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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on August 11, 2001
'The Secret Garden' tells the delightful story of a young girl called Mary, who becomes an orphan, and is forced to live with her aunt in a huge mansion.
At first Mary is a spoilt brat, but after finding a locked and neglected garden, things begin to change. Secrets about her childhood are revealed. She befriends a boy, and discovers a cousin who is an invalid. And teaches a father to love his son again.
With the magic and love that grows in 'The Secret Garden', any disability can be overcome.
I have read the book and I loved it! I love the movie too! It is beautiful and kind. By far one of my classic favorite movies I have seen. The ending, while very happy, always manages to bring tears to my eyes! It is so beautiful. I also really love the song 'Winter Light' by Linda Ronstadt. Kate Maberly is also delightful! I love the lines 'Colin: 'Are you making this magic?' Mary:'No you are!'
I would reccommend this movie for all ages!
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on November 1, 2003
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. When Mary Lennox, a spoiled little girl, 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 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. 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, especially by the always wonderful Margaret Smith, as Mrs. Medlock, and John Lynch as Mr. Craven. A timeless classic blooms to life once again.
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on December 7, 1999
I saw this movie when I was in elementary school and loved the character of Mary, I relished in the classic story from the children's book, and I begged my mom to purchase the video. To this day I still watch that movie, with every viewing more intrigued. The music is haunting, the landscape eerie and beautiful, and the acting superb. I still marvel at this film and only wished it was more celebrated. Adults and children will enjoy this classic film.
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on June 8, 2003
This film is excellently directed and gives the original story the extra grace. I read the story when I was a little boy. The garden remains mysterious to me. Now I am glad to find the garden in this film though a bit different from what I had expected. Art directing is stellar. From the onset of Indian landscape to vividness of the garden I had been awestruck.
Children actors are super as well. And supporting actors particularly Maggie Smith as the strict servant create the mood of the story well. A bit of unconvincing part is Mary's cousin Colin being too quick to walk briskly. Overall excellent artwork and directing overcedes the minor things. The use of guiding robin is also nice. And the garden is beautiful and the process of rebooming is nicely described. This should not be limited to children. Adults need such heartwarming story.
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on March 30, 2002
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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on July 15, 2004
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 believable, and the bratty, dour Colin makes a perfect "to the manor born" invalid. My only problem is the liberties taken with the plot.
Having the parents die in an earthquake while Mary is watching is a needless, though minor liberty (though it does mean that the touching line about "there's no one left to come" must be left out). But there was no need to change the plot to make the housekeeper (a wasted Maggie Smith) evil, and the chanting around the campfire is just weird.
The movie is worth watching for the scenery alone, but make sure that you read the book first. It is much better.
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on August 1, 1999
Great for children, but also entertaining for adults. This movie features particularly lovely scenes and landscapes and some nice cinematography. The adaptation manages to capture some of the mystical, dreamy quality of the novel. The acting is generally good. This version does lack a bit of the frightening quality of the book and other film versions, but this is not a serious flaw. Also a rather nice musical score.
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on November 6, 2001
'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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on February 24, 1999
This beautifully photographed film transforms the sickeningly sweet children's story it is based on. Agnieszka Holland's wonderful adaptation focuses on the theme of redemption through love without sentimentality. This meditative film may be better for adults than children, but there is much to enjoy in the fine performances and the sweeping Yorkshire scenery. I recommend it highly, along with all her other films.
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on October 12, 2000
If you love the book, this movie will completely deliver on your expectations. If you've never read the book, this movie still has plenty to offer--it's visually stunning, a magical historic drama, a fabulous performance from the great Maggie Smith (as well as from the rest of the very well chosen cast).
This movie makes great rainy day viewing, and will be a hit among adults, kids, and period-romantic drama.
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