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Secret Window (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  12 March 2004 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 134,527 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 527 user | 192 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Secret Window (2004)

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Cast

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 ...
Busboy
...
Motel Manager
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Storyline

Famed mystery writer, Mort Rainey (Depp) is confronted by a mysterious stranger outside his house. This stranger calls himself John Shooter (Turturro) and claims that Mort has stolen an idea for a story from him. Mort says he can prove he wrote his first, but whilst Mort waits for the evidence to appear, Shooter starts to become more and more violent. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

The most important part of a story is the ending. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Window, Secret Garden  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp's character's name is Morton Rainey. Toward the end of the movie, this character purchases three items at the grocer's. One of the items is a box of MORTON's salt whose motto is: "When it rains it pours." Thus Morton Rainey. See more »

Goofs

When the UPS van drives away after delivering the package, camera and crew are reflection in the side of the van. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References The Tenant (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Chico and the Man
Written by José Feliciano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Writer With Problems
31 January 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Johnny Depp plays Mort Rainey, a writer with wife problems. Mort secludes himself in a wilderness cabin to write. Soon, he gets a visit from a strange Southern mountain man named John Shooter (John Turturro). Throughout most of the plot, Mort tries to deal with this threatening man who won't go away, and confronts his wife and her new lover.

"Secret Window" is a moody, Hitchcockian thriller with a major story twist. Pacing is slow. There's lots of waiting for something to happen, which enhances a sense of foreboding. And Depp's performance is terrific.

With hair that looks like a mop, and a delightfully slovenly appearance, Mort mopes around the cabin, talks to his nearly blind dog, and tries to placate Mr. Shooter. He also spends a lot of time on the phone, mostly with Shooter and with his disconsolate wife.

Casting and acting are fine. Production design is great; love that cabin where Mort lives. Camera work, lighting, special effects, CGI, and editing are all quite good.

Although I liked the film's twist, some viewers will be disappointed with it, perhaps because the underlying idea is not terribly original. The risk for the director is that the entire story hinges on this one twist. If a viewer discovers the twist ahead of time, or finds it unsatisfying for any reason, the viewer likely will render a negative verdict on the entire film.

My only serious complaint with the film is that, at times, the plot discards logic so as to maximize gratuitous violence, the result no doubt of the film's source material, a horror story by Stephen King.

Overall, "Secret Window" is a generally fine thriller, enhanced especially by the splendid performance of Johnny Depp. Just be aware that one's reaction to this film likely will depend on one's perception of the story's major plot twist.


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