7.1/10
67,557
389 user 163 critic

Secretary (2002)

Trailer
0:59 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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
1,376 ( 5)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high-flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon), ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher
Crash (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After getting into a serious car accident, a TV director discovers an underground sub-culture of scarred, omnisexual car-crash victims who use car accidents and the raw sexual energy they produce to try to rejuvenate his sex life with his wife.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
9½ Weeks (1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman gets involved in an impersonal affair with a man. She barely knows about his life, only about the sex games they play, so the relationship begins to get complicated.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Margaret Whitton
Sherrybaby (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Sherry tries to integrate again into society and become a good mother.

Director: Laurie Collyer
Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ryan Simpkins, Sam Bottoms
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A female marriage counselor and a male depression expert try to solve the marital problems of a troubled couple.

Director: John McNaughton
Stars: James Spader, Melora Walters, Jay Mohr
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young man romantically pursues his masochistic piano teacher.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Annie Girardot, Benoît Magimel
The Secretary (TV Movie 1995)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Disgruntled secretary Diedra turns to murder and blackmail after being turned down for promotion.

Director: Andrew Lane
Stars: Mel Harris, Sheila Kelley, Barry Bostwick
Cashback (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a painful breakup, Ben develops insomnia. To kill time, he starts working the late night shift at the local supermarket, where his artistic imagination runs wild.

Director: Sean Ellis
Stars: Sean Biggerstaff, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan
The Stickup (2002)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It's a quiet little town where nothing happens - until the day the bank is hit for half a million dollars by a thief wearing a clowns mask.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Leslie Stefanson, David Keith
Lolita (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man marries his landlady so he can take advantage of her daughter.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Dominique Swain, Melanie Griffith
Closer I (2004)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Clive Owen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Jonathan (as Oz Perkins)
...
Lee's Sister
...
...
Lily Knight ...
Paralegal
...
Lacey Kohl ...
...
Edit

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 sociopathic sexual proclivity. She grows and evolves and so does he. Written by kateann1027

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Assume the position. 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:

 »
Edit

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)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The CD soundtrack was released on October 8, 2002 by Lionsgate Records. The MP3 version was released July 11, 2006. See more »

Goofs

When Lee is being dried off by Mr. Grey, there are fewer scars and cuts on her torso than in the next shot, when he lays her on the bed. 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #10.42 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Seem to Make You Mine
Performed by The Seeds
Written by Sky Saxon
Courtesy of GNP Crescendo Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The most original romantic comedy I've seen in YEARS! Highly recommended.
9 March 2004 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I may be a jaded old cynic but from time to time a contemporary movie knocks me off my seat. Recently there's been quite a few -'May', 'Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance' and 'Auto Focus' immediately spring to mind. 'Secretary' is another recent gem. This is the most original romantic comedy (very black, mind you) I've seen in YEARS! And for something which deals with a lifestyle alien to me (dominance and submission) it's surprisingly touching, and even managed to get me to shed a tear or two. I had previously enjoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal's supporting roles in 'Donnie Darko' and John Waters' 'Cecil B. Demented' (she played Raven, the make up artist - "Pain is pleasure! Slavery is freedom! Suicide for Satan!' remember?), but her performance here is first class and is guaranteed to turn her into a major cult figure if not an actual genuine STAR. I confess that I now have a major crush on her to boot (I'm sure I'm not alone!). James Spader is also very, very good. While I admired him appearing in Cronenberg's 'Crash' a few years ago most of his other film choices have been safe ones and to be honest I'd pretty much given up on him as an actor. But it just goes to show what an actor is capable of with an innovative script and a supportive director. It's really difficult imagining any other two actors playing these roles any better. In the supporting cast Jeremy Davies also surprised me. I'd been getting a bit tired of his crazy shtick in previous roles, especially his extremely irritating performance in 'The Million Dollar Hotel', but he did a much more subtle job in this movie, and it really worked for me. This is my first experience with director Steven Shainberg but I was impressed. I now want to try and see his previous movie, the Jim Thompson adaptation 'Hit Me'. I also look forward to his next movie, because if 'Secretary' is any indication of his talent then he's sure to come up with something very special. Highly recommend.


117 of 135 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hope this helps the 'confused' twistedangel1977
BDSM + lifestyle oldhollywoodbuff
No computer? GabrielGlaukon
I am ashamed JPLogan54
Circling the worm GabrielGlaukon
Has this movie deeply affected anyone else? StarsAreMyOcean
Discuss Secretary (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?