The Secret Garden
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Secret Garden can be found here.

Yes. The Secret Garden is a 1911 novel by English author Frances Hodgson Burnett [1849-1924], published initially in serial format in The American Magazine, starting in the autumn of 1910.The novel has been made into several movies including: The Secret Garden (1919), The Secret Garden (1949), 'The Secret Garden' (1975 TV series), The Secret Garden (1987), and The Secret Garden (1999). It was adapted for this movie by American screenwriter and film-maker Caroline Thompson.

Yes. The copyright has expired, and The Secret Garden is in the public domain. It can be downloaded free from Project Gutenberg.

Ten-year-old Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly), a sour and spoiled child raised in India by unaffectionate parents, is forced to move to England to live with her uncle, Sir Archibald Craven (John Lynch), when her parents are both killed in an earthquake. With only the hard-hearted housekeeper, Mrs Medlock (Maggie Smith), to look after her, Mary is confined to her room, one of 100 rooms at Misselthwaite Manor, and made to care for herself. While playing outside one day, Mary finds a key to a garden that Sir Archibald has ordered locked since the death of his wife 10 years ago. With the help of her maidservant Martha (Laura Crossley) and Martha's brother Dickon (Andrew Knott), Mary begins to care for the garden. One day, while exploring the manor against the orders of Mrs Medlock, Mary comes upon the source of a strange crying she has heard throughout the house her cousin Colin Craven (Heydon Prowse), a sickly child of her age who has been confined to his bed for years. With Mary's help and the 'magic' of the garden, Misselthwaite Manor begins to change.

Actually, the garden doesn't really possess any magic, although there is a scene where Colin attempts a magic spell to bring back his father, who is away for the summer. Shortly thereafter, Sir Archibald has a dream in which his dead wife calls him back to the garden. The garden's healing power basically opens the doorway for the estranged family to come together and to put long-lasting bad memories to rest.

Who is Roger?

When Colin starts to act presumptuous, Mary refers to him sarcastically as what sounds like 'Roger.' She's actually saying, 'Rajah', a Hindu term for a monarch, prince, chief, or ruler in India.

How does the movie end?

Immediately upon his return to Misselthwaite Manor, Sir Archibald asks Mrs Medlock 'Where is my son?' Much to Mrs Medlock's surprise, Colin is not in his room nor is Mary in hers. When Father asks what is going on, Mrs Medlock tries to blame it on Mary and her wild ways, but Father reminds Medlock that Mary is just a child and that he left her (Medlock) in charge. Martha suggests that the children may be in the garden, so he goes there. The children are playing blind man's bluff, and Colin is 'it'. Dickon and Mary are hiding behind some tall flowers and see Father enter the garden. Colin eventually tags his father, thinking it is Dickon but, as his hands make their way up the sleeves and touch his hair and face, Colin realizes that it is his father. 'The magic worked!' he exclaims, and they hug each other. Mary runs off crying because 'nobody wants me!' Sir Archibald assures her that she has brought them back to life and that there is always a place for her at Misselthwaite. Colin, Mary, and Sir Archibald walk back to the house, astounding Martha and all the other servants to tears, even Mrs Medlock. In the final scene, a woman's hand stirs the water in a lilypond while, in a voiceover, Mary tells how Father learned to laugh and she learned to cry. 'The secret garden is always open now and awake and alive,' she says. 'If you look at it the right, you can see that all the world is a garden.' A woman with long, dark hair can then be seen walking out of the garden. As the credits roll, Dickon rides over the moor on his white horse.

Viewers have suggested that she could be one of two people: (1) Mary as an adult, as it's her voice doing the voiceover, or (2) Lilias Craven, Lord Archibald's wife, in either a flashback to when she was alive and enjoying the garden or as her spirit leaving the garden because Colin and Sir Archibald had been reunited and her work there is done.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 3 years ago
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