Tom's Midnight Garden (film)

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Tom's Midnight Garden is a 1999 family fantasy film directed by Willard Carroll and starring Nigel Le Vaillant, Marlene Sidaway and Serena Gordon. [1] The screenplay (by Willard Carroll) concerns a boy who discovers a secret garden. The film was based on the novel Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, and filmed at Chenies Manor House in Buckinghamshire. The film was produced by Hyperion Pictures.



After going to stay with his uncle a boy is disappointed that he doesn't have a garden he can play in. However, he discovers a secret garden that only appears in the middle of the night.


When Tom Long's brother Peter gets measles he is sent to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in a flat with no garden. An elderly and reclusive landlady, Mrs Bartholomew, lives upstairs. Because he may be infectious he is not allowed out to play, and feels lonely. Without exercise he is less sleepy at night and when he hears the communal grandfather clock strangely strike 13, he investigates and finds the small back yard is now a large sunlit garden. Here he meets another lonely child called Hatty, who seems to be the only one who can see him. They have adventures which he gradually realises are taking place in the 19th century. Each night when Tom visits, Hatty is slightly older and Tom begins to wonder about the nature of time and reality. In an attempt to discover what's going on Tom asks Hattie to leave her skates in a hidden place. When he goes back into the future he manages to find them. One night Hatty and Tom go out skating however Hatty begins to fall in love with a boy from her own time named Barty and Tom finds he is invisible to her. The next night Tom is unable to find the garden, running into rubbish bins from the modern day instead. Just before Tom returns home he meets Mrs Bartholomew, who is revealed to be the elderly Hatty.


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  1. "Tom's Midnight Garden (1998)". BFI Film & TV Database. Archived from the original on 28 January 2009.