Tom's Midnight Garden 1999 — A Time Travel Movie Trailer

Tom’s Midnight Garden 1999 — A Time Travel Movie Trailer

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It was a special time… and a special place

Young Tom Long (Anthony Way) is forced to stay with his kindly Aunt Gwen (Greta Scacchi) and Uncle Alan (James Wilby) 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 (Laurel Melsom). —Rhino (

This fantasy for younger audiences concerns Tom (Anthony Way), a 14-year-old English boy who in the 1950s is sent to live with his Aunt Gwen (Greta Scacchi) and Uncle Alan (James Wilby) after one of his siblings becomes seriously ill. Late one night, Tom makes a remarkable discovery — after midnight, Gwen and Alan’s clock strikes thirteen, and the dingy alley behind their home becomes a scenic wonderland where he meets Hatty (Florence Hoath), a 12-year-old orphan girl who lived 70 years ago. Tom’s Midnight Garden, which was adapted from the novel by Philippa Pearce, also features a supporting performance from Joan Plowright.

Plot: Spoilers?
When Tom Long’s brother Peter gets measles, Tom is sent to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen. They live in an upstairs flat of a big house with no garden, only a tiny yard for parking. The former grounds of the big house have been sold for building and are occupied by modern houses. The elderly and reclusive landlady, Mrs. Bartholomew, lives above them. Because Tom may be infectious, he is not allowed out to play, and he feels lonely. Without exercise, he lies awake after midnight, restless, when he hears the communal grandfather clock strangely strike 13. He gets up to investigate and discovers that the back door now opens on a large sunlit garden.

Every night the clock strikes 13 and Tom returns to the Victorian era grounds. There he meets another lonely child, a girl called Hatty, and they become inseparable playmates. Tom sees the family occasionally, but only Hatty (and as is revealed later in the book, the gardener) sees him and the others believe she plays alone.

Tom writes daily accounts to his brother Peter, who follows the adventures during his recovery – and afterward, for Tom contrives to extend the stay with Aunt and Uncle. Gradually at first, Hatty grows up and passes Tom’s age; he comes to realize that he is slipping to different points in the past. Finally, she grows up at a faster rate, until she is an adult and is courting an acquaintance of hers, Barty. At this stage in the book, the season in the old garden tends to be winter. Tom ingeniously obtains ice skates by having Hatty conceal her old pair in his room, where he subsequently finds them and joins her skating on the next night.

On the final night before Tom is due to go home, he goes downstairs to find the garden is not there. He desperately tries to run around and find it, but crashes into a set of bins from the present-day courtyard, waking up several residents. He shouts Hatty’s name in disappointment before his Uncle Alan finds him and puts the events down to Tom’s sleepwalking. The following morning, Mrs. Bartholomew summons Tom to apologize, only to reveal herself as Hatty, having made the link when she heard him call her name. The events Tom experienced were real in Hatty’s past; he has stepped into them by going into the garden at the times she dreamt of them. On the final night, she had instead been dreaming of her wedding with Barty.

After taking Tom home, Aunt Gwen comments on the strange way that Tom had said goodbye to Mrs. Bartholomew when he left: he hugged her as if she were a little girl.

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