7.5/10
2,325
45 user 12 critic

The Secret Garden (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Family | 22 July 1949 (Brazil)
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.

Director:

Fred M. Wilcox

Writers:

Robert Ardrey (screenplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
2,393 ( 8,977)

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Secret Garden (TV Movie 1987)
Family | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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 »

Director: Alan Grint
Stars: Gennie James, Barret Oliver, Jadrien Steele
The Secret Garden (TV Series 1975)
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Sarah Hollis Andrews, Hope Johnstone, William Marsh
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young, recently-orphaned girl is sent to England after living in India all her life. Once there, she begins to explore her new, seemingly-isolated surroundings -- and its secrets.

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse
Little Women (1949)
Drama | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A group of sisters experience life's difficulties and its pleasures while growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien
Certificate: Passed Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.

Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Margaret O'Brien, James Craig
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A jaded former jockey helps a young girl prepare a wild but gifted horse for England's Grand National Sweepstakes.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Taylor, Donald Crisp
Drama | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in ... See full summary »

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan, Tom Drake
Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Steampunk update of the classic tale by Frances Hodgson Burnett, with orphaned teen Mary Lennox discovering the magic and mystery of the secret garden.

Director: Owen Smith
Stars: Glennellen Anderson, Amanda Waters, Erin Leigh Bushko
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Rebecca's Uncle Harry leaves her with Aunt Miranda who forbids her to associate with show people. But neighbor Anthony Kent is a talent scout who secretly set it up for her to broadcast.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Shirley Temple, Randolph Scott, Jack Haley
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to South Africa to fight in the Second Boer War.

Directors: Walter Lang, William A. Seiter
Stars: Shirley Temple, Richard Greene, Anita Louise
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Family | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A university professor leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Doris Day, David Niven, Janis Paige
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret O'Brien ... Mary Lennox
Herbert Marshall ... Archibald Craven
Dean Stockwell ... Colin Craven
Gladys Cooper ... Mrs. Medlock
Elsa Lanchester ... Martha
Brian Roper ... Dickon
Reginald Owen ... Ben Weatherstaff
Aubrey Mather ... Dr. Griddlestone
George Zucco ... Dr. Fortescue
Lowell Gilmore ... British Officer
Billy Bevan ... Barney
Dennis Hoey ... Mr. Pitcher
Matthew Boulton ... Mr. Bromley (as Mathew Boulton)
Isobel Elsom ... Governess
Norma Varden ... Nurse
Edit

Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1949 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

El jardín secreto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor) (some sequences)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The song that Mary Lennox is singing when she is discovered by the British officer (who tells her that her parents are dead) is the love song sung in "The Rains Came," when Tyrone Power is showing Myrna Loy around an Indian school; when he is falling in love with her. It also haunts him the moment before he is escorted to his coronation. See more »

Goofs

In the opening title sequence of the movie, someone unlocks the door to the Secret Garden, and pushes it open, inward from the right side. In the rest of the movie, the door opens inward from the left. See more »

Quotes

Mary Lennox: What's that?
Dickon: A fox cub. His name's Captain.
Mary Lennox: Dickon, are you still angry with me?
Dickon: When was I ever angry with thee?
Mary Lennox: Oh, good. Dickon, I've got so many secrets I'm just dying.
Dickon: Thou seems most healthy.
Mary Lennox: 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?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Secret Garden (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Hindoo Song of Love
Written by Lal Chand Mehra
Performed by Margaret O'Brien with singing voice provided by Marni Nixon.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Come Play In This Garden
17 March 2002 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

A strange little girl finds peace for her troubled heart after confronting the mystery of THE SECRET GARDEN.

Based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this family film is a perennial favorite, in no whit dimmed by more recent, flashier versions. The excellent production values by MGM allow the viewer to experience the weird atmosphere of Misselthwaite Manor and the joyous fecundity of the Garden.

The movie can be enjoyed for the plot alone, but there are other, deeper, levels which can be appreciated as well. Most of the main characters are desperately unhappy when the film begins, but the spontaneous love of life exhibited by the Sowerby family - which leads directly to the discovery of the Garden - ultimately brings about the redemption of several (but not all) of the others. This Joy is not altogether of our world. If the viewer senses the unseen Presence of Something Bright & Beautiful in the Garden, so be it.

The film's main drawback - and this is a small quibble - is the intent to increase tension by adding a possible murder mystery to the plot (How did Colin's mother really die? Did Archibald Craven kill her?). This is quite unnecessary, the story has enough conflict already. But the desire to add additional menace to the Dark Old House theme probably proved irresistible - as well as giving the excellent British actor, Herbert Marshall, more dramatic gristle on which to chew.

The plot revolves, as it should, around the experiences of three children, each peculiar in their own way. Margaret O'Brien, Dean Stockwell & Brian Roper flesh out their roles most agreeably. The adult roles are so well cast that one tends to forget that they are mostly caricatures: Dame Gladys Cooper as the wicked, frustrated housekeeper; Elsa Lanchester as the irrepressibly happy maid; dour Reginald Owen as the elemental gardener. Even the small cameo performances sparkle: Billy Bevan as an overheated British soldier in India; Dennis Hoey as Marshall's stern valet; Aubrey Mather & George Zucco as young Stockwell's doctors; and Norma Varden as his wise nurse.

Movie mavens should recognize Elspeth Dudgeon in the tiny role of Dickon's mother & the wonderful Marni Nixon as the dubbed singing voice of Miss O'Brien - both uncredited.

The film makes very judicious use of Technicolor to heighten appreciation of the distinctive nature of the Garden.


50 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 45 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed