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The Secret Garden (1975) (1984)

Sarah Hollis Andrews , Hope Johnstone  |  G |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Price: $42.83 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Hollis Andrews, Hope Johnstone, William Marsh, Jennie Goossens, Jacqueline Hoyle
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009KQPAK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,810 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Secret Garden (1975)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Printed profile of Frances Hodgson Burnett

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sarah Hollis Andrews stars as Mary Lennox, a lonely and spoiled girl who is sent to live with her uncle in the wake of her parents' death. In his dark and foreboding manor, her life is transformed by unexpected friendships and a surprising, hidden fantasy world. Impeccably mounted, with a literate script and superb performances, this magnificent BBC production is among the most acclaimed adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel that has captivated generations of readers.

Though there are several notable film adaptations of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s story about an orphan girl and a bedridden boy, this 1975 BBC rendition is among the most acclaimed for its understated British elegance, superb performances, and faithful adherence to the book’s essence. Sarah Hollis Andrews plays Mary Lennox, a spoiled, neglected child living in 19th century India who is suddenly orphaned after an outbreak of cholera. She is sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven, in his estate on the Yorkshire moors of England. Thus begins Mary’s new life at Misselthwaite Manor, and soon, the rough edges of her contrary nature begin to soften through the kindness of house servants--especially Martha (Jacqueline Hoyle)--and the discovery of a beautiful, hidden garden. The manor contains another mystery, Craven’s allegedly crippled son, Colin, bedridden for years and as feisty as Mary. When the cousins finally meet, their cantankerous spirits clash before a friendship ensues, thanks to the magical touch of Dickon (Andrew Harrison). The same enchantment that turns a colorless garden into an infusion of brilliant hues works to make a boy walk and a family heal. This version (seven 30-minute episodes) is more kid-friendly than its 1993 counterpart (which took lavish dramatic license) and is so authentic to the original story that much of the script is verbatim from the book—a point literary purists will cheer--not to mention the deliciously flawless Yorkshire accents. (Ages 8 and older) --Lynn Gibson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE movie version of the book October 4, 2005
It is a pity that so many people are misled into buying the 1993 version or the Hallmark version of this book. The former is valuable as a study of wooden acting and unbelievable dialogue. The Hallmark version (as usual) just throws the book away--they can do it better. The 1949 version also "improves" on the book by turning it into a suspense-thriller in the first half and has all the characteristics of '40s movies--phony characters, phony dialogue and big stars.

This movie is for people who loved the book; and except for extremely minor flaws which most people will not notice, this movie brings the whole book to life perfectly. Nothing is left out. Sarah Hollis Andrews gives a stunning performance for one so young. None of the California accents of the Hallmark version or the East European characters of the 1993 version. This is Yorkshire and this is Francis Hodgson Burnett, not Agnieszka Holland.

There has been an abridged version on the market for years, cut to make it a full-length movie (100 minutes). This present version is twice that length. Even if you have the abridged version, buy this one and see what a difference those cuts make. The characters are even more sympathetic and more real, and there is time to deal more with all the other characters (the nurse, Dr. Craven, Mr. Craven, etc.) and more time for Mary Lennox and more interaction between Mary and Collin and Dickon.

In short, this movie is a treasure and every child above the age of 8 deserves to see this version. If you are a diehard and want to see the other versions, fine, or if you've already been suckered into buying them. But get this version. You'll never watch those other versions again. And your kids will have an experience to carry with them the rest of their lives.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this one! April 3, 2006
This is the version of The Secret Garden to watch! My eight year old daughter and I recently read the book together and loved it. (It was my first reading) We anxiously looked forward to seeing a filmed version, and the first one we saw was Agnieszeka Holland's 1997 version, as that was the only one available at our local library. We were both terribly dissappointed. Holland's version takes such liberties with the story as to sacrifice the true spirit, beauty and depth of the book. Yes, it is gorgeously filmed, but the cinematography (which includes some very tacky special effects such as sped up roots growing in soil) does not compensate for the slaughter of the story and characters. The garden itself is so fantastical as to make a mockery of its significance to the story.

