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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 26,559 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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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 ... See full summary »

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
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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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

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
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Did You Know?


The costume design is so detailed that the initials "M.L." (Mary Lennox) can be seen embroidered on Mary's stockings for the split second they appear on-screen, while Mary's Ayah is dressing her (at around 1 min), at the top of her thigh length white stockings. See more »


In the final scene, while Mary, Dickon and Colin are playing Blind Man's Bluff and Colin discovers his father in the garden with them, the blind fold (which Colin has pulled up on his head like a headband) changes disappears when the camera is looking over Colin's shoulder. 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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Follows The Secret Garden (1987) See more »


Mistress Mary Quite Contrary
Performed by Andrew Knott and Kate Maberly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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