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The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
Actors: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, Laura Crossley
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy
G     1997     1hr 41min

The enchanting classic about a young girl who brings an English country house's garden - and the people it touches - magically back to life. Maggie Smith and John Lynch star. Year: 1993DVD Features: — Interactive Menus — Pro...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kate Maberly, Maggie Smith, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, Laura Crossley
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Creators: Caroline Thompson, Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Fuchs, Fred Roos, Tom Luddy, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Music Video & Concerts, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, 3-6 Years, 7-9 Years, 10-12 Years, Adapted from Books, Family Films, Pop, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/19/1997
Original Release Date: 08/13/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 08/13/1993
Release Year: 1997
Run Time: 1hr 41min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Nina E.
Reviewed on 12/30/2014...
A classic in our home.

After losing her self-indulging parents in an earthquake, a bitter young girl named Mary Lennox is sent to live in England with her reclusive uncle. Eventually she discovers her bedridden cousin and a 'secret garden' that once belonged to her deceased aunt. With the help of her cousin, the kindly Dickon, and a little 'magic', can Mary find a way to bring love back to her family?
Jamie H. from CANDLER, NC
Reviewed on 8/10/2009...
This is such a great movie. I love this movie. I own it and it is a great Childrens movie.
Aimee M. (AimeeM)
Reviewed on 2/4/2008...
This is a good version. Well acted, and wonderful scenery.
Although it does deviate a bit from the book in some details, I found the alterations made the story more believable.

For example: Mary finds the key in a jewelry box in her Aunt's room, whereas in the book she randomly finds it buried in all the vast acres of her Uncle's land.
In the movie her parents die in an earthquake, which she survived by hiding under a bed . In the book it was disease which somehow killed off everyone in the night except her.

All in all, I like this movie. It is entertaining for the evening.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Superior acting and a great ending!
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 08/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After watching the 1987 version, I was very disappointed with the acting and decided to definitely watch the 1993 production. The acting is superior and the setting more realistic. If someone could take the best qualities of both movies and put them into one, to me that would be the perfect Secret Garden movie.

The 1987 version taught lessons more easily to younger children, while this newer one will be enjoyed more by older children and adults. Colin's father (played by John Lynch) is a much more human portrayal. We can truly empathize with his sorrow and Colin's need to have his father in his life.

Mary Lenox was also played in a more serious light by Kate Maberley. She portrayed her character extremely well. Her story begins in India and we learn she is emotionally neglected, yet spoiled and physically well taken care of. She loses her parents in a massive earthquake. (In the 1987 film it is a plague.)

Since she can no longer stay in India, she is literally shipped off to her uncle. As she enters the monstrosity of a castle, we feel she is doomed to be neglected, hated and locked away. Even Mrs. Medlock (the housekeeper played by Maggie Smith) is not impressed or sympathetic. Mary is told "not to go wandering and poking about." Mary's natural curiosity compels her to discover a way out of her room and soon she finds secret doors, staircases, rooms and gardens.

At first Martha (a maid) is her only friend, then she soon learns to like Martha's brother Dikon. He shares her love of gardening. Martha and Dikon seem to be the only truly happy characters for the entire first half of the movie. All the actors have wonderful accents and reveal the positive and negative aspects of each character.

When Mary meets Colin, she has in fact met her match. He is her cousin who is bedridden, spoiled and annoying! His hysterical screeching makes him most unlovable. Mary shows Colin that nothing is impossible when you put your mind to it. She also says something profoundly beautiful at the end of the story.

I found the magic spell casting in this version a bit intense in comparison to the 1987 version, where dancing around the fire was a fun time. There is something about the 1987 version which I think appeals more to children, as the characters seem to have a bit more fun overall. This 1993 version has a much better ending. I recommend this version for those who want a high-quality movie, and the 1987 version for those who can overlook the acting. I think there is something to be learned from both movies.

