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The Secret Garden (1949 film)

The Secret Garden (1949 film)

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The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film. It is the second screen adaptation of the classic 1909 novel
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was initially published in serial format starting in the autumn of 1910, and was first published in its entirety in 1911. It is now one of Burnett's most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of English children's...

 by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett was an English playwright and author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden , A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy.Born Frances Eliza Hodgson, she lived in Cheetham Hill, Manchester...

 (the first adaption was a silent version filmed in 1919). The screenplay by Robert Ardrey
Robert Ardrey
Robert Ardrey was an American playwright and screenwriter who returned to his academic training in anthropology and the behavioral sciences in the 1950s....

 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
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

 release was filmed primarily in black-and-white, with the sequences set in the restored garden of the title filmed in Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

.

Plot


When tempestuous Mary Lennox (Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien
Margaret O'Brien is an American film and stage actress. Although her film career as a leading character was brief, she was one of the most popular child actors in cinema history...

), born in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 to wealthy parents, is orphaned by a cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic, she is sent to live with her reclusive and embittered Uncle Archibald Craven (Herbert Marshall
Herbert Marshall
Herbert Marshall , born Herbert Brough Falcon Marshall, was an English actor.His parents were Percy F. Marshall and Ethel May Turner. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Old Harlow, Essex and worked for a time as an accounting clerk...

) and her ill-behaved, bedridden cousin Colin (Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell
Dean Stockwell is an American actor of film and television, with a career spanning over 65 years. As a child actor under contract to MGM he first came to the public's attention in films such as Anchors Aweigh and The Green Years; as a young adult he played a lead role in the 1957 Broadway and...

) 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

  • Margaret O'Brien
    Margaret O'Brien
    Margaret O'Brien is an American film and stage actress. Although her film career as a leading character was brief, she was one of the most popular child actors in cinema history...

     as Mary Lennox
  • Herbert Marshall
    Herbert Marshall
    Herbert Marshall , born Herbert Brough Falcon Marshall, was an English actor.His parents were Percy F. Marshall and Ethel May Turner. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Old Harlow, Essex and worked for a time as an accounting clerk...

     as Archibald Craven
  • Dean Stockwell
    Dean Stockwell
    Dean Stockwell is an American actor of film and television, with a career spanning over 65 years. As a child actor under contract to MGM he first came to the public's attention in films such as Anchors Aweigh and The Green Years; as a young adult he played a lead role in the 1957 Broadway and...

     as Colin Craven
  • Brian Roper as Dickon
  • Gladys Cooper
    Gladys Cooper
    Dame Gladys Constance Cooper, DBE was an English actress whose career spanned seven decades on stage, in films and on television....

     as Mrs. Medlock
  • Elsa Lanchester
    Elsa Lanchester
    Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was an English-American character actress with a long career in theatre, film and television....

     as Martha
  • Reginald Owen
    Reginald Owen
    John Reginald Owen was a British character actor. He was known for his many roles in British and American movies and later in television programs.-Personal:...

     as Ben Weatherstaff
  • Isobel Elsom
    Isobel Elsom
    Isobel Elsom was an English screen, stage, and television actress.-Career:Born as Isobel Jeannette Reed in Cambridge, England, Elsom usually was cast as an aristocratic lady of the upper class. Over the course of three decades she appeared in 17 Broadway productions, beginning with The Ghost Train...

     as Governess
  • Aubrey Mather
    Aubrey Mather
    Aubrey Mather was an English character actor.Mather began his career on the stage in 1905. He debuted in London in Brewster's Millions in 1909 and on Broadway ten years later in Luck of the Navy. He eventually branched out to films, starting with Young Woodley in 1930...

     as Dr. Griddlestone
  • George Zucco
    George Zucco
    George Desylla Zucco was an English character actor who appeared, almost always in supporting roles, in 96 films during a career spanning two decades, from 1931 to 1951. He is fondly remembered for his roles in classic horror films.-Early life:Zucco was born in Manchester, England...

     as Dr. Fortescue
  • Lowell Gilmore as British Officer
  • Billy Bevan
    Billy Bevan
    Billy Bevan was an Australian film actor. He appeared in 254 American films between 1916 and 1950....

     as Barney
  • Dennis Hoey
    Dennis Hoey
    Dennis Hoey was a British film and stage actor, best known for playing Inspector Lestrade in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series. He played the Master of Harrow in The Foxes of Harrow and appeared in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman. After a career as a singer, Hoey moved to acting on the stage in...

     as Mr. Pitcher
  • Matthew Boulton
    Matthew Boulton
    Matthew Boulton, FRS was an English manufacturer and business partner of Scottish engineer James Watt. In the final quarter of the 18th century the partnership installed hundreds of Boulton & Watt steam engines, which were a great advance on the state of the art, making possible the...

     as Mr. Bromley (as Mathew Boulton)
  • Isobel Elsom
    Isobel Elsom
    Isobel Elsom was an English screen, stage, and television actress.-Career:Born as Isobel Jeannette Reed in Cambridge, England, Elsom usually was cast as an aristocratic lady of the upper class. Over the course of three decades she appeared in 17 Broadway productions, beginning with The Ghost Train...

     as Governess
  • Norma Varden
    Norma Varden
    Norma Varden was an English actress with a long film career in Hollywood.Born in London, the daughter of a retired sea-captain, Varden was a child prodigy. She trained as a concert pianist in Paris and performed in England before deciding to take up acting...

    as Nurse