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Movie Review - The Secret Garden (1993 - United States)

Updated on March 11, 2012

What a wonderful picture, and especially appropriate to watch in spring. Fresh, exciting to look at, with outstanding acting all the way around, and two wonderful non-credited characters: a creepy old house, and a splendid old garden. I recommend this as highly as I can, for anyone, of any age, but most specifically for anyone needing a shot of renewal, regeneration…..... of spring!

As is so often the case with stories intended for young audiences, there is a very dark back-story, as well. The neglectful parents of the central character, Mary Lennox (Kate Maberly) are contrasted with the suffocatingly overly protective parenting inflicted on her cousin, Colin Craven (Heydon Prowse). As she restores to its former splendor the garden on her uncle’s evocatively named estate, Craven Hall, a wild-child servant boy, Dickon (Andrew Knott) with an abiding connection to nature helps her understand the importance of nurturing that is supportive, but not stultifying.

Watch this wonderful movie right now:

Watch the trailer:

What makes this film special, however, is the uncredited presence at its center, that wonderful garden! Director Agnieszka Holland and cinematographer Roger Deakins create a poetic mutual blossoming of the spirits of humans and plants, which places The Secret Garden in a unique category and allows it to easily transcend typical “family” movies.


Very highly recommended for audiences of all ages, but especially for those who love gardening and respect the blessings the plant kingdom brings into our world.

Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.

(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at

Genre: Drama, Kids & Family

Rated: G

Running Time: 1 hr. 41 min.

In Theaters: Mar 18, 1993

On DVD: Jan 1, 2000

Directed By: Agnieszka Holland

Writers: Frances Hodgson Burnett (book),

Caroline Thompson (screenplay)


Kate Maberly ... Mary Lennox

Heydon Prowse... Colin Craven

Andrew Knott ... Dickon

Maggie Smith. . Mrs. Medlock

Laura Crossley ... Martha

John Lynch ... Lord Archibald Craven

Walter Sparrow ... Ben Weatherstaff


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    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Do you know of any other movies in which a garden plays a major role?