7.2/10
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29 user 24 critic

The Cement Garden (1993)

Not Rated | | Drama | 11 February 1994 (USA)
Four children try to hold things together and play a family in their isolated prefab house after the death of their parents. As they begin to deteriorate mentally, they hide their mom's festering corpse in a makeshift concrete sarcophagus.

Director:

Writers:

, (novel)
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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Andrew Robertson ...
Jack
...
Julie
...
Sue
Ned Birkin ...
Tom
...
Mother
Hanns Zischler ...
Father
...
Derek, Julie's Friend
Gareth Brown ...
William
...
Commander Hunt (voice)
Dick Flockhart ...
Truck Driver
Mike Clark ...
Driver's Mate
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Storyline

After the death of her husband, the mother of Julie, Jack, Sue and Tom begins to suffer from a mysterious illness. Aware that she is going to have to go into hospital she opens a bank account for the children, so that they can be financially self-sufficient and will be able to avoid being taken into care by the authorities. Unfortunately she also dies and Julie and Jack (the older, teenage children) decide to hide her body in the basement so that they can have free reign of their household. Soon Tom has taken to dressing as a girl whilst Sue has become increasingly reticent, confiding only to her diary, meanwhile Jack and Julie sense an attraction developing for each other. However Julie's new beau, Derek, threatens to unearth the many dark secrets within this family as he becomes increasingly suspicious of Jack. Written by Jagged-11

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love knows no limits.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A cementkert  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$322,975 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book that Sue gives Jack on his 16th birthday is entitled, "Voyage to Oblivion". See more »

Goofs

Tom makes a joke about one candle on Jack's birthday cake before the scene with the cake and the one candle. See more »

Quotes

Jack: Wonder if they're watching us now.
Tom: Who?
Jack: Mum and Dad. Think they're in Heaven?
Tom: Don't know about Dad but Mum's in the cellar.
Jack: What do you mean?
Tom: She's in the cellar under that big metal case and all that hard stuff.
See more »

Connections

References Our Mother's House (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Pin Down
Brutus
(Stinton / Easton)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A very strange and beautiful movie.
8 July 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

It's a real pity that 'Name Of The Rose' scriptwriter Andrew Birkin hasn't directed anything since 'The Cement Garden' if this puzzling and disturbing movie is any indication of his talent. Birkin also wrote this superb adaptation of Ian McEwan's perverse and haunting novel. A hypnotic study of a family of children left to fend for themselves, while wrestling with their forbidden desires and obsessions, it crosses over into almost Ballardian territory. The casting of Andrew Robertson and Charlotte Gainsbourg as the androgynous older siblings is the main reason why this odd movie is so successful. To add to the incestuous overtones, Gainsbourg is Birkin's niece, and first gained notoriety duetting with her legendary father Serge on a pop ditty titled "Lemon Incest" while barely in her teens. The layers continue by Birkin casting his own son Ned as the younger cross-dressing brother. This is a very strange and beautiful movie. Highly recommended.


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