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The Secret Garden (1993)

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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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(book), (screenplay)
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2,297 ( 714)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 ...
Will
Arthur Spreckley ...
Colin Bruce ...
Parsan Singh ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jardín secreto  »

Box Office

Gross:

$31,181,347 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Version of ABC Weekend Specials: The Secret Garden (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by Andrew Knott and Kate Maberly
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Has the rare quality of understanding and enhancing its source
16 January 2006 | by (Kansas) – See all my reviews

The Secret Garden is a rare treat where in the screenwriter and director actually understand their source, The Secret Garden by Frances Hogsden Burnett, and make a translation to the screen that not only captures the essence of the book but enhances the story as well. Too often directors spoil the story with their own self-interested spin (Little Big Man and Chocolat come immediately to mind)but here is a jewel that leaves the viewer saying "That was as good as the book." A genuine triumph.

The cast is outstanding, the children in particular, Kate Maberly as Mary Lennox above all. Even to the most minor extra everyone brings a smooth and compelling reality to the story.

However, the real star is director Agnieszka Holland. Against a challenging climate ( a rainy location) she manages to create a movie with a touching commentary on how children can literally change the world. Her insightful grasp of the themes of isolation, growth and rejuvenation, the need for a balance between nurture and allowable risk are all managed through the controlling metaphor of a garden. The artful rendering of these literary themes are what many directors apparently find most challenging ( I'm looking at you Arthur Penn)and generally blissfully ignore them compensating by glib insertions, extra action or clumsy sentiment. Not so here.

Not only is her focus exemplary but the photography is amazing. The interplay of light and dark, the time elapse photos of clouds rolling and flowers emerging all set to beautiful music captivate the viewer. The rainy weather was not shunned but used to fullest effect. I can only imagine the discipline it must have taken to wait for the sun to peep out from the clouds and then roll film hoping that the cast can pull off the shot before the light changed and a second take became a long wait. Fortunately all are up to the task and the film, the final scene in particular, results in a brilliant piece of motion picture art.

The 1993 version of The Secret Garden is a must for every family film collection, one the parents and kids can enjoy for its sophistication or simply for the great way in which this timeless classic is retold.


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