The Secret Garden (1993 film)

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For other uses, see Secret Garden (disambiguation).
The Secret Garden
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Produced by Fred Fuchs
Tom Luddy
Fred Roos
Screenplay by Caroline Thompson
Based on The Secret Garden 
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Starring Kate Maberly
Heydon Prowse
Andrew Knott
Maggie Smith
John Lynch
Music by Zbigniew Preisner
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Jerzy Zielinski
Edited by Isabelle Lorente
Distributed by Warner Bros. Family Entertainment
Release dates
  • 13 August 1993 (1993-08-13) (US)
  • 20 January 1994 (1994-01-20) (UK)
Running time
102 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $31,181,347

The Secret Garden is a 1993 British drama fantasy film directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, John Lynch and Maggie Smith. It was written by Caroline Thompson and based on the novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Plot synopsis[edit]

The recently orphaned Mary Lennox travels from her home in India to her uncle Archibald Craven's mansion, Misselthwaite Manor, in Yorkshire, England. She, materially spoiled but emotionally neglected by her late parents who had been killed in an earthquake, is rather unpleasant and unhappy in her new surroundings. Martha, a maid, and her brother, Dickon Sowerby, a boy who can "talk" to animals, befriend and help her to heal and grow. She discovers her late aunt's secret garden, which has been locked for ten years and enlists Dickon to help her bring it back to life.

Hidden away in the gloomy mansion is Mary's cousin, Colin, who has been treated all his life like a fragile, sickly invalid. This exaggeration has augmented what smaller problems he had, turning him into a demanding, short tempered, helpless boy. Mary, defying the orders of Mrs. Medlock (who runs Misselthwaite), discovers Colin and is taken aback by his difficult nature, but reaches out to him anyway. Soon he, Mary, and Dickon all spend their time in the garden. They perform "magic"; barefoot, they make a large bonfire and play a flute, dance round it, and chant, while Colin asks the magic to send his father. Colin learns to walk and gets quite well, which Archibald discovers upon his return to Misselthwaite.



Yorkshire's imposing Allerton Castle stood in for most of the exterior shots of Misselthwaite Manor, and some of the interior was also used. Fountains Hall was also used for part of the exterior.[citation needed]

Interiors of the former Midland Grand Hotel were used for filming as well, notable the scenes on the grand staircase.

Holland was already internationally famous as a director before the making of the film; in doing so she continued to work outside of Poland.[2]


The film features the end credits song "Winter Light" performed by Linda Ronstadt, which is based on two themes from the score by Zbigniew Preisner. However, it is not featured in the film's original soundtrack, but in Ronstadt's eponymous album Winter Light.[3]Sarah Brightman and the youngest member of Celtic Woman, Chloë Agnew, covered it for their albums; Brightman's Classics and Agnew's Walking In The Air.

The soundtrack, released by Varèse Sarabande, contains the original score.[4]


Since its 1993 release, the film has garnered exceptionally positive reviews and currently holds an 85% "fresh" approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, based on 40 reviews.[5]

According to Box Office Mojo, the film has a domestic gross of $31,181,347.[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award wins

Award nominations


External links[edit]