603 user 229 critic

The Constant Gardener (2005)

0:31 | Trailer
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.


Fernando Meirelles


Jeffrey Caine (screenplay), John le Carré (based on the novel by)
1,315 ( 34)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Justin Quayle
Rachel Weisz ... Tessa Quayle
Hubert Koundé ... Dr. Arnold Bluhm (as Hubert Kounde)
Danny Huston ... Sandy Woodrow
Daniele Harford Daniele Harford ... Miriam
Packson Ngugi Packson Ngugi ... Officer in Morgue
Damaris Itenyo Agweyu Damaris Itenyo Agweyu ... Jomo's Wife
Bernard Otieno Oduor Bernard Otieno Oduor ... Jomo
Bill Nighy ... Sir Bernard Pellegrin
Keith Pearson Keith Pearson ... Porter Coleridge
John Sibi-Okumu John Sibi-Okumu ... Dr. Joshua Ngaba
Donald Sumpter ... Tim Donohue
Archie Panjabi ... Ghita Pearson
Nick Reding Nick Reding ... Crick
Gerard McSorley ... Sir Kenneth Curtiss


In a remote area of Northern Kenya, activist Tessa Quayle is found