Release dateApril 30, 1949 Based onThe Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett WriterRobert Ardrey (screenplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (novel) Music directorAndre Previn, Bronislaw Kaper CastMargaret O'Brien (Mary Lennox), Dean Stockwell (Colin Craven), Herbert Marshall (Archibald Craven), Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Medlock), Elsa Lanchester (Martha), Brian Roper (Dickon) Similar moviesThe Secret Garden, Werckmeister Harmonies, The Incredibles, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Man from Earth, Mr. & Mrs. Smith
TaglineThe Key to the Most Unusual Picture of the Year
The secret garden 1949
The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film. It is the second screen adaptation of the classic 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (the first adaption was a silent version filmed in 1919) which starred Lila Lee and Spottiswoode Aitken. The screenplay by Robert Ardrey 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. A 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame TV film, The Secret Garden stars Gennie James and Jadrien Steele. A later adaptation The Secret Garden was made starring Kate Maberly and Heydon Prowse.
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture was filmed primarily in black-and-white, with the sequences set in the restored garden of the title filmed in Technicolor. The movie was Margaret O'Brien's final film for MGM.
The secret garden original theatrical trailer
When tempestuous Mary Lennox (Margaret O'Brien), born in India to wealthy parents, is orphaned by a cholera epidemic, she is sent to live with her reclusive and embittered Uncle Archibald Craven (Herbert Marshall) and her ill-behaved, bedridden cousin Colin (Dean Stockwell) 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.
Margaret O'Brien as Mary Lennox
Herbert Marshall as Archibald Craven
Dean Stockwell as Colin Craven
Brian Roper as Dickon
Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Medlock
Elsa Lanchester as Martha
Reginald Owen as Ben Weatherstaff
Isobel Elsom as Governess
Aubrey Mather as Dr. Griddlestone
George Zucco as Dr. Fortescue
Lowell Gilmore as British Officer
Billy Bevan as Barney
Dennis Hoey as Mr. Pitcher
Matthew Boulton as Mr. Bromley (as Mathew Boulton)
Norma Varden as Nurse
Marni Nixon as singing voice of Mary Lennox
Kathryn Beaumont as Muriel
Leonard Carey as Charles, the Butler
According to MGM records the film earned $610,000 in the US and Canada and $383,000 overseas, resulting in a loss of $848,000.