~The Rebecca Review"
High visual impact; Superb Soundtrack; Great story
Jerry Wilson | Indianapolis, Indiana USA | 07/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Secret Garden is my all time favorite film of its genre. It's a family film, but it is not just for kids. The story is simple enough for children to understand, yet complex enough to keep adults interested. One of the aspects of the film I like best is the cinematography. It is visually striking, and the direction was excellent. I can't say enough about the emotions evoked by the visual excellence of this film.The acting was superior, especially Kate Maberly's portrayal of Mary Lennox. But all the actors did a superb job. They were very believable. The sound track is also superior. The haunting melody of "Winter Light" graced many of the outdoor scenes. Sung by Linda Ronstadt as the closing theme, it remains one of my favorite musical compositions. The interplay of the background music with the film's stunning visual beauty makes this movie a true work of art.When the movie first came out in theaters, I took my 8-year-old daughter to see it. She liked it fine, but I fell in love with it and have been in love with the film ever since. I'm a man in my late 40s and I'm not ashamed in the least to admit that I simply adore this enchanting family film. From its intriguing beginning to its highly emotional end, the film is perfect. Enough said."
Not just for kids, and not just for girls...
R. M. Fisher | New Zealand = Middle Earth! | 12/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Secret Garden is without a doubt in my list of top five movies, and will doubtless remain there for the rest of my life. Why it was never a big box-office hit baffles me, as it is nearly perfect in every particular. Adults are just as able to enjoy this movie as their children are (or perhaps even more so!) and though the main character is a girl, the presence of two back-up male characters make this accessible to the reluctant boys.Mary Lennox is a spoilt, bitter ten-year old girl living in India with her neglectful parents. After an earthquake leaves her an orphan however, she is shipped to Misselthwaite Manor, the cold, gloomy home of her uncle, still grieving over the death of his wife (Mary's mother's twin sister). There she is put in to the care of the strict housekeeper Mrs Medlock (admirably preformed by Maggie Smith) and warned not to go poking about in the endless corridors and passageways of the house. However, Mary is used to doing exactly as she pleases, and with the dual finding of a secret passage in her bedroom and the friendship of the cheerful, sweet maid Martha, Mary is soon roaming the grounds of the estate. There she meets Martha's younger brother, the kind-hearted country boy Dickon who can speak to animals and a red-breasted robin that reveals to her a garden hidden behind a wall of ivy...a secret garden.
Untangling the mystery of why this sad and beautiful garden is locked away takes Mary back to the tragic past of the house and her uncle - to when her aunt Lilias fell of a swing in the garden just before she gave birth and died, leaving Lord Archibald Craven a broken man, who cannot stand the sight of the Spring, the garden, or his son.
This son, Colin Craven is who Mary discovers one night after following the sound of his wailing. Colin is convinced he is going to become a hunchback like his father and die, but with the opening of the secret garden and its rebirth under the care of the three children means that his health gradually restores. Now all the children want is to bring his father home for similar healing, and the only way to do it seems to be to call on magical forces...The three child actors are truely wonderful - Kate Maberly manages to make a spoilt young girl into a likeable, even relatable character and her transformation from a child who couldn't cry even at her parent's deaths to one that breaks down when she witnesses her uncle and his son walk off without her is beautifully created.
Heydon Prowse as the impatient, ungrateful Master Colin is another child starved of love, but his obession with death, germs and diseases means he is suffering more in the mind than in body. His frequent fits (or temper tantrums, more likely) means that his mother's garden (that definitly still holds his mother's spirit) can help him also make the change from unloveable and sickly to healthy and strong young boy.
However, special credit must be given to Andrew Knott as Dickon Sowerby, who brings a warmth, kindness and mischieviousness to his character that brings joy to the entire movie. He is one of the few 'good-guys' from the very beginning, and in a way the 'Samwise Gamgee' of the movie, not just because he is a kind-hearted simple gardener, but because he is the over-looked hero that ultimately saves the day by just being himself. The fact that the last scene of the movie is of Dickon travelling across the moor on his white pony is a testimony to this.
The adult cast also hold up nicely, from Martha to Mrs Medlock, to Ben Weatherstaff to Lord Craven himself. Even the actress that plays both Lilias and Mary's mother has some beautiful scenes, the most poignant being her reaching out to Mary in her dreams, and Lilias's spirit calling to Lord Craven: "I'm in the garden! With Colin!" Each performance is outstanding work. The photography, directing and set design of the movie is also beautiful and it boasts a lovely, haunting musical score that includes the song 'Winter Light' that has also become one of my favourites. There are themes galore within the movie whether it be the turn of the seasons, the difference between the restrictions of the upper class and the freedom of the lower class, the relationships between various parents and their children, the joy and furfullment that can be found from simple pleasures, and even life triumphing over death. I even picked up on a subtle love triangle - the scene with Dickon and Mary on the swing together while Colin watches from behind the camera is an intriging one - I kinda wish that the film-makers had developed this plot thread further.All in all, this movie has my absolute highest rating, and is as close to a perfect movie you can possibly get. Watch it, no matter who you are or what age you are."