28 user 3 critic

The Secret Garden (1987)

When spoiled English girl Mary Lennox (Gennie James), living in nineteenth century India loses both parents in a cholera epidemic, she is sent back to England to live in a country mansion. ... See full summary »


Alan Grint


Blanche Hanalis (teleplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel)
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Gennie James ... Mary Lennox
Barret Oliver ... Dickon Sowerby
Jadrien Steele Jadrien Steele ... Colin Craven
Michael Hordern ... Ben Weatherstaff
Billie Whitelaw ... Mrs. Medlock
Derek Jacobi ... Archibald Craven
Lucy Gutteridge ... Mrs. Lennox
Colin Firth ... Adult Colin Craven
Julian Glover ... Colonel McGraw
Cassie Stuart ... Martha Sowerby
Margaret Whiting Margaret Whiting ... Nurse Boggs
Philip Locke ... Pitcher
Karen Archer Karen Archer ... Mrs. Crawford
Irina Brook ... Adult Mary
David Waller David Waller ... Dr. Craven


When spoiled English girl Mary Lennox (Gennie James), living in nineteenth century India loses both parents in a cholera epidemic, she is sent back to England to live in a country mansion. Archibald Craven (Sir Derek Jacobi) is a strange old man, frail and deformed, immensely kind, but so melancholy. She wishes to discover what has caused him so much sorrow and to bring joy back to the household. It all must have something to do with the screams and wails which echo through the house at night and no one wants to talk about. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Family | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Alison Doody and Julian Glover appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). See more »


Mary: Please might I have a bit of earth? To make a garden? I love gardens.
Archibald Craven: [looking away] There was someone... someone very dear... who loved gardens, too.
Archibald Craven: [appears near tears and then abruptly changes tone] Go now, leave me.
Mary: [curtsies in relief and leaves] Thank you.
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Version of The Secret Garden (1952) See more »


Nocturne in F Minor Op. 72 No. 1
Composes by Frédéric Chopin (as F. Chopin)
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User Reviews

For a TV movie, this is good
5 October 2009 | by Atreyu_IISee all my reviews

Not a 5 star movie, but this is actually acceptable, considering it's a TV movie. But the movie has a slightly involving story which is dramatic and sentimental.

The scenario is very good and quite Scotland-like, with green places, forests, rivers... in one word, the wonders of nature.

The adult actors do a reasonable job, but the young actors are definitely the best ones: Gennie James as Mary Lennox, Jadrien Steele as Colin Craven and mostly Barret Oliver as Dickon Sowerby.

This is the first movie I ever saw Barret Oliver portraying a teenager. He was a popular actor in the 80's and he was a fine actor. It's a shame he didn't want to continue doing that, but I understand his reasons.

Here, Barret Oliver was already a handsome teenager, the same way as he was a handsome child. I don't know his height now or then, but he sure looked tall here. Adding that to the clothes he wears here and he almost looks like a young adult instead of a boy in his early teen years. His voice was already different here as well.

Dickon is an interesting character: he is sort of a witch doctor who can predict the future and fate and has a gift with animals. He is also charming and loving.

Colin is, at first, an aggressive and explosive character, but he can't walk and is in a wheel chair - can you blame him? Plus, later in the film he softens his manners and becomes humble.

The ending is both happy and sad. On one hand, Colin can walk again. On the other hand, Dickon is killed in the war.

One last word about the cast: I only don't like the fact that adult Colin is portrayed by Colin Firth. *That* actor bugs me a little, so I'm glad he only appears at the very ending in a minor role (not longer than 1 minute).

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Release Date:

30 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Secret Garden (#37.1) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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