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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 »

Director:

Alan Grint

Writers:

Blanche Hanalis (teleplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
4,800 ( 186)
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

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
Philip Locke ... Pitcher
Karen Archer Karen Archer ... Mrs. Crawford
Irina Brook ... Adult Mary
David Waller David Waller ... Dr. Craven
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... Mrs. Sowerby
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Family | Drama

Certificate:

PG
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of Highclere Castle's furnishings were used during filming and are arranged in the same manner throughout the house today. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Lennox: I just have the most marvelous idea; after the governers ball why don't we go for a breakfast picnic along the river?
People at table: Oh yes, yes, I'd like that very much.
Mrs. Crawford: I don't think I should feel like a picnic after dancing all night.
Mrs. Lennox: Nonsense.
Mrs. Crawford: Besides, I shan't be going to the ball, Stephen has booked me a passage to England. He says there's some kind of plague in the provinces.
Mrs. Lennox: Oh, there's always some kind of plague in the provinces, Mrs. Crawford. I wouldn't let that stop me from going to the ball.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of O Jardim Encantado (1959) See more »

User Reviews

 
A well done made for television adaptation of the novel.
5 May 2006 | by tinman19602003See all my reviews

Director Alan Grint (who did a bang up job directing some of the episodes of the British Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett) has successfully translated an F H Burnett book to the small screen. This Hallmark Hall of Fame version introduces us to a grown Mary Lennox who in flashback, relives her childhood experience in coming to the rural manor of her guardian.

The real story has no reference to grown Mary or her romantic connection to Colin Craven. This is probably due to the fact that in the novel, Burnett makes it clear that Mary and Colin are actually cousins. This film version has erased that from the story, which would not be required if the unnecessary adult portions of the story had been left out.

Young Gennie James is excellent as (at first) ill tempered and selfish Mary Lennox. She resents her new situation (orphan living in someone else's house) and strains the patience of her caretaker (Whitlaw). When she discovers there is a secret garden, she is determined to find it, and when, upon finally meeting her guardian Mr. Craven, she steers him into granting her permission to make a garden anywhere she chooses. Of course she chooses the walled in garden.

When she finally tames Colin enough to tell him of the garden and her new friend Dickon, and his mysterious way with animals, the willful Colin is determined to see these wonders for himself and demands that the servants take him outside in his wheel chair and allow Mary to escort him with Dickon to push him. The servants balk, but give in to their young master's whim. This, of course, proves to be the beginning of the sickly Colin's road to recovery.

Young Oliver as Dickon is quite good, though he has little to say. Steele does a fine job of playing the demanding, insufferable crippled boy. Horndern is just right as the crusty but faithful Gardener and Whitlaw is good as always. All in all, a charming and satisfying, if slightly altered, version of the excessivley wordy classic novel.

Incidentally, for you fans of Harry Potter, NO, director Alan Grint is not the father of Rupert Grint.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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