Secret Garden

Secret Garden

Director: Fred Wilcox

Cast: Fred Wilcox, Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall, Dean Stockwell

     
 

The oft-filmed Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden was given the usual plush MGM treatment in 1949. Tempestuous orphan girl Mary Lennox (Margaret O'Brien) is sent to live with her reclusive, long-widowed uncle Archibald Craven (Herbert Marshall). The embittered Craven has an invalid son named Colin (Dean Stockwell), with whom the troublesome MarySee more details below

Overview

The oft-filmed Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden was given the usual plush MGM treatment in 1949. Tempestuous orphan girl Mary Lennox (Margaret O'Brien) is sent to live with her reclusive, long-widowed uncle Archibald Craven (Herbert Marshall). The embittered Craven has an invalid son named Colin (Dean Stockwell), with whom the troublesome Mary constantly clashes. Her only real friend is neighbor-boy Dickon (Brian Roper). Things soon change after Mary discovers the key to the Craven household's garden, which has been locked up and neglected since the death of Craven's wife. Through the influence of the Secret Garden, Mary learns to think of others rather than herself, Craven drops his curmudgeonly veneer, and Colin's health slowly but steadily improves. In the tradition of The Wizard of Oz, the sequences taking place in the Secret Garden are lensed in Technicolor.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Secret Garden's many film adaptations demonstrate that this is a fertile source that thrives on screen, and the 1949 version is one of the best. While the use of color only in the "garden" sections is perhaps more jarring to modern audiences, it still creates a marvelous effect. Indeed, Ray June's stunning cinematography -- both in color and in black-and-white -- is one of this Garden's assets, creating a stark, Gothic feeling initially that gradually melts into lighter, more inviting shades (and color tones, of course) as the presence of Mary Lennox brings light and color into the drab and oppressive world of the Craven household. A great deal of credit for the film's success goes to Robert Ardrey's superior screenplay, which adeptly finds the appropriate cinematic form for Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic book. Ardrey's script, like the book, also isn't afraid to be a bit "dark" for a family film, one of the reasons this Garden appeals as much to adults as to children. Fred Wilcox's direction is smooth and on-target, creating high points, while letting the in-between moments feel like transitions rather than waiting periods. And the cast is a dream, with Margaret O'Brien in superb form, Dean Stockwell in perhaps even better form, and spot-on performances from Herbert Marshall and Brian Roper as well. Plus, one gets the chance to see Elsa Lanchester in one of her loveliest performances, playing a normal woman rather than one of the eccentrics or neurotics with which she is so often identified. Garden is simply a jewel of a film.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/07/2013
UPC:
0883316792186
Original Release:
1949
Rating:
G
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
20,508

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Margaret O'Brien Mary Lennox
Herbert Marshall Archibald Craven
Dean Stockwell Colin Craven
Brian Roper Dickon
Gladys Cooper Mrs. Medlock
Elsa Lanchester Martha
Reginald Owen Ben Weatherstaff
Aubrey Mather Dr. Griddlestone
George Zucco Dr. Fortescue
Lowell Gilmore British Officer
Billy Bevan Barney
Dennis Hoey Mr. Pitcher
Matthew Boulton Mr. Bromley
Isobel Elsom Governess
Norma Varden Nurse
Kathryn Beaumont Uncredited

Technical Credits
Fred Wilcox Director
Robert Ardrey Screenwriter
Clarence Brown Producer
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Ray June Cinematographer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Robert J. Kern Editor
Urie McCleary Art Director
Warren Newcombe Special Effects
Richard A. Pefferle Set Decoration/Design
Walter Plunkett Costumes/Costume Designer
André Previn Musical Direction/Supervision
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Secret Garden
1. Chapter 1 [1:30]
2. Chapter 2 [3:22]
3. Chapter 3 [2:26]
4. Chapter 4 [2:46]
5. Chapter 5 [3:44]
6. Chapter 6 [3:13]
7. Chapter 7 [2:41]
8. Chapter 8 [3:59]
9. Chapter 9 [2:44]
10. Chapter 10 [3:11]
11. Chapter 11 [3:16]
12. Chapter 12 [3:06]
13. Chapter 13 [2:17]
14. Chapter 14 [2:41]
15. Chapter 15 [3:24]
16. Chapter 16 [3:11]
17. Chapter 17 [2:48]
18. Chapter 18 [3:09]
19. Chapter 19 [3:04]
20. Chapter 20 [3:22]
21. Chapter 21 [2:24]
22. Chapter 22 [2:57]
23. Chapter 23 [3:44]
24. Chapter 24 [2:53]
25. Chapter 25 [2:46]
26. Chapter 26 [4:19]
27. Chapter 27 [3:44]
28. Chapter 28 [1:41]
29. Chapter 29 [2:33]
30. Chapter 30 [1:52]
31. Chapter 31 [1:16]
32. Chapter 32 [2:10]

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