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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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The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) + A Little Princess (Widescreen/Full Screen) + Matilda: Special Edition / Édition spéciale (Bilingual)
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Magic Nov. 1 2003
By Everett
Format:DVD
I have to say this has got to be the best out of all the secret garden movies. The sets are breathtaking, and the garden just makes you want to wish you were there. I was amazed at how well the kids acted. I didn't even know kids could act that well. You sometimes even forgot they were children, and just payed attention to what they were saying.
When Mary Lennox, a spoiled little girl(Kate Maberly), is sent to live with her Uncle in the estate he owns called Misselthwait Manor after her parents die in a strange earthquake in India, she knows things aren't exactly in the ordinary. Someone in the castle crys out in terror all the time, and a giant garden out on the moors is locked up for who knows what reason. People are very mysterious about these two things, and no one wants to talk about it, so Mary'll just have to find out for herself with her curious mind. With the help of Dickon, and her new found friend Robin, she can unlock the secret to the garden, and to her heart.
Everything in this movie is flawless. They may not have followed the book too well, but even on its own, it made a great version. The acting was great by the adults too, especially by the always wonderful Maggie Smith, as Mrs. Medlock, and John Lynch as Mr. Craven. A timeless classic blooms to life once again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, reverent, awe-inspiring... Feb. 2 2003
By Dirk
Format:DVD
To be honest, I remember seeing previews of this movie way back when it came out (in 1993) and thinking to myself, "WHY would anyone want to see such a film; more importantly, WHY would anyone make it?" Well, about five years later it appeared on TV one night when I was bored. I decided to give it a try, fully expecting to turn it off within 20 minutes or so. WOW -- was I ever wrong!
What I saw was beautiful and captivating, artistic and entrancing -- film-making of the highest order. "The Secret Garden" is a movie of such high artistic quality that it ranks up there with the hallowed "Apocalypse Now" (although, of course, these two flicks inhabit two opposite ends of the thematic spectrum). It's no wonder that Francis Ford Coppola had his hand in both of these pics -- he was the director of "Apocalypse Now" (duh) and the executive producer of "The Secret Garden."
Anyway, the cinematography is breathtaking and the music is wondrously outstanding.
To be brief, the story's about a young spoilied English girl, orphaned in India, who comes home to live on her uncle's vast estate in the early 1900's. The girl, Mary, finds herself trapped in a mysterious, colossal manor -- almost a castle -- tyranically managed by a life-stifling witch, Mrs. Medlock, in the frequent absence of her uncle, Lord Cravin. Because Mary is highly intelligent, independant and sly she is easily able to reconnoiter the manor and learn its forbidding secrets. The biggest secret is that her aunt died in childbirth about ten years before, but her son, Colin, still lives there, albeit confined to a bed, sickly and unable to walk. Her uncle evidently never healed from this heartbreak and this explains his frequent absences.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids, and not just for girls... Dec 5 2002
Format:DVD
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars loooove it
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.
Published 26 days ago by glen448
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video
Excellent delivery timing! Arrived in perfect condition, so happy to have the opportunity to have this Great Thank you for sharing this One!
Published 1 month ago by Boo
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden Reviewed
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. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Laurena King
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointing
I thought the grandchildren would enjoy it but it couldn't hold their attention for more than 5 minutes at a time
Published 15 months ago by penwitch
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful movie
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.
Published 18 months ago by Pat J.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden
I really enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed watching the garden come a live with Mary help. The animals are adorable in the movie. Read more
Published on May 11 2011 by Pearl
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting tale
When an earthquake in India leaves her an orphan, Mary Lennox is sent to live at her uncle's remote estate in England. Read more
Published on May 24 2008 by Kona
3.0 out of 5 stars i like it enough to buy it
Hi there. I have brought the vhs of this movie, and I like it enough to rebuy it and upgrade to dvd. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2004 by maggie smith fan
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautifuly done but "creative" with the plot
This is a beautiful film, there is absolutely no denying that. It is also exceptionally well cast: Mary's transformation from sour little brat to glowing wee lass is completely... Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by Megan
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Try
I didnt like it. It was not true to the book wich is wonderful.They left out when Mary was in India completely and they interpret the magic Mary and Colin are always talking about... Read more
Published on June 17 2004
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