastal village with what he thinks is a terrible secret, he's dyslexic, he cannot read or write. When he was a youngster this was not a diagnosable condition. With the help of his late wife and his friend and store employee Brock Peters, Douglas covered this up very well. But it's led to a breach with his grown son Bruce Boxleitner.

Now however dyslexia has struck his grandson Jesse Tendler and these two have the relationship that Douglas and Boxleitner didn't. Daughter-in-law Laura Harrington is caught in the middle. How it all works out for the Dunmore family is the basis of The Secret.

I did love the location cinematography in Nova Scotia standing in for New England. And Kirk Douglas is a totally different character than the larger than life Spartacus or Jonathan Shields in his younger days. Those characters are not even hinted at when Douglas essays the part of Mike Dunmore. He gets great support from the ensemble and his scenes with young Tendler have poignancy and those with Boxleitner are quite real and touching.

The Secret is a wonderful film even with the made for television tag it has. Good for the whole family.

I knew someone who had a learning disability, possibly dyslexia. In his short life Roy Gomez was raised in a group home which never diagnosed the problem. A secretary in a lawyer's office I was with him in spotted it and a lot of things made sense. Roy read comics exclusively, now I realize because of the pictures and in restaurants I remember him struggling with the menu. I wonder had he been diagnosed would he have lived a long productive life, he had a lot of issues besides this one.

Anyway, this review is dedicated to Roy Gomez 1970-1996.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Preposterous Premise

1/10
Author: mjmaddox from United States
7 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The plot line of this full-length movie would have been better suited to a 20-minute film. The father's furious refusal to have his fourth-grader tested to discover why he has been unable to learn to read is unbelievable and over-acted.

The premise of the film is that both the boy and the grandfather are unable to read because of a condition called "dyslexia." After having been told that this condition has blighted the grandfather's life and threatens to do the same to the grandson, viewers receive an astonishing revelation: The $1200 specialist who tests Mike tells him that the grandson can learn to read if he is taught to "sound out letters."

It is incredible to me that a child could get as far as the fourth grade without having been taught to sound out letters.

Surely the "secret" here is that children should be taught the sound/symbol relationships in the first grade, instead of withholding the information until they develop reading problems.

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