6.6/10
181,208
574 user 188 critic

Secret Window (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 12 March 2004 (USA)
Trailer
2:07 | Trailer
A successful writer in the midst of a painful divorce is stalked at his remote lake house by a would-be scribe who accuses him of plagiarism.

Director:

David Koepp

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), David Koepp (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,587 ( 53)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Mort Rainey
John Turturro ... John Shooter
Maria Bello ... Amy Rainey
Timothy Hutton ... Ted Milner
Charles S. Dutton ... Ken Karsch
Len Cariou ... Sheriff Dave Newsome
Joan Heney ... Mrs. Garvey
John Dunn-Hill ... Tom Greenleaf (as John Dunn Hill)
Vlasta Vrana ... Fire Chief Wickersham
Matt Holland ... Detective Bradley
Gillian Ferrabee Gillian Ferrabee ... Fran Evans
Bronwen Mantel Bronwen Mantel ... Greta Bowie
Elizabeth Marleau ... Juliet Stoker
Kyle Allatt Kyle Allatt ... Busboy
Richard Jutras ... Motel Manager
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Storyline

Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years, Amy. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine which published the story in question years ago, things begin to happen around Shooter. Mort's dog dies, people begin to die, and his divorce proceedings with Amy continue to get uglier. It seems that Shooter has Mort over a barrel, but perhaps Mort has his own ideas on how to resolve all the problems that plague him lately. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most important part of a story is the ending. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book "Secret Window Secret Garden" the titles written by John Shooter and Mort Rainy are the opposite way around to how they are shown in the film. Mort Rainy's book was called "Sowing Season" and John Shooters book was "Secret Window, Secret Garden" See more »

Goofs

When the UPS van drives away after delivering the package, camera and crew are reflection in the side of the van. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mort: [voiceover] Turn around. Turn around. Turn the car around and get the hell out of here. Right now. Don't go back. Do not go back there.
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits Johnny Depp can be briefly heard singing "Shortnin' Bread". See more »

Alternate Versions

The camera pans down to the garden, fading to black when it reaches the dirt. The alternate ending continues underground to the roots of the cornstalks, where Ted and Amy's bodies lay. See more »


Soundtracks

Once in a Lifetime
Written by David Byrne, Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth
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User Reviews

A Writer With Problems
31 January 2009 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Johnny Depp plays Mort Rainey, a writer with wife problems. Mort secludes himself in a wilderness cabin to write. Soon, he gets a visit from a strange Southern mountain man named John Shooter (John Turturro). Throughout most of the plot, Mort tries to deal with this threatening man who won't go away, and confronts his wife and her new lover.

"Secret Window" is a moody, Hitchcockian thriller with a major story twist. Pacing is slow. There's lots of waiting for something to happen, which enhances a sense of foreboding. And Depp's performance is terrific.

With hair that looks like a mop, and a delightfully slovenly appearance, Mort mopes around the cabin, talks to his nearly blind dog, and tries to placate Mr. Shooter. He also spends a lot of time on the phone, mostly with Shooter and with his disconsolate wife.

Casting and acting are fine. Production design is great; love that cabin where Mort lives. Camera work, lighting, special effects, CGI, and editing are all quite good.

Although I liked the film's twist, some viewers will be disappointed with it, perhaps because the underlying idea is not terribly original. The risk for the director is that the entire story hinges on this one twist. If a viewer discovers the twist ahead of time, or finds it unsatisfying for any reason, the viewer likely will render a negative verdict on the entire film.

My only serious complaint with the film is that, at times, the plot discards logic so as to maximize gratuitous violence, the result no doubt of the film's source material, a horror story by Stephen King.

Overall, "Secret Window" is a generally fine thriller, enhanced especially by the splendid performance of Johnny Depp. Just be aware that one's reaction to this film likely will depend on one's perception of the story's major plot twist.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Window, Secret Garden See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,237,568, 14 March 2004

Gross USA:

$48,022,900

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$92,913,171
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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