Wonderful performances, and beautiful set design, make this film a definite must-see. No studio could match MGM's lush approach, and stylized sets seen in [i]The Secret Garden[/i] bring the script alive, in a fashion no "location" filming could have accomplished. Utilizing a "partial" Technicolor application seen in [i]The Wizard of Oz[/i] and [i]The Women,[/i] MGM manages to provide an emotional punch when it is most needed. Magaret O'Brien is perfect in the lead, and minor supporting roles are cast to perfection. A few of the scenes are surprisingly creepy. Although, today, the film is labeled as "family," it can be surprisingly harsh, with none of the treacle that sinks many a movie intended for the general audience.