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Secretary (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  11 October 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 64,626 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 386 user | 162 critic | 39 from

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.



(screenplay), (short story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Secretary (2002)

Secretary (2002) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 18 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »



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


James Spader is the original Mr. Grey, a seemingly normal lawyer whose relationship with his new secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal) descends into a kinky affair that would give nightmares to any human resource director. Written by Lionsgate

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Assume the position. See more »


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:





Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La secretaria  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


£829,624 (UK) (13 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is one of the only mainstreams film that portrays BDSM in a positive light and not as abuse. See more »


When Tricia O'Connor arrives and calls Lee submissive, a boom mic is clearly reflected in the window behind Lee, following her while she moves from left to right. See more »


E. Edward Grey: Why do you cut yourself, Lee?
Lee: I don't know.
E. Edward Grey: Is it that sometimes the pain inside has to come to the surface, and when you see evidence of the pain inside you finally know you're really here? Then, when you watch the wound heal, it's comforting... isn't it?
Lee: I... That's a way to put it.
See more »


Referenced in Fantasmes! Sexe, fiction et tentations (2013) See more »


Agenda Suicide
Performed by The Faint
Written by The Faint
Courtesy of Saddle Creek
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Quirky, fun, and everything I ever wanted in a film!
2 November 2002 | by (Buffalo, NY) – See all my reviews

"Secretary" is everything I have ever wanted in a film: romance, humor, drama, and kinky sex! The incredible chemistry between an amazing Maggie Gyllenhaal and a repressed yet fierce James Spader is what makes this movie work so well, and the tender depths to which their relationship is portrayed makes it so much more than just a film about sadomasochism. I felt that the main theme of the film was to show that people have pain, and it is only when you accept that pain that you are able to feel your emotions fully, therefore making your life much more livable. This movie was a bit quirky, and might not be for everyone. However, I would recommend it to anyone with an open mind. "Secretary" is by far my favorite film of the year.

40 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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