A girl is sent to live with her uncle on his estate when her parents die. There she discovers much intrigue, family history and secrets and personal baggage. In particular, a screaming child and...a secret garden.
When a spoiled English girl living in nineteenth century India loses both parents in a cholera epidemic, she is sent back to England to live in a country mansion. The Lord is a strange old ... See full summary »
In 19th-century India, little Mary Lennox is suddenly orphaned by cholera. Her only living relative is her crook-backed uncle, Archibald Craven, so Mary is sent to live at his estate on the... See full summary »
Sarah Hollis Andrews,
When cholera takes the parents of Mary Lennox, she is shipped from India to England to live with her Uncle Craven. Archibald Craven's house is dark and drafty, with over 100 rooms built on the edge of the moors. Mary finds that her Uncle does not wish to see her, which is fine with Mary as she herself is rude and spoiled. While walking the gardens the next day, Mary notices that there is a area in the garden surrounded with a high stone wall and no doorway. Dickon, brother of a housemaid, tells her of the garden behind the wall. By the path, the raven unearths the hidden key so that Mary and Dickon are able to enter the walled garden to find it overgrown and neglected. Inside the house, she finds that Archibald has a son named Colin, who is crippled and as spoiled as she. Together these three work to make the secret garden their own world.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
British writer Noel Streatfeild (1895-1986), author of children's classic "Ballet Shoes", was on an extended vacation to California in 1947 and spent several weeks observing the filming of the movie, paying especial attention to the younger actors. In a magazine serial in 1948 and then as a book the following year, she published "The Painted Garden" (US: "Movie Shoes"). It concerns an English girl who reluctantly has to spend the summer in the States where she is spotted as a potential lead for an adaptation of "The Secret Garden", describing the process of film-making from a child's perspective. See more »
Elspeth Dudgeon who played Susan Sowerby was 78 years old, she would therefore have been well into her 60's when she gave birth to Dickon. See more »
A fox cub. His name's Captain.
Dickon, are you still angry with me?
When was I ever angry with thee?
Oh, good. Dickon, I've got so many secrets I'm just dying.
Thou seems most healthy.
Dickon, I need you. All you have to do is listen. What good is a secret if there's no one to tell it to?
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Going in I was not familiar with the enormously popular children's book upon which it was based, but I have to believe the folks behind this version did a wonderful job condensing the material and preserving all the elements which helped make the book such a success. It's even a little hard to believe it was derived from a book targeted at children as the film deals with some fairly mature subject matter and has rather an adult, realistic edge. It's very impressive, certainly a meticulously crafted, heartfelt production that builds nicely to a moving conclusion. (Plus, the scenes shot in color are breathtaking.) The very visual director, Fred Wilcox, is remarkably adept at establishing mood and atmosphere through the ominous use of sets and lighting. Margaret O'Brien (repeatedly and inaccurately told in the movie how unattractive she is) who was soon to kiss childhood and stardom goodbye, is given a great part to play and is extremely appealing. (As is a very young Dean Stockwell, playing a difficult character who all too easily could've been unsympathetic.)
Also, I have to quarrel with the other post, where someone asserts that the movie is badly dated. Quite the contrary, the story zips along at a refreshingly swift pace and never lags. The movie should hardly be faulted (and in fact should be commended) for not having flashy MTV style edits every five seconds or a bombastic score. It's a very rewarding experience for both children and adults alike.
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