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The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen)

Kate Maberly , Maggie Smith , Agnieszka Holland    G (General Audience)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
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Filmed before (and quite nicely) in 1949, Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's story was remade for this admirable 1993 release, executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola and directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland. Splendidly adapted by Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson, the film opens in India during the early 1900s, when young Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) is orphaned and sent to England to live in Misselthwaite Manor, the gloomy estate of her brooding and melancholy uncle, Lord Craven (John Lynch). Because the uncle is almost always away on travels, struggling to forget the death of his beloved wife, Mary is left mostly alone to explore the estate. Eventually she befriends the young brother of a staff maid and Lord Craven's apparently crippled son, who has been needlessly bedridden for years. Together the three children restore a neglected garden on the estate grounds, and in doing so they set the stage for a moving reaffirmation of life and love. Filmed with graceful style and careful attention to the intelligence and cleverness of young children, The Secret Garden is that rarest breed of family film that transcends its own generic category, encouraging a sense of wonder and optimism to become a rewarding experience for viewers of any age. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable but... Jan. 31 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An enjoyable adaptation, emphasis on adaptation, of the book. I found the characters very believable and especially enjoyed the characters of Mary, Dickon, Martha, Collin and Lord Craven. The movie itself is entrancing and certainly worth watching. That being said however those people who enjoy the book may find a few disappointments like I did. To put a book into a movie often requires the compression of activities. However I fail to see the reason to change the relationship between Mary's parents and her uncle, Lord Craven. In the book Mary's father and Lord Craven's late wife are brother and sister. In the movie Mary's mother and Lord Craven's wife are twin sisters. This is used to change one of the more important parts of the book where Collin has "his mother's eyes" which is a great part of the pain that Lord Craven feels when he looks at Collin. Collin is also less spoiled, or at least less demanding, in the movie. He is controlled by the housekeeper rather than being the "lord of the manor" as he is in the book. While setting up more confrontation it also detracts from his change from "spoiled brat" to a normal boy. One other point that I did not like, they leave out Dickon's mother who plays a small but pivotal role in the book.

Overall I would recommend this movie however if you have not read the book, read it for it gives great scope to ones imagination and is much more "human".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful movie Feb. 14 2013
By Pat J.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of my favorite movies. It reminds me of the healing power and the magic of the garden. I could watch it over and over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting tale May 24 2008
When an earthquake in India leaves her an orphan, Mary Lennox is sent to live at her uncle's remote estate in England. The spoiled, bratty Mary is quite miserable with no one to talk to or play with and a stern housekeeper (Maggie Smith) hovering over her. When Mary begins exploring the manor, she discovers not only a secret garden but also a secret cousin!

This is a beautifully-filmed children's story about the power of friendship and overcoming adversity. I wasn't familiar with the 1911 book (although I want to read it now), and I expected something awful to happen to the garden or the children, but only good things happen, so it's ideal for kids of all ages.

The Yorkshire location is lovely and the acting is uniformly wonderful. The joys of bringing an old garden to life and befriending a shut-in child are the simple, yet profound pleasures of this story. Highly recommended for those who like sweet, sentimental stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video June 25 2014
By Boo
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent delivery timing! Arrived in perfect condition, so happy to have the opportunity to have this Great Thank you for sharing this One!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden Reviewed May 17 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Yes this movie varies from the original novel. I bought it for viewing at our book club meeting the month we read the original novel. And yes, the things that varied (the mother being twins, the lack of a disease massacre and instead either an earthquake or an invasion (they're not quite clear on that)) were very different. But the feelings of the story were still present. The three children were excellent in their roles, and Maggie Smith was wonderful. I will definitely be re-watching this film time and time again in the future. It's fantastic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars loooove it July 24 2014
By glen448
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
this movie is very calming, but somehow at the same time it is one of the most interesting movies you'll ever watch. the little girl looks a little evil though.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars i like it enough to buy it Sept. 30 2004
Hi there. I have brought the vhs of this movie, and I like it enough to rebuy it and upgrade to dvd. I haven't read the book first, but I've heard it wasn't exactly true to the book, however the actors are fitting and I love maggie smith in any movie I've seen. The graphics and growing of the garden is fantastic. It's definately worth watching anyway though, and it makes me want to read the book of this. :-D pianist@shaw.ca
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden May 11 2011
By Pearl
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed watching the garden come a live with Mary help. The animals are adorable in the movie.
One day while Mary was exploring around the grounds of the estate, Mary found a key near the garden gate. Mary, who is an ambitious, determined young lady to get her cousin Colin out of his bed and on his feet; told Colin about the garden that she discovered. Colin wanted to see for himself the garden. Mary was delighted to show Colin her secret garden. It is a great movie with a happy ending.
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