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Secret Window (2004)

PG-13 | | Mystery, Thriller | 12 March 2004 (USA)
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A writer is accused for plagiarism by a strange man, who then starts haunting him for "justice."

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(novel), (screenplay)
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3,464 ( 779)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Ken Karsch
...
Sheriff Dave Newsome
Joan Heney ...
Mrs. Garvey
John Dunn-Hill ...
Tom Greenleaf (as John Dunn Hill)
...
Fire Chief Wickersham
Matt Holland ...
Detective Bradley
Gillian Ferrabee ...
Fran Evans
Bronwen Mantel ...
Greta Bowie
...
Juliet Stoker
Kyle Allatt ...
Busboy
...
Motel Manager
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Storyline

Mort Rainey is a successful writer going through a rather unfriendly divorce from his wife of ten years, Amy. Alone and bitter in his cabin, he continues to work on his writing when a stranger named John Shooter shows up on his doorstep, claiming Rainey stole his story. Mort says he can prove the story belongs to him and not Shooter, but while Mort digs around for the magazine which published the story in question years ago, things begin to happen around Shooter. Mort's dog dies, people begin to die, and his divorce proceedings with Amy continue to get uglier. It seems that Shooter has Mort over a barrel, but perhaps Mort has his own ideas on how to resolve all the problems that plague him lately. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most important part of a story is the ending. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Window, Secret Garden  »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,237,568 (USA) (12 March 2004)

Gross:

$47,781,388 (USA) (14 May 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1)| (Dolby Digital 5.1)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Johnny Depp bursts in on Maria Bello and Timothy Hutton in the Motel; David Koepp wanted Bello and Hutton to look shocked and scared - he made them both lie in the bed for 15 minutes before Depp rushed in. The production crew set up large speakers that blared static noise when the script called for them to be scared. The lights in the room were also rigged to go on when Johnny Depp opened the door, startling the actors further. No one knew exactly how to act. See more »

Goofs

In the scene of Mort at the hotel driving away in his car, he looks in the left hand mirror which has the words "Objects in this mirror are closer than they appear." In actual fact, that label is only on the right hand mirror in cars, and appears to have been applied to the left hand mirror for the movie using a cheap sticker label. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mort: [voiceover] Turn around. Turn around. Turn the car around and get the hell out of here. Right now. Don't go back. Do not go back there.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits Johnny Depp can be briefly heard singing "Shortnin' Bread". See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Getaway: Black Monday (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Down
Written by Ali Dee, Vincent Alfieri and Zach Danziger
Performed by Cham Pain
Courtesy of Deetown Productions
Under license from Spirit Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Writer With Problems
31 January 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Johnny Depp plays Mort Rainey, a writer with wife problems. Mort secludes himself in a wilderness cabin to write. Soon, he gets a visit from a strange Southern mountain man named John Shooter (John Turturro). Throughout most of the plot, Mort tries to deal with this threatening man who won't go away, and confronts his wife and her new lover.

"Secret Window" is a moody, Hitchcockian thriller with a major story twist. Pacing is slow. There's lots of waiting for something to happen, which enhances a sense of foreboding. And Depp's performance is terrific.

With hair that looks like a mop, and a delightfully slovenly appearance, Mort mopes around the cabin, talks to his nearly blind dog, and tries to placate Mr. Shooter. He also spends a lot of time on the phone, mostly with Shooter and with his disconsolate wife.

Casting and acting are fine. Production design is great; love that cabin where Mort lives. Camera work, lighting, special effects, CGI, and editing are all quite good.

Although I liked the film's twist, some viewers will be disappointed with it, perhaps because the underlying idea is not terribly original. The risk for the director is that the entire story hinges on this one twist. If a viewer discovers the twist ahead of time, or finds it unsatisfying for any reason, the viewer likely will render a negative verdict on the entire film.

My only serious complaint with the film is that, at times, the plot discards logic so as to maximize gratuitous violence, the result no doubt of the film's source material, a horror story by Stephen King.

Overall, "Secret Window" is a generally fine thriller, enhanced especially by the splendid performance of Johnny Depp. Just be aware that one's reaction to this film likely will depend on one's perception of the story's major plot twist.


29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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