The Secret Garden (1949)

FRED M. WILCOX

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1949.  .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Early version of the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett children’s novel isn’t as delicate as the 1993 version by Agnieszka Holland, but it does make for nice family viewing.   is the little girl whose parents die out in India and she is brought to live in her uncle’s giant estate in England. There she befriends her cousin (), a sickly young boy who is guarded night and day by the concerned staff, while all the time his father () spends his days locked up in mourning for his deceased wife. This little girl has enough to deal with on her own, but she still manages to find the time to brighten up the lives of those around her. The film is shot in black-and-white, but once O’Brien discovers the walled-up garden in the centre of the estate’s grounds the film switches to beautiful Technicolour. A lovely, magical fantasy.

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