Mr. Rice's Secret

Overview

Owen Walters (Bill Switzer) is a terminally ill 12-year-old boy. He and some of his friends who are also sick deal with the typical preteen realities of life -- bullies, parents, and sports -- but their lives are haunted by their apparent short life expectancies. Owen has developed a special bond with his somewhat eccentric next-door neighbor, Mr. Rice (David Bowie), who opens Owen's mind to ideas of philosophy. Sadly, Mr. Rice dies. But Owen discovers that Mr. Rice, in the days before his death, prepared an ...
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Overview

Owen Walters (Bill Switzer) is a terminally ill 12-year-old boy. He and some of his friends who are also sick deal with the typical preteen realities of life -- bullies, parents, and sports -- but their lives are haunted by their apparent short life expectancies. Owen has developed a special bond with his somewhat eccentric next-door neighbor, Mr. Rice (David Bowie), who opens Owen's mind to ideas of philosophy. Sadly, Mr. Rice dies. But Owen discovers that Mr. Rice, in the days before his death, prepared an elaborate treasure hunt that only Owen, if he uses all the planted clues, can find. Owen and his friends go to great lengths and against great odds to find the treasure, and when Owen finds it, he discovers the treasure is buried inside himself.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The touching ending is a bountiful payoff for those who have been suffering through the occasionally maudlin aspects of this film. Mr. Rice's Secret is the rare family film that dares tackle a heavy theme -- death -- from a child's perspective, and for that it should be applauded. There are moments that are overwrought and sappy, but given the material, how could it be avoided? The pacing and level of suspense is ideal for preteens, who won't mind the occasional emotional manipulation, but some parents watching with their kids may be shocked to see that one of the clues for Owen to find requires he and his young friends to exhume the body. Just keep saying, "It's only a movie, it's only a movie." The production values are good, and David Bowie fans rarely see their hero in such a charming, down to earth role. The two twists in the last reel -- the treasure and what Owen does with it -- are endearing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/6/2004
  • UPC: 039414581195
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mti Home Video
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
David Bowie Mr. Rice
Garwin Sanford Stan
Teryl Rothery Marilyn
Campbell Lane
Tyler Labine
Technical Credits
Nicholas Kendall Director
David Birdsall Set Decoration/Design
David Forrest Executive Producer
Simon Kendall Score Composer
Gregory Mah Costumes/Costume Designer
Gregory Middleton Cinematographer
Ralph Parker Sound/Sound Designer
Beau Rogers Executive Producer
Jullian Scott Production Designer
Steve Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Steve Smith Sound/Sound Designer
Pete Whyte Asst. Director
Ron Yoshida Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. Intro [4:04]
2. Funeral [5:27]
3. Mom [3:53]
4. Clinic [4:50]
5. Mr. Rice [4:02]
6. Trunk [4:32]
7. Hook [5:32]
8. Wrong [5:15]
9. Video [5:08]
10. Deal [3:56]
11. Graveyard [5:03]
12. Key [4:33]
13. Tryouts [5:49]
14. Movers [3:28]
15. Map [4:29]
16. Blue Suit [3:51]
17. Letter [5:38]
18. Hockey [3:44]
19. Full Moon [5:53]
20. Credits [3:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Feature
   Subtitles
   Biographies
      David Bowie
      Bill Switzer
      Garwin Sanford
      Teryl Rothery
   Trailer
   Previews
      The Ghost of Spoon River
      Chasing Destiny
      Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
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