Tom's Midnight Garden (1999) 1080p

Movie Poster
Tom's Midnight Garden (1999) 1080p - Movie Poster
Adventure | Family
Frame Rate:
30 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
107 min
IMDB Rating:
6.7 / 10 
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Directors: Willard Carroll [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Young Tom Long is forced to stay with his kindly Aunt and Uncle while his brother recovers from a bout of the measles. At their flat, he is, disappointed to find there is no garden in which to play, but his disappointment turns to wonder when he discovers a magical garden which only appears at night when an old grandfather clock strikes thirteen. His nightly excursions to this beautiful garden become even more interesting when he realizes that the people he meets cannot see him, except one young girl named Hatty.


  • Tom's Midnight Garden (1999) 1080p - Movie Scene 1
  • Tom's Midnight Garden (1999) 1080p - Movie Scene 2
  • Tom's Midnight Garden (1999) 1080p - Movie Scene 1

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This is a delightful family film - well acted, well produced and quite touching. You may even feel a little bit of a lump in your throat by the end credits. The film really rests on the shoulders of young Anthony Way. I don't know how much acting he has dome, but he does a credible job here. Fair warning: if you and your kids are more into explosions, cartoon violence and fast action then this is not the movie for you. If you and the family are able to sit still and let the story unfold quietly and gently and slowly draw you in then you will really enjoy this. My family certainly did.

A timeless film

Old age and youth meet up in a loving way that is seldom seen in film, and for this alone I give this film a 7. Both Greta Scacchi and James Wilby are underused and Andrew Way gives a moving performance as Tom, and despite the fact he was perhaps too old for the role it did not matter to me. I wish he had continued giving performances in other films of equal value. But what I did dislike was the beginning and the end. I found it dissipated the magic by putting a cosy, and to me a banal ending to the story. Ambiguity about Tom's future as a man went out of the window and as I have not read the book I hope the mistake was not made there. I just need to add that Joan Plowright gave a performance that moved me to tears. How does she do it ? Magic ?

Passable adaptation of the novel

TOM'S MIDNIGHT GARDEN, the late '90s adaptation of a classic children's novel of the 1950s written by Philippa Pearce, is a passable slice of entertainment that has both good and bad elements to recommend it. While it's entertaining enough as the story progresses, I couldn't help being disappointed in its failure to capture the magical qualities of the written story, which make it one of my favourite children's books of all time.

One of the problems is writer/director Willard Carroll's Americanisation of the material. This is quite subtle for the most part, but Carroll is far too obsessed with cheesy, computer-based special effects over story. Thus we get the ridiculous scene of Tom opening and closing the door and watching the furniture change over and over again, which is as redundant as it is silly. Less effects and tighter storytelling would have been the obvious choice here.

Still, the film looks the part, and the design of the titular garden is particularly strong. The young actress who plays Hattie gives the best performance in the whole thing, while Prince William-lookalike Anthony Way is adequate as Tom. There's a good eye for the supporting cast, which includes nice, if minor, roles for David Bradley and Liz Smith and an alluring turn from Greta Scacchi.

Sadly I did find that the story started to lose me as it progressed, and the last third is noticeably weaker than the preceding two. It happens when Hattie starts to grow up; scenes which should be poignant and heartbreaking are anything but, and I think that's a problem both with Way's acting and the deficiencies of the script. The added, present-day wraparound material (which wasn't in the book) is also unnecessary and distracting.

For me, the definitive version of the story is the BBC miniseries of 1989, which haunted and spellbound me as a child in equal measure. If only that had a DVD release!
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