The Spanish Gardener (film)
The Spanish Gardener is a 1956 VistaVision and Technicolor film based on the 1950 novel of the same name by A. J. Cronin. The film stars Dirk Bogarde and Jon Whiteley, and was directed by Philip Leacock.
|The Spanish Gardener|
|Directed by||Philip Leacock|
|Produced by||Earl St. John|
|Written by||A. J. Cronin (novel) |
|Starring||Dirk Bogarde |
|Music by||John Veale|
|Edited by||Reginald Mills|
|Distributed by||The Rank Organisation|
|25 December 1956|
The film was entered into the 7th Berlin International Film Festival.
British diplomat Harrington Brande (Sir Michael Hordern) takes up a minor provincial consular post in Spain. The appointment is a disappointment to Harrington, who was hoping for a more senior position. His abandonment by his wife may have adversely affected his career, as might his brusque manner. He is accompanied by his eleven-year-old son, Nicholas (Jon Whiteley), whom he home schools, contrary to his friend's advice that the boy would benefit from the social engagement with other boys at a boarding school. Harrington prefers to monopolize his company.
Nicholas sees it as an adventure, and soon becomes friends with the teenage gardener, José (Sir Dirk Bogarde), spending time every day helping him with the plants and relaxing together. The exercise he is getting is much better for him than his father's mollycoddling of the perfectly healthy boy. However, the middle aged Harrington is jealous of his son's enthusiasm for and friendship with the much younger man. He rebukes his son for taking him to watch Jose play pelota and refuses Jose's gift of fish that he had caught. Similarly, he refuses to let Nicholas join a youth group organised by a junior colleague. He later bans Nicholas and Jose from speaking on pain of Jose's dismissal. He also sets Jose to clear a large rockery as punishment.
While Harrington is away on a business trip, the drunken Garcia, the butler/ chauffeur, threatens Nicholas with a knife and tries to break into his bedroom and the terrified boy takes refuge overnight with Jose with whom he has again been spending time. His father discovers this and is furious. Garcia then frames José to cover up his own behaviour.
The ending of the film differs from that of the book.
- Dirk Bogarde as Jose
- Jon Whiteley as Nicholas Brande
- Michael Hordern as Harrington Brande
- Cyril Cusack as Garcia
- Maureen Swanson as Maria
- Lyndon Brook as Robert Burton
- Josephine Griffin as Carol Burton
- Bernard Lee as Leighton Bailey
- Rosalie Crutchley as Magdalena
- Ina De La Haye as Jose's Mother
- Geoffrey Keen as Dr. Harvey
- Harold Scott as Pedro
- Jack Stewart as a police escort
- Richard Molinas as a police escort
- Susan Lyall Grant as the maid
- John Adderley as the taxi driver
- David Lander as the policeman
The film was one of the most popular at the British box office in 1957.
- Thumim, Janet. "The popular cash and culture in the postwar British cinema industry". Screen. Vol. 32 no. 3. p. 259.
- The Spanish Gardener at Turner Classic Movies
- Variety review
- Nicholas Brazilian telenovela (1958)
- O Jardineiro Espanhol Brazilian telenovela (1967)
- Webpage about O Jardineiro Espanhol (in Portuguese)
- The Spanish Gardener on IMDb
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