This version is completely truthful to the book. The story is developed carefully and thouroughly, and presented in great detail. The characters are rich and reminded both my daughter and myself of how we had imagined them to be. The English countryside is faithfully portrayed as only the English know how. It is delightful to enjoy true Yorkshire accents which are an important theme in the book, even if they are sometimes difficult to understand for american ears. The garden is gentle and real. Yes there are some minor flaws (some lines are actually flubbed in a couple of the final episodes) but they are inconsequential. If you have taken the time to read the book, then by all means take the time to see this movie. You will be glad you did.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST VERSION OF ALL!! July 25, 2005
By Adorem
The oft-filmed Frances Hodgson Burnett novel The Secret Garden was restaged for BBC television in 1975 Sarah Hollis Andrews stars as the insufferable brat who is yanked from her home in India and sent to live with her emotionless uncle. She is humbled by her equally headstrong crippled cousin, and humanized by the gardener's son, who entreats her into his special fantasy world. As Andrews is taught the values of humility and generosity by "the secret garden," she simultaneously warms her uncle's cold heart. Not quite as elaborate as the famous 1949 MGM version, nor as accomplished as the 1993 Agnezia Holland-directed remake, this 1975 Secret Garden nonetheless has a charm of its own.

This was first shown here in the USA on PBS in 1976 on the PBS series ONCE UPON A CLASSIC that was hosted by Bill Bixby. I remember watching SECRET GARDEN for the 7 weeks it was shown on this series.

Watching this on DVD brought tears to my eyes because its such a wonderful version and, it brings me back 29 years ago when I first saw this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truest adaptation May 1, 2007
By Renee
The abbreviated VHS version of this BBC rendition of The Secret Garden was one of my favorite films as a child, so it was with some trepidation that I ordered this lengthier DVD. I didn't know whether the additional scenes would add to the story, or detract from it. After watching one half-hour episode a night for a week, I can say that I was quite impressed by how faithfully the full length rendition stuck to the original story. No other adaptation that I've encountered, (and I've encountered many of them, including an audio drama and a musical stage play,) was content to stick to Francis Hodgson Burnett's simple childhood tale. In this case, however, there were only a few deviations, the most notable being the presence of John, the footman, who plays a brief, nameless role in the book, but is a fairly important supporting character in this version. This, like the other fairly small alterations, is mainly an exposition device, and takes the place of narration.

There are places where this film shows its budgetary constraints. The titles aren't as clean as they could be, and whenever the robin appears it is obviously via stock footage. The garden, which is clearly on a sound stage, does not appear to contain any trees large enough to sit in, let alone fall out of. But all of these things are minor quibbles, and there's a lot to make up for them. The costuming and the Yorkshire accents are spot on, and all of the characters look exactly the way that they are described in the book, down to the smallest detail. I would recommend this classic to anyone who enjoyed the original story, and doesn't feel the need to see it 'enhanced' with dramatic subplots.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very BEST Film Version By Far
This is my overall favorite video version of THE SECRET GARDEN. It is well acted and the most faithful to the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Linda R. Hendrex
5.0 out of 5 stars good version
There are at least 3 current versions of this classic novel. Each has some minor flaws but all are enjoyable with different emphasis.
Published 7 months ago by S. Adams
1.0 out of 5 stars old english soap opera with cockney flair
The acting is horrible. The movie is just old. Can't believe I paid $1.99 to watch this. But I did have the option of watching it for 7 days. So there's something.
Published 8 months ago by Karin Presnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost the book!
I have at least three "The Secret Garden" films. This one is the most faithful to the book. There are areas that it strays--the scenes with John and Martha playing with Mary are... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Video
I loved it and wish the other versions were available on instant video. I also wish that other movies were available on instant video; like Taken with Dakota Fanning.
Published 14 months ago by Elizabeth A. Leverence
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I think I would prefer to watch a different movie as this was not the best made movie. I prefer old disney movies.
Published 22 months ago by Txcoyote
1.0 out of 5 stars Really?
I ended up renting this because it was on Amazon's critics picks…

If there was less than a star rating it would have gotten it! I had to give up after 20 mins. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Francesco
5.0 out of 5 stars The most true to the book...
I was going thru my DVD collection lately & found my copy of the BBC version. I first saw this way back when it was broadcast with Bill Bixby ss the host. Read more
Published on June 17, 2012 by C. Guttry
3.0 out of 5 stars Actually my favorite version....BUT.....
This is without a doubt my favorite version.

The three star rating is for every streaming source I've come across. Do yourself a favor and BUY THE DVD. Read more
Published on December 17, 2011 by Sharon Hawkins
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh, it was ok
This version of The Secret Garden was, at best, just ok.

The movie flowed too quickly from key scene to key scene. Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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