IMDb > Secrets & Lies (1996)
Secrets & Lies
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Secrets & Lies (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Secrets & Lies -- Successful black woman traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman, who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed.

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   23,842 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Mike Leigh (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Secrets & Lies on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 October 1996 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Roxanne drives her mother crazy. Maurice never speaks to his niece. Cynthia has a shock for her family. Monica can't talk to her husband. Hortense has never met her mother.
Plot:
Successful black woman traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman, who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 24 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(9 articles)
Bingham Ray, indie film champion, dies at 57
 (From EW.com - Inside Movies. 23 January 2012, 12:24 PM, PST)

Producer Channing-Williams Dead
 (From WENN. 14 April 2009, 5:05 AM, PDT)

4 light fire under Fox's 'Ember'
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 13 July 2007)

User Reviews:
A great layering of memorable characters See more (119 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Timothy Spall ... Maurice Purley

Phyllis Logan ... Monica Purley

Brenda Blethyn ... Cynthia Rose Purley

Claire Rushbrook ... Roxanne Purley

Marianne Jean-Baptiste ... Hortense Cumberbatch

Elizabeth Berrington ... Jane
Michele Austin ... Dionne

Lee Ross ... Paul

Lesley Manville ... Social Worker

Ron Cook ... Stuart
Emma Amos ... Girl with Scar
Brian Bovell ... Hortense's Brother
Trevor Laird ... Hortense's Brother
Clare Perkins ... Hortense's Sister-in-Law
Elias Perkins McCook ... Hortense's Nephew
Jane Mitchell ... Senior Optometrist (as June Mitchell)
Janice Acquah ... Junior Optician
Keylee Jade Flanders ... Girl in Optician's (as Keeley Flanders)

Hannah Davis ... First Bride
Terence Harvey ... First Bride's Father
Kate O'Malley ... Second Bride

Joe Tucker ... Groom
Richard Syms ... Vicar

Grant Masters ... Best Man
Annie Hayes ... Mother in Family Group
Jean Ainslie ... Grandmother
Daniel Smith ... Teenage Son
Lucy Sheen ... Nurse

Frances Ruffelle ... Young Mother
Felix Manley ... Baby

Nitin Ganatra ... Potential Husband (as Nitin Chandra Ganatra)
Metin Marlow ... Conjuror
Amanda Crossley ... Raunchy Woman
Su Elliot ... Raunchy Woman (as Su Elliott)
Di Sherlock ... Raunchy Woman
Alex Squires ... Triplet #1
Lauren Squires ... Triplet #2
Sade Squires ... Triplet #3
Dominic Curran ... Little Boy
Stephen Churchett ... Man in Suit
David Neilson ... Man in Suit
Peter Stockbridge ... Man in Suit
Peter Waddington ... Man in Suit
Rachel Lewis ... Graduate

Paul Trussell ... Grinning Husband
Denise Orita ... Uneasy Woman
Margery Withers ... Elderly Lady
Theresa Watson ... Daughter
Gordon Winter ... Laughing Man

Jonny Coyne ... Fiancé (as Jonathan Coyne)
Bonzo ... Dog
Texas ... Cat

Peter Wight ... Father in Family Group

Gary McDonald ... Boxer

Alison Steadman ... Dog Owner
Liz Smith ... Cat Owner
Sheila Kelley ... Fertile Mother
Angela Curran ... Little Boy's Mother
Linda Beckett ... Pin-Up Housewife

Philip Davis ... Man in Suit
Wendy Nottingham ... Glum Wife
Anthony O'Donnell ... Uneasy Man

Ruth Sheen ... Laughing Woman
Mia Soteriou ... Fiancée
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Anna Pernicci ... Waitress (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mike Leigh 
 
Writing credits
Mike Leigh (written by)

Produced by
Simon Channing Williams .... producer (as Simon Channing-Williams)
 
Original Music by
Andrew Dickson 
 
Cinematography by
Dick Pope (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Jon Gregory 
 
Casting by
Susie Parriss  (as Parriss)
Paddy Stern  (as Stern)
 
Production Design by
Alison Chitty 
 
Art Direction by
Eve Stewart 
 
Set Decoration by
Liz Griffiths (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
Maria Price 
 
Makeup Department
Christine Blundell .... makeup artist
Kirstin Chalmers .... assistant hair stylist (as Kirstin Weguelin)
Kirstin Chalmers .... assistant makeup artist (as Kirstin Weguelin)
 
Production Management
Georgina Lowe .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Zerlina Hughes .... third assistant director
Jennie Osborn .... first assistant director
Josh Robertson .... second assistant director
Chris Rose .... first assistant director
Paula Spinks .... fourth assistant director
 
Art Department
Hilly Benjamin .... assistant art director
Jim Booth .... art department assistant
Paul Cutler .... chargehand props
Martin Fitzpatrick .... property pick-up
Liz Griffiths .... production buyer
Guy Hunt .... stand-by carpenter
Peter Looby .... stand-by props
Nic Orlande .... construction manager
Tom Read .... dressing props
Nick Rose .... property master
Guy Rutter .... stand-by painter
Pete Lennox .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Sue Baker .... dubbing editor
Orin Beaton .... boom operator
Mick Boggis .... sound re-recording mixer
Diane Greaves .... foley walker
Michelle Greaves .... foley walker
Loveday Harding .... boom operator
Derek Holding .... adr editor
Derek Lomas .... dialogue editor
Peter Maxwell .... sound re-recording mixer
George Richards .... sound recordist
Ted Swanscott .... adr mixer
Ted Swanscott .... foley mixer
William Trent .... foley editor (as Bill Trent)
 
Visual Effects by
David Smith .... title opticals: Peerless (as Dave Smith)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Graham Baker .... rigger
Richard Blackmore .... generator operator
Lucy Bristow .... focus puller
Alan Coster .... electrician
Frank Cox .... best boy
Marco di Giulio .... electrician
Martin Duncan .... gaffer
Joe Dunton .... camera equipment
Joe Dunton .... camera rental
Simon Mein .... still photographer
Andy Ormesher .... rigger
Dan Shoring .... clapper loader
Colin Strachan .... camera grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Zoe Porter .... wardrobe trainee (as Zoë Porter)
Jackie Thomas .... wardrobe assistant
Allison Wyldeck .... costume supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Valentina Giambanco .... second assistant editor
Kate Mackenzie .... first assistant editor
Steve Mercer .... trainee editor: FT2
Clive Noakes .... color timer
Ian Seymour .... first assistant editor
Victoria Stevens .... trainee: FT2
 
Music Department
Chas Dickie .... musician: cello
Keith Grant .... music engineer
Michael Laird .... musician: flugelhorn
Step Parikian .... music supervisor
Helen Tunstall .... musician: harp
Ivo van der Worff .... musician: viola
Chris West .... musician: double bass
 
Transportation Department
Bill Nixon .... unit driver
Bianca Stone .... transportation
John Stone .... transportation
Bill Wright .... unit driver
 
Other crew
Chris Allies .... title designer
Mike Carter .... assistant location manager
Ian Differ .... trainee: FT2
Graham Easton .... completion bond: film finances services
Stephanie Fauger .... production coordinator (as Stephanie Faugier)
Phillip Kenny .... production executive
David Lewisohn .... solicitor: Theodore Goddard
Mark Mostyn .... location manager
Matthew Potts .... production runner
Deborah Reade .... assistant to producer
Roger Sampson .... insurance: Sampson and Allen
Heather Storr .... script supervisor
Iain Struthers .... trainee: FT2
Claire Thompson .... floor runner
Sarah Trowse .... assistant accountant
Will Tyler .... production accountant (as William Tyler)
Mark Westaway .... solicitor: Theodore Goddard
Karen Yeaman .... trainee: FT2
Raoul B. Reinert .... legal consultant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language
Runtime:
142 min | USA:136 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The restaurant where Cynthia and Hortense meet for lunch is "Pasta Plus Restaurant", a family-run Italian restaurant on 62 Eversholt Street, Camden, London. The restaurant is still open to the public (Monday to Saturday) and is very close to Euston station.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When Roxanne pushes Cynthia onto the bed, the shadow of a crew member's head is seen moving on the bed.See more »
Quotes:
Maurice:She can't help it; she never had enough loveSee more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Happy Birthday to YouSee more »

FAQ

Did Paul cause the accident that scarred the woman Maurice photographs?
See more »
73 out of 79 people found the following review useful.
A great layering of memorable characters, 30 October 1999
Author: Ann Carrigan (symposium1@aol.com) from Orlando, Florida, USA

It took a second viewing of Mike Leigh's 'Secrets and Lies' to reveal the depth of its genius. I love character-driven drama, and this film succeeds in creating indelible portraits. Even the social worker is quirky and memorable instead of just furthering the plot and being patently sympathetic.

I could write quite a lot about Blethyn's riveting performance. How drained she must have been after sustaining a character who seems always at the height of emotional pressure. Opposite her, Jean-Baptiste seemed as cool and smooth as could be. The contrasts created by these personae even extended to costume and decor.

I decided to watch this movie again because after a BBC Shakespeare binge I wanted to see everything Ron Cook has been in. And while the Stuart scene is really somewhat incongruous to the rest of the family plot, Cook's scene as the bitter, drunk 't****r' works for me perfectly. So do the scenes of photo sessions -- and it's a matter of observing this film in terms of clarity of personal vision. The occupations of photographer and optometrist seem to lend metaphors of spirituality -- for Maurice, the ability to see people as they are, and for Hortense, the ability to understand how others see the world. The wall of smoke that Cynthia and Roxanne seem to keep in front of them. The disparity between the images created for the formal portraits and the truth of the personalities in them. In a distinctly un-sappy way, Leigh has explored the old adage that "the truth will set you free."

If one reads a paragraph describing the main plot -- the adopted child seeking out her birth mother -- a very clear idea of a movie-of-the-week story comes to mind. 'Secrets and Lies' is nothing like that, and shows a mastery of vision and a cast of great talent. My roommate agreed, saying he thought this was one of the best films he's seen this decade.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Secrets & Lies (1996)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Hortence's Father lps_darlo
Hortense's wardrobe cyweyman
How Could She Not Know Patty-76
scene with Lesley Manville localsoph
A truly excruciating music track teesee_03
Embracing a New Identity bauhausblack
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