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Trivia / The Secret Garden

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  • Dawson Casting: In the 1949 film, Dickon's actor Brian Roper was twenty playing a twelve year old. Mary and Colin's actors were twelve and thirteen respectively, significantly older than ten as well.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Kate Maberly wore a wig as she had short hair when she was cast as Mary.
  • Fake Brit:
    • American Camilla Belle plays Mary in Back to the Secret Garden.
    • Played with by Northern Irish John Lynch as Lord Craven in the 1993 film. Northern Ireland is part of Britain, so instead of a Fake Brit he's Fake English.
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  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the 1993 film Mary's stockings are so detailed, you can make out 'ML' embroidered on them briefly in the opening scene of her getting dressed.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: In the 1987 version, Mistlethwaite looks rather like Downton Abbey.
  • List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #38 (1993 film)
  • Lost Episode: Lost series. The 1949 film inspired a TV adaptation in the 1950s, with Brian Roper reprising his role as Dickon. It's thought to be lost.
  • One-Book Author: Heydon Prowse, who played Colin in the 1993 film only did that and a handful of shorts before giving up acting.
  • Playing Against Type: In the 1949 film George Zucco usually played villains or monsters, but plays the kindly Dr Fortescue.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Elijah Wood auditioned for the role of Colin in the 1993 film but was turned down. Kirsten Dunst also auditioned to play Mary.
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    • The book had the working title 'Mistress Mary', after the nursery rhyme the other children sing to Mary.
  • Write What You Know:
    • Frances Hodgson Burnett was a strong early believer in Christian Science, which holds that physical ailments can be cured by forcing positive thoughts into one's mind and reminding oneself that the illness (and the physical body itself) do not really exist. The power of positive thinking is a theme in many of Burnett's works, but in The Secret Garden, it becomes very explicit in the form of "The Magic."
    • The death of Burnett's father marked a reversal of fortune for the family, requiring them to move from their spacious home with its beautiful gardens to live with relatives. These relatives owned a large enclosed garden, where young Frances enjoyed playing and making up stories. Finally, the family was reduced to living in a tiny house in overcrowded, poverty-stricken Islington Square. Burnett was devastated by the lack of flowers and gardens and allegedly attributed a long bout of poor health with her lack of ability to commune with nature. As an adult, she deliberately sought out houses with large gardens and wrote several of her novels while sitting among the roses of her historical manor house in Kent, a house famed at the time for its numerous huge gardens.


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