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Secretary (2002)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  11 October 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 64,641 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)

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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


The story of a demanding boss and the woman who loves his demands. 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?


Despite her character struggling to lift heavy objects and climb into a dumpster, actress Maggie Gyllenhaal had no trouble performing these tasks. See more »


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 »


Lee: Each cut, each scar, each burn, a different mood or time. I told him what the first one was, told him where the second one came from. I remembered them all. And for the first time in my life I felt beautiful. Finally part of the earth. I touched the soil and he loved me back.
See more »


Referenced in Love Is Plastic (2005) See more »


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

My new favorite James Spader movie!
22 October 2002 | by (Delaware) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie twice & want to see it again... & again... & again. *LOL* I really enjoyed it. At first I thought that it might be too risque for my taste, but I was pleasently surprised. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of risque, but it was played out so well that it just blended. I was amazed when I realized that this movie wasn't ALL about Sub/Dom, but in fact it was a love story. I wasn't disappointed. I recommend seeing this film if you haven't already, & even if you have. =)

I am a very big fan of James Spader & he was so amazing in this film. He was beautiful, funny, complex, & sexy. I'll be his secretary any day.

I was also surprised by the fact that I liked Maggie Gyllenhaal. She is a very good actress & alot more attractive than in any of the pictures I have ever seen of her. Everyones acting is Superb, the directing superb, & the story *****!!!!!! My raves don't even do this movie justice. Just go see it!


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