The Spanish Gardener

Synopsis: A rather undiplomatic British diplomat takes up his new post in Spain accompanied by his son Nicholas. The posting is something of a disappointment to the father, who was hoping for a promotion. That his wife had left him seems to have affected his career. Nicholas sees it all as something of an adventure and soon becomes fast friends with the new gardener, Jose. The apparently "delicate" Nicholas becomes attached to Jose, and father's jealousy leads him to bar Nicholas from even speaking to the gardener. As tensions mount, another servant frames Jose for theft forcing everyone to review the situation.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Philip Leacock
Production: VCI Entertainment
  1 nomination.
91 min

...but that's not a job.

- In my position...

Vienna, Paris and now Madrid.

Each time I have been

passed over. In fact my official career

during the past years

has been dogged by injustice.

Come now, Mr. Brande,

the Consular Service is selective,

it has to be.

But never, I think, unjust.

Hello, Nicholas.

- Hello.

Next my experience,

scholarship, my social assets...

Don't suppose your

father will be long now.

Thank you.

Do you collect stamps?

I've got some rather

interesting ones, here.

How about these?

I haven't got that one.

Or that. Or that.

I've got that one. Collected the whole set

when father was in France. -Of course.

OK. Well, keep it as a swap.

- Thank you.

Jolly fine watch you've got there.

It's new.

My mother sent it to me.

It's a beauty.

- It's got my initials on the back.

Lucky boy.

I'm sorry, Brande,

but there's nothing more to say.

Well, Nicolas,

I think you're going to enjoy

your new home at San Jorge.

There're lots of sandy beaches.

Do you swim?

- No, sir.

My son is delicate.

Goodbye, Brande.

Goodbye, Sam.

- Goodbye, Nicholas. -Goodbye, sir.

Lay over on your tummy for a moment.

Looking forward to school?

- I don't think I'm going, now.

I have decided to take him with me.

I see.

You eating well?

- Yes, thank you.

Well that's alright, Nicky, you're fine.

Go and get dressed.

You'll find a tin on the sideboard.

Help yourself.

What is it, Brande?

You know the boy's perfectly well.

I wish to resettle.

I went to see the Consul-General.

I should have listened to you.

- What happened?

Oh, it was useless.

Tenney has been given the appointment.

So all that remains is for me...

to take over the minor

post that he has vacated.

But you knew all this.

He questioned me about

my personal affairs.

He probed me about my wife.

Your private life is part of your job.

I have to go through it all again.


Tell him there was no scandal.

That my wife left me of her own volition

without cause or motive.

You told him that?

There was no alternative. He...

So you still think it was my fault.


I don't expect you'll believe this.

But this new appointment might be

the best thing that could have happened.

It's not the job you wanted

but it does mean leaving Madrid.

The change can help.

If you let it.

Try it for your own sake, and for Nicholas.

Don't you think I would have tolerated this

if it hadn't been for him.

You'd had done much better

to have sent him to school.

No, school can give him little at his age.

Besides, I enjoy the

lessons we do together.

I wasn't thinking of the lessons,

I was thinking of the companionship.

You're questioning my

ability to give him that?

I meant boys of his own age.

You don't understand

how much we mean to each other.

Perhaps I do

but don't expect too much from him.

Ready, Nicholas?

When you are off?

We leave at 10 on Thursday.

- Well, enjoy yourselves.

We'll do our best.

Won't we, Nicholas?

San Jorge!

Carefully down, now.

Mr. Brande? Welcome to San Jorge.

I'm Robert Burton.

How do you do?

This is my son Nicholas, Mr. Burton.

Pleased to meet you, Nicholas.

- Pleased to meet you, too.

I'll get the luggage, sir.

One doesn't say "pleased

to meet you", Nicholas.

This is Garcia Moreno, sir.

You'll find three heavy cases in the luggage

compartment. They're clearly labeled.

I engaged him as chauffeur-valet.

And his wife as cook.

Mr. Tenney take his servants with him?

- Oh, yes sir.

The main trade is cork and olive oil.

Keeps us busy.

Mr. Tenney used to say...

"We don't get much money,

but we do see life."

Mr. Tenney must have had

an original turn of mind.

Mario will bring the luggage, Senor.

The residence?

- Yes, please Garcia.

It's very old, of course

and a bit out of repair.

Oh, and there's no electricity.

Mr. Tenney always felt...

Shall we forget about Mr. Tenney,

just for a moment, Mr. Burton?

I'm sorry, sir.

Father, may I go and explore?

- Very well, Nicholas. Only be careful.

I take it my predecessor

didn't employ a gardener.

No sir, but Mrs. Tenney used to do a bit.

Now and then.

Right there.

- Yes sir.

That will be all, Garcia.

Tell Magdalena I will see her later.

I wish to discuss my son's diet.

Yes sir.


- Yes, Father.

Time for bed.


You can hear the sea.

What's that light, over on the front?

It's a little lighthouse, to guide the

ships into the harbor at San Jorge.

And your teeth?

- No, Father.

Tonic first.

- Do I have to take it?

It's for your own good, Nicholas.

Now your teeth.

I think it's the nicest

house we've ever had.

And the nicest garden, too.

I must say, I find myself pleased with it.

But we must do something

about the garden.

I like it as it is.

It makes it more exciting to play in.

We'll keep one part of it

wild for you, Nicholas.

Now your prayers.

Our Father, which art in Heaven,

hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,

on Earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive them, forgive

them that trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power, and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.

And please God, bless and

take care of Father...

and of me and look after us.

And please God take care of mommy.

For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Excuse me.

Where's my father?

Your father left you in my care,

says you're to rest after your journey.

If you go back to your room

I'll bring your breakfast in.

Thank you.

Robinson Crusoe.

To my darling Nicky...

- Give it to me!

...on his eighth birthday

with love from Mommy.

Where is your mother?

- In Scotland.

Oh, wonderful country.

Why not here?

- She doesn't live with us any more.

Ring if you require anything.

It's certainly loud enough.

But servants are always

supposed to be deaf of course.

If you don't get a move on, Bob,

you're going to be late.

You're as bad as he is.

Be back at two o'clock precisely.

Now I have a surprise for

you, Mr. Harrington Brande.

I propose to be at least one minute late.

It's only his first day.

Give him time to relax.

But he won't relax.

He's a stuffed shirt. He's bent

double with the chips on his shoulder.

I suppose that's why he's here

and not someone more important.

Than we should be nice to him.

See you later.

- Bye.

Hello, Maria.

Carol, don't forget to ask

Maria about her boyfriend.

I won't.

Hello, Maria.

- Senora.

Maria, you've done it beautifully.

You know you'd make

a fortune in London.

Thank you, senora.

By the way, the new Consul wants

a gardener up at the Casa Breza.

We wondered if perhaps Jos...

- Yes, senora!

He's not working now, is he?

- No, senora.

And he's worked as a gardener before?

Indeed, senora. He's a very good gardener.

Well ask him to be up at the Casa

Breza at six o'clock this evening.

Mr. Brande'll see him when he

gets back from the consulate.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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