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The Secret Garden (1993)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Fantasy  |  13 August 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 26,265 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 23 critic

A young British girl born and raised in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is returned to England to live at her uncle's estate. Her uncle is very distant due to the ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heydon Prowse ...
Laura Crossley ...
Walter Sparrow ...
Mary's Mother / Lilias Craven (as Irene Jacob)
Frank Baker ...
Valerie Hill ...
Andrea Pickering ...
Peter Moreton ...
Arthur Spreckley ...
Colin Bruce ...
Parsan Singh ...


A young British girl born and raised in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is returned to England to live at her uncle's estate. Her uncle is very distant due to the loss of his wife ten years before. Neglected once again, she begins exploring the estate and discovers a garden that has been locked and neglected. Aided by one of the servants' brothers, she begins restoring the garden, and eventually discovers some other secrets of the manor. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The timeless tale of a special place where magic, hope, and love grow.


Drama | Family | Fantasy


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jardín secreto  »

Box Office


£2,620,293 (UK) (12 November 1993)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Portions of several structures were used to depict Misselthwaite Manor. The exterior is primarily 16th-century Fountains Hall in Yorkshire and some of Allerton House in Yorkshire. The kitchen set was built in a classroom at Eton College. Lord Craven's study is at Harrow School. The main staircase was in St. Pancras Chambers, adjoining the busy St. Pancras Station in Central London. The bedroom interiors were shot on sets on 'A' stage at Pinewood Studios. The grounds were shot in Allerton Park in North Yorkshire and some of Luton Hoo in Hertfordshire as well as Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. The topiary arch used for the Misselthwaite garden leads directly onto Conistone Moor in North Yorkshire. See more »


When Mary first meets Colin, as she enters his room, she is holding a oil lamp. The oil lamp, however, has a light bulb, not a wick and flame. See more »


[first lines]
Mary: My name is Mary Lennox. I was born in India. It was hot, and strange, and lonely in India. I didn't like it. Nobody by my servant, my ayah, looked after me. My parents didn't want me. My mother cared only to go to parties. And my father was busy with his military duties. I was never allowed to go to the parties. I watched them from my mother's bedroom window. I was angry, but I never cried. I didn't know how to cry.
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Version of The Secret Garden (1949) See more »


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User Reviews

An utter delight
7 July 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This movie is an utter delight to watch. I have probably seen it a dozen times, and I never get tired of it. Everything about it is perfect: it's well-directed, well-acted, beautifully filmed, has great music, and the script and story are wonderful.

Agneiszka Holland does an outstanding job directing this film. Each character is separate and unique; each one has little personality quirks that makes it seem real. Just about every scene in the movie includes children, animals, or both -- which must have been a nightmare to coordinate. Ms. Holland pulls it off without a hitch. Everything melds perfectly, and we are transported to a distant place and time, and fall in love with real, human characters.

The primary three characters in this story -- Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, and Dickon -- are all children, played by actors who are around 10 years old. Ordinarily having one child in a movie is difficult enough, but again, somehow they pull it off. All three kids -- especially Kate Maberly -- do a fine job of acting, and they are quite credible. Kate is simply divine as Mary Lennox, and Heydon Prowse was a good counter-point to her as Colin.

The story is touching and charming, and I think you'd have to be almost inhuman not to have a tear in your eye by the end of it. I absolutely fell in love with these children, and came to care very much about their characters. The "secret garden" really does seem to be a magical place (and I will say no more about it, since otherwise that would spoil things), and at the end I found myself wishing I could go and visit it first-hand. The accompanying music is wonderful -- I find myself humming it for days and days after watching it.

In short, everything comes together to make this film a masterpiece. It is easily one of the 10 or 12 best movies ever made, perhaps *the* best movie ever made. I love it so much that I went out and bought the DVD of it, even though I'd seen it 8 or 10 times already. If you have not seen it I give it my highest possible recommendation. My score: 10/10.

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