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Secret Window (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  12 March 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 137,335 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 528 user | 192 critic | 34 from

A writer is accused for plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Karsch
Sheriff Dave Newsome
Joan Heney ...
Mrs. Garvey
John Dunn-Hill ...
Tom Greenleaf (as John Dunn Hill)
Fire Chief Wickersham
Matt Holland ...
Detective Bradley
Gillian Ferrabee ...
Fran Evans
Bronwen Mantel ...
Greta Bowie
Juliet Stoker
Kyle Allatt ...
Motel Manager


Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years, Amy. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine which published the story in question years ago, things begin to happen around Shooter. Mort's dog dies, people begin to die, and his divorce proceedings with Amy continue to get uglier. It seems that Shooter has Mort over a barrel, but perhaps Mort has his own ideas on how to resolve all the problems that plague him lately. Written by Anthony Pereyra {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

writer | stranger | divorce | cabin | time | See All (249) »


Some windows should never be opened. See more »


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Window, Secret Garden  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,237,568 (USA) (12 March 2004)


$2,833,800 (Japan) (12 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the scene where Johnny Depp bursts in on Maria Bello and Timothy Hutton in the Motel; David Koepp wanted Bello and Hutton to look shocked and scared - he made them both lie in the bed for 15 minutes before Depp rushed in. The production crew set up large speakers that blared static noise when the script called for them to be scared. The lights in the room were also rigged to go on when Johnny Depp opened the door, startling the actors further. No one knew exactly how to act. See more »


When Mort shoves Ted at the gas station, the car behind Mort has the driver window down and the rear driver window up. In the next shot, however, the rear driver window is down as well. See more »


[first lines]
Mort: [voiceover] Turn around. Turn around. Turn the car around and get the hell out of here. Right now. Don't go back. Do not go back there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits Johnny Depp can be briefly heard singing "Shortnin' Bread". See more »


Referenced in Premium Rush (2012) See more »


Chico and the Man
Written by José Feliciano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

9 March 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I have always wanted to see Secret Window; when a movie has such varied and mixed reviews it is always intriguing to see the movie itself and find out which side of the line you sit on. I recently viewed Secret Window with a friend from the safety of my own home. It's only a short movie, which in itself has appeal, and if it were any longer the suspense element would have most definitely fizzled away. The first hour or so nothing much happens, the story line just plods along and you wait and watch to look for anything you have missed and wonder whether the story is going to go anywhere. The first portion of the movie is not a complete failure, however, as Johnny Depp once again shines in his role and keeps the viewer somewhat interested. Once the twist kicks in, the movie takes the viewer to a whole new level. My friend and I were simply intrigued in horror. It simply is brilliant and I would recommend this to anyone who loves being taken on a journey through their imagination.

38 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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