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The Constant Gardener (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  31 August 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 105,012 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 568 user | 223 critic | 39 from

A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hubert Koundé ...
Dr. Arnold Bluhm (as Hubert Kounde)
Sandy Woodrow
Daniele Harford ...
Packson Ngugi ...
Officer in Morgue
Damaris Itenyo Agweyu ...
Jomo's Wife
Bernard Otieno Oduor ...
Keith Pearson ...
Porter Coleridge
John Sibi-Okumu ...
Dr. Joshua Ngaba
Tim Donohue
Ghita Pearson
Nick Reding ...
Sir Kenneth Curtiss


In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined. Written by focus features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kenya | doctor | death | diplomat | murder | See All (219) »


Love. At any cost.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violent images and sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

31 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El jardinero fiel  »

Box Office


£15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,961,311 (USA) (2 September 2005)


$359,387 (South Africa) (20 January 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as dts)|


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Danish actress Iben Hjejle was originally cast as the German woman Birgit and was signed on. When the film's German financiers discovered that a Dane had been cast as a German, they made sure a German actress, Anneke Kim Sarnau, was cast instead. See more »


In the credits at the end of the film, "Editing" is spelled "Edting." See more »


[first lines]
Justin Quayle: Oh, thank you Arnold. I... I can manage that. But I still don't see why you couldn't wait a couple of weeks. Why go all the way up to Loki?
Tessa Quayle: Well, we want to hear Grace Makanga speak, and she won't be coming to Nairobi.
See more »

Crazy Credits

END CREDITS DEDICATION: This film is dedicated to Yvette Pierpaoli and all other aid workers who lived and died giving a damn. See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.92 (2010) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Performed by Rachel Weisz
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Political thriller viewed through the lens of a romance
7 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Films that are written as thrillers, suspense stories and romances all feature certain story elements that define the genre. How the elements are combined to tell a specific story is the measure of a story's success at convincing an audience of its worth. "The Constant Gardener" is a well-crafted story with many fine performances, starting with Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and including the many character actors who make this film feel viscerally real and true. In the tradition of films like "Silkwood", "Z" and" The Insider", the director of "City of God" takes the audience on a tense, suspenseful ride with characters who dare tell truth to power. The film viewing experience feels dangerous and worth-while.

No doubt, "The Constant Gardener", like "City of God" will fuel discussion about the politics which is the basis of this film, and will also send more people to read John Le Carre's book, which is the basis of the film.

129 of 234 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Terrible movie AxleF
Similar movies? Muron
Too similar to the fugitive Kagsy_99
you all missed the point - watch the movie again marwashabbar
Overly simplistic politics + Implausible romance ruin it. MiloMindbender
Do not be swayed by popular opinion pet_the_monkey
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