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The Constant Gardener (2005)

0:31 | Trailer
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.


Fernando Meirelles


Jeffrey Caine (screenplay), John le Carré (based on the novel by)
2,435 ( 648)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Justin Quayle
Rachel Weisz ... Tessa Quayle
Hubert Koundé ... Dr. Arnold Bluhm (as Hubert Kounde)
Danny Huston ... Sandy Woodrow
Daniele Harford Daniele Harford ... Miriam
Packson Ngugi Packson Ngugi ... Officer in Morgue
Damaris Itenyo Agweyu Damaris Itenyo Agweyu ... Jomo's Wife
Bernard Otieno Oduor Bernard Otieno Oduor ... Jomo
Bill Nighy ... Sir Bernard Pellegrin
Keith Pearson Keith Pearson ... Porter Coleridge
John Sibi-Okumu John Sibi-Okumu ... Dr. Joshua Ngaba
Donald Sumpter ... Tim Donohue
Archie Panjabi ... Ghita Pearson
Nick Reding Nick Reding ... Crick
Gerard McSorley ... Sir Kenneth Curtiss


In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined. Written by focus features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love. At any cost. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violent images and sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Director Fernando Meirelles mused about filming in Kibera one day: "All was calm. One day, I just went out with [cinematographer] César Charlone, a camera assistant, [producer] Simon Channing Williams, and [actress] Rachel Weisz and [actor] Hubert Koundé - and we shot Rachel, as Tessa, interacting with locals." See more »


When Quayle shows the fake ID to the German police officer in Berlin, it is a Dutch passport. However, when he pockets the document again, it is shown to have a blue cover. Dutch passports have a red cover. See more »


[first lines]
Justin Quayle: Oh, thank you Arnold. I... I can manage that. But I still don't see why you couldn't wait a couple of weeks. Why go all the way up to Loki?
Tessa Quayle: Well, we want to hear Grace Makanga speak, and she won't be coming to Nairobi.
See more »

Crazy Credits

END CREDITS DISCLAIMER: Nobody in this story, and no outfit or corporation, thank God, is based upon an actual person or outfit in the real world. But I can tell you this; as my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard. --John Le Carré See more »


Referenced in John le Carré: From Page to the Screen (2006) See more »


Happy Birthday to You
Written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
Performed by Rachel Weisz
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

User Reviews

A depressing and frustrating experience
4 October 2006 | by abum190See all my reviews

The movie's frustrating because it gives you a problem in this world to be angry about, depressing because that problem probably won't be solved anytime too soon. It becomes even more depressing because it puts more than one face on the problem and allows us to see the issue through someone who experienced it firsthand.

It doesn't matter if that person is fictional or not. Ralph Fiennes makes him real, and Meirelles surrounds him with what looks and feels like the real world. Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a British diplomat married to Tessa (Rachel Weisz, in a heartbreaking performance just as noteworthy as Fiennes's). Justin has a job to do in Africa, and Tessa makes him take her with him, despite his misgivings. They end up entangled in a pharmaceutical battle that has taken lives before and, before the movie is over, will take many more.

The subject matter here begs to be heard, and Meirelles has provided it with a compelling venue. He films with a style that constantly keeps us engaged. It's hard to find fault with this movie. I didn't find myself wholeheartedly loving it either, but I admire it for its courage and emotional truth. The Constant Gardener grips you from the start in the lives of these two people and never lets you go, not even when the movie is over. It's hard to forget this story. I wouldn't want to.

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Official Sites:

Production Notes


UK | Germany | Kenya | France | USA | Switzerland


English | Italian | Swahili | German

Release Date:

31 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Constant Gardener See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,577,000, 4 September 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS (as dts)| Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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