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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 106,099 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 568 user | 224 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

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 32 wins & 59 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?


Jeffrey Caine:  the writer appears as the The Liberal club's porter. See more »


When Sandy and Tessa are talking in Sandy's office, the cricket ball on his desk vanishes, then reappears in a different location. 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 »


Referenced in Se eida...: O epimonos kipouros (2008) See more »


Written and Performed by Ayub Ogada
Mixed by Ben Findlay
Published by Womad Music Ltd.
(p) 2005 Real World Records Ltd. / Virgin Records Ltd.
Ayub Ogada appears courtesy of Real World Records 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.

130 of 235 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Shaky cam dgiors
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
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