7.0/10
81,308
422 user 176 critic

Secretary (2002)

Trailer
0:59 | Trailer
A young woman, recently released from a mental hospital, gets a job as a secretary to a demanding lawyer, where their employer-employee relationship turns into a sexual, sadomasochistic one.

Director:

Steven Shainberg

Writers:

Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay), Mary Gaitskill (short story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,411 ( 364)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... Mr. Grey
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Lee Holloway
Jeremy Davies ... Peter
Lesley Ann Warren ... Joan Holloway
Stephen McHattie ... Burt Holloway
Patrick Bauchau ... Dr. Twardon
Jessica Tuck ... Tricia O'Connor
Oz Perkins ... Jonathan
Amy Locane ... Lee's Sister
Mary Joy ... Sylvia
Michael Mantell ... Stewart
Lily Knight Lily Knight ... Paralegal
Sabrina Grdevich ... Allison
Lacey Kohl Lacey Kohl ... Louisa
Julene Renee ... Jessica
Learn more

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Storyline

An emotionally fragile woman recently released from a mental hospital for self mutilation goes to school to gain secretarial skills to gain employment. She has an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother who are clueless as to who she really is which a tormented soul who really wants to find something with which she can find success. She is a great secretary and finds a job with a unique, old fashioned, but off center in charge boss with a somewhat sadistic sexual proclivity. She grows and evolves and so does he. Written by kateann1027

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a demanding boss and the woman who loves his demands. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, some nudity, depiction of behavioral disorders, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The soundtrack includes a little-known Little Richard song, "Directly From My Heart to You," (a B-side that didn't chart when it was first released), which is playing early in the movie during Lee's sister's wedding reception. Interestingly, this song also appears in another film featuring actor Patrick Bauchau (Lee's therapist in the movie), the film "The Rapture" (1991). See more »

Goofs

The classified ad at the beginning of the film indicated Grey's office street number was 2640, but a letter that Lee hand-addresses to him later in the film shows a street number of 2540. This may have been an intentional mistake on her part as she had been making mistakes on purpose for several days trying to get Grey to punish her. Besides that, why would she put the office address on an envelope for Grey that she is preparing in his office and thus is not something she'll need to mail? (She did not include her return address on the envelope) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lee: [narrating] I got out of the institution on the day of my sister's wedding. I had started to get used to the place. Breakfast at 8:00, classes at 2:00. Therapy at 4:00, and asleep by 10:00.
Dr. Twardon: [Lee's doctor says goodbye] You can call me any time, Lee. I will always try to be of help to you.
Lee: [narrating] Inside, life was simple.
Lee: [Lee hugs her doctor] Thank you, Dr. Twardon.
Lee: [narrating] For that reason, I was reluctant to go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The legal disclaimer has typing errors:
  • "fictitious" is misspelled "ficticious"
  • "unintentional" is misspelled "unitentional"
  • unauthorized use of the film is warned as resulting in "civil liberty" instead of "civil liability"
See more »

Connections

References Crash (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Directly from My Heart to You
Performed by Little Richard
Written by Little Richard (as Richard W. Penniman)
Courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc./Ace Records Ltd./Blues Interactions, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Peculiar Love Story
5 August 2003 | by d_sakakiSee all my reviews

I watched this with my boyfriend and we both thought it was

romantic... in a weird sort of way. It's really just an old fashioned

love story where boy meets girl and both have a shared affinity for

some kinky good-lovin'.

An interestingly told tale, it grabs you right from the beginning and

makes you want to keep watching to see where the characters go.

You're absolutely mesmerized by the transformation of Lee and Mr.

Grey -- great casting. I'm a huge James Spader fan and it seemed

like he really hit the jackpot with this truly unique character. It's not

some angry man/submissive woman story. Both characters have

an equal hold on one another and they both hold the power of

change over each other's lives. It's extraordinary to see the focus

and sense of power Lee has over her boss, even in her most

submissive poses. This movie has nothing to do with subverting

women or portraying men as physical monsters.

Love is everywhere. Even in the most unique people. I recommend

this movie to people willing to see a new twist on the old love story.

It's also quite funny and poignant; not gratuitous at all.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secretary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$182,306, 22 September 2002

Gross USA:

$4,059,680

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,304,609
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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