The newest adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden recently hit VOD. In this episode, we explore how Marc Munden’s new film takes a substantially different approach than Agnieszka Holland’s beautiful 1993 version. We consider why the adaptation choices matter and how these choices speak to a changing cinematic landscape.
This episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney, Executive Editor Orla Smith, Associate Editor Brett Pardy, Editor at Large Mary Angela Rowe, and special guest Caitlin Merriman.
The Secret Garden
Adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel, The Secret Garden follows orphan Mary Lennox moving to an isolated manor on the Yorkshire Moors owned by her uncle Lord Craven. There she unravels the mysteries of the house, including her bedridden cousin Colin and a walled off garden. Her efforts rejuvenate both the garden and Craven family.
The 1993 film is directed by Agnieszka Holland, written by Caroline Thompson, and stars Kate Maberly, Heydon Prowse, Andrew Knott, Laura Crossley, John Lynch, and Maggie Smith.
The 2020 film is directed by Marc Munden, written by Jack Thorne, and stars Dixie Egerickx, Edan Hayhurst, Amir Wilson, Isis Davis, Colin Firth, and Julie Walters.
- Check out our resource page on Contemporary World Cinema for Young Adults
- Listen to our episodes comparing adaptations of Emma and Little Women
- Read the Los Angeles Times article by Emily Zemler we quote from in the episode
- Read more about feminist gothic horror in our ebook, Beyond Empowertainment: Feminist Horror and the Struggle for Female Agency.
- The intro and outro music is “Mary Downstairs” from Zbigniew Preisner’s score for The Secret Garden (1993)
Where to watch The Secret Garden
- The 2020 film is available on VOD
- The 1993 film is available on VOD and streaming on HBO Max in the US and Netflix in the UK
Roads to Nowhere: Kelly Reichardt’s Broken American dreams
- Purchase your copy of our newest ebook to discover how modern master Kelly Reichardt operates, and to read a series of essays about each of Reichardt’s films, which examine her thoughtful, quiet portraits of everyday lives.
- Read a free chapter from Roads To Nowhere, featuring an interview with Lily Gladstone
- Purchase your Kelly Reichardt mug