The Secret Garden (1949 film)

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The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Produced by Clarence Brown
Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel)
Screenplay by Robert Ardrey
Based on The Secret Garden
Starring Margaret O'Brien
Herbert Marshall
Dean Stockwell
Music by Bronislau Kaper (composer)
André Previn (direction/supervision)
Cinematography Ray June
Editing by Robert J. Kern
Studio Loews Inc.
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates April 30, 1949
Running time 89 minutes
Country  United States
Language English
Budget $1,432,000[1]
Box office $993,000[1]

The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film.[2][3] It is the second screen adaptation of the classic 1909 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (the first adaption was a silent version filmed in 1919). The screenplay by Robert Ardrey was directed by Fred M. Wilcox. It centers on a young orphan who is thrust into the dark and mysterious lives of her widowed uncle and his crippled son when she comes to live with them in their isolated country house in Yorkshire, England.

The MGM release was filmed primarily in black-and-white, with the sequences set in the restored garden of the title filmed in Technicolor. This film was Margaret O'Brien's final film for MGM.

Plot[edit]

When tempestuous Mary Lennox (Margaret O'Brien), born in India to wealthy parents, is orphaned by a cholera epidemic, she is sent to live with her reclusive and embittered Uncle Archibald Craven (Herbert Marshall) and her ill-behaved, bedridden cousin Colin (Dean Stockwell) at their desolate and decaying estate known as Misselthwaite Manor. Dickon (Brian Roper), the brother of one of the house maids, tells her of a garden secreted behind a hidden door in a vine-covered wall. When a raven unearths the key, the two enter and discover the garden is overgrown from neglect since Craven's wife died there in an accident. They decide to keep their discovery a secret, and begin to restore it to its original grandeur. Under the influence of the Secret Garden, Mary becomes less self-absorbed, Colin's health steadily improves, and Archibald's curmudgeonly personality fades away.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $610,000 in the US and Canada and $383,000 overseas resulting in a loss of $848,000.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Variety film review; April 27, 1949, page 11.
  3. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; April 23, 1949, page 66.

External links[edit]