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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable but...
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...
Published on Jan. 31 2005

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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. 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...
Published on Sept. 30 2004 by maggie smith fan


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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids, and not just for girls..., Dec 5 2002
By 
R. M. Fisher "Ravenya" (New Zealand = Middle Earth!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) (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. 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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorie films, Aug. 28 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
Absolutely joyous. The BEST version of the book Ive ever seen. Such magic and wonder in this film, I cry at the end every time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! The best!, March 31 2002
By 
This is the best version of the secret garden i have ever seen!I love EVERYTHING about it.The story, the acting , the settings , everything! I especially LOVE Kate maberly's , heydon prowse's, and andrew knott's acting. The three of them playing the role of the three children , mary lennox,colin craven,and dickon sowerby,
gives you a perfect idea of how the characters are.This is the very best version of The secret garden , ever!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative!, Jan. 14 2002
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
This is a film that will appeal to children of all ages. A definite MUST, and this is no exaggeration. Secrets and hidden passages abound in Misselthwaite Manor, where orphaned Mary Lennox is to live after coming from India (her parents were killed in a great Indian earthquake which happened a few months earlier in the storyline.) Adding to the depth of the story is an almost absent uncle who lives in the shadow of a tragic past. There is also her sickly cousin of a brat, who just can't stand the sunlight and fresh air. Put in too, impatient Mrs. Medlock, who is your "perfect" housekeeper. And top these with The Secret Garden, a sanctuary where the story finds its turning point from dark and despair to one of life, healing and hope. It is a place where things begin, and not without the efforts of the children, to grow.
There are moral lessons to boot all throughout the story. And for sure, the photography deserves praise. Suberb! Overall a perfect film that deserves a place in a collection. Frances Hodgson Burnett would not have been ashamed to see this film version of her classic novel were she alive today. Don't miss out on this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This is...., Jan. 10 2002
By 
Holly Lehto (APO, AE United States) - See all my reviews
a very cute movie with really good actors! Note: the scenery is amazing! It makes you wonder if it is all real! I would highly recomend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Film For ALL!, Nov. 6 2001
This review is from: The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) (DVD)
'The Secret Garden' is one of my favourite films ever. It is a superb film experiance for any person, and a superlative example of film production in every area. The adaptation, the script, the acting, the directing, the score, and the production are exemplary.
The DVD offers no extra features over the VHS version except the obvious technical quality, yet the standard of the film is such that it demands a copy in the DVD format, if only from a pride of ownership perspective. I already owned a copy on VHS when the DVD version was released, and didn't hesitate on buying it again on DVD for posterity.
Don't ever rent this film: BUY IT.

It will become a joy to watch over and over again, each time bringing a new level of understanding, and returning ever more to the viewer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where Love Grows, Oct. 20 2001
By 
"sweetvioletkgp3" (Mahtomedi, Minnesota United States) - See all my reviews
A great film. Its very entertaining and a joy. Mary was born in India and her parents never thought about her. They always cared for themselves. Her parents soon passed away because of a fire so she was sent to her aunts house. It was different at the mansion that her aunt had. It was strange to her. One night Mary heard a boy crying and she followed the sound. The boy always talked about that he was going to die soon just like his father. He couldn't walk and was always in bed. They became friends but then Mary met Dicken and that kind of split up the relationship of Mary and the one boy that she met before. Mary found a secret garden and told Dicken about it. They started growing plants and flowers in the garden. After a while the flowers and plants started blooming and it was the most beautiful garden you would have ever seen. They decided to take the boy to the garden and they tought him how to walk. In the garden there would be animals running around. The three of them would always hang out in the garden. Mary says if you look in a cirtain way, the whole world is as if it were a garden.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Where Love Grows, Oct. 20 2001
By 
"sweetvioletkgp3" (Mahtomedi, Minnesota United States) - See all my reviews
A great film. Its very entertaining and a joy. Mary was born in India and her parents never thought about her. They always cared for themselves. Her parents soon passed away because of a fire so she was sent to her aunts house. It was different at the mansion that her aunt had. It was strange to her. One night Mary heard a boy crying and she followed the sound. The boy always talked about that he was going to die soon just like his father. He couldn't walk and was always in bed. They became friends but then Mary met Dicken and that kind of split up the relationship of Mary and the one boy that she met before. Mary found a secret garden and told Dicken about it. They started growing plants and flowers in the garden. After a while the flowers and plants started blooming and it was the most beautiful garden you would have ever seen. They decided to take the boy to the garden and they tought him how to walk. In the garden there would be animals running around. The three of them would always hang out in the garden. Mary says if you look in a cirtain way, the whole world is as if it were a garden. This is really spose to be a VHS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden: Worth the money and your time., Oct. 9 2001
Well...Having said that. This movie stays quite true to the book. Which makes it such a good movie. Because the book is very good. Its not exactly the same, but anyways.
I've seen this movie multiple times and the magic has yet to wear off. The tale is of a 10 year old girl named Mary Lennox who parents were killed in an earth quake in India(where they lived). So Mary Lennox must travel to England to her Uncles house in Yorkshire, where many secrets are hidden including YOU GUESSED IT!!! A Secret Garden which has not been opened for 10 years.
There a lovable as well as hateable characters. Such as Dickens and his sister, they are quite loveable, whereas Miss Medlock and Colin Craven are pretty hatefull. But it balances the movie out. At first Mary is a sour and angry child, but soon after opening the secret garden she begins to fall in love with it, and what it will be like.
I will not reveal anymore, but that should give you a good enough taste of the movie, the acting is excellent as well as the character development. *enjoy*!!!
God Bless ~Amy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Caring Makes A World Of Difference, Sept. 17 2001
This is a wonderful, universal story. The content is appropriate to this audience. Kids identify with characters on many levels - losing parents, being part of a family and learning to understand feelings. Stimulates students' creativity. Kids are inspired and moved by the emotions present in each of the characters. "No matter what your problems are, you can overcome them." "It must have been taped in a big garden. It was neat." "Awesome, it was the best video ever." Best for ages 8 to 12.
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The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen)
The Secret Garden (Widescreen/Full Screen) by Agnieszka Holland (DVD - 1997)
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