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Greenfingers film.jpg
Cover of the 2002 DVD release
Directed byJoel Hershman
Written byJoel Hershman
Produced byTrudie Styler
Travis Swords
Daniel J. Victor
StarringClive Owen
Helen Mirren
David Kelly
CinematographyJohn Daly
Edited byTariq Anwar
Distributed byWinchester Film Distribution[1]
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Release dates
10 September 2000 (TIFF)
13 July 2001 (USA)
14 September 2001 (UK)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Box office$1,961,054[2]

Greenfingers is a 2000 British comedy film directed and written by Joel Hershman. It is loosely based on the true story about the award-winning prisoners of HMP Leyhill, a minimum-security prison in the Cotswolds, England,[3] a story published in The New York Times in 1998.[4]


When Colin Briggs, a convicted murderer,[5] is placed in an experimental programme to finish off his prison sentence, all he wants is peace and quiet. After his wise, elderly roommate Fergus, imprisoned for killing three wives,[3] introduces him to gardening, Colin uncovers a talent and passion for plants. When he accidentally raises a patch of double-violets, the warden assigns him to cultivate a garden, with other prisoners as his assistants.[6]

Teaming up with his fellow inmates, Colin gets the attention of celebrated gardener Georgina Woodhouse. Soon, the unexpected gardeners are preparing to compete for the Hampton Court Flower Show. When Colin meets Georgina's beautiful daughter Primrose, he discovers another reason to fight for his freedom: true love.



The film was shot in Britain in five weeks on a budget of £2 million, with the help of the Royal Horticultural Society and English garden designer Rosemary Verey.[7]


  1. ^ "Greenfingers (2001)". BBFC. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Greenfingers". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ a b Ramsey, Nancy (22 July 2001). "Never Too Tough to Be Softened Up by a Flower". The New York Times. p. 22. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  4. ^ Deitz, Paula (16 July 1998). "Free to Grow Bluebells in England". The New York Times. p. 13.
  5. ^ Sealy, Shirley (1 November 2004). "Greenfingers". Film Journal International. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (3 August 2001). "Greenfingers Movie Review & Film Summary (2001) | Roger Ebert". Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  7. ^ Midwinter, Janet; Jarvie, Jenny (14 July 2001). "Leyhill's prison gardeners break into the movies". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 15 August 2018.

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