7.1/10
70,150
394 user 163 critic

Secretary (2002)

A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (short story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
835 ( 116)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lee's Sister
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Paralegal
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Lacey Kohl ...
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Storyline

An emotionally fragile woman recently released from a mental hospital for self mutilation goes to school to gain secretarial skills to gain employment. She has an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother who are clueless as to who she really is which a tormented soul who really wants to find something with which she can find success. She is a great secretary and finds a job with a unique, old fashioned, but off center in charge boss with a somewhat sadistic sexual proclivity. She grows and evolves and so does he. Written by kateann1027

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a demanding boss and the woman who loves his demands. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, some nudity, depiction of behavioral disorders, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La secretaria  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$182,306 (USA) (20 September 2002)

Gross:

$4,046,737 (USA) (7 February 2003)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two posters were made for this film, one showing leads James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal and the other showing a model from behind bending over. Gyllenhaal admitted that the model was not her but it was someone who was dating her ex-boyfriend. See more »

Goofs

The letter that Lee masturbates to in the bathroom is dated July 27, 1999, yet earlier in the story she is seen reading the June 2001 issue of Cosmopolitan. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lee: [narrating] I got out of the institution on the day of my sister's wedding. I had started to get used to the place. Breakfast at 8:00, classes at 2:00. Therapy at 4:00, and asleep by 10:00.
Dr. Twardon: [Lee's doctor says goodbye] You can call me any time, Lee. I will always try to be of help to you.
Lee: [narrating] Inside, life was simple.
Lee: [Lee hugs her doctor] Thank you, Dr. Twardon.
Lee: [narrating] For that reason, I was reluctant to go.
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Soundtracks

I Will Survive
Performed by Cake
Written by Freddie Perren (as Frederick J. Perren) and Dino Fekaris
Courtesy of Volcano Entertainment III, LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
oh, james, oh, maggie...
28 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

How refreshing!! It has been quite some time since I went to the movies and walked out feeling I could wholeheartedly endorse the film I just saw. When asked why this film was so good by my coworkers, I responded "the actors' performances, the sets, the script, the content, essentially everything." And so it is, everything. Thank the spirits that flow someone still has the ability, honesty, and energy to make such a film in the land of fakery and deception. While the relationship depicted is that of a sadist and a masochist and this is what will get played up in the press, the point is the relationship and the near impossibility of love working without complete honesty. Bravo.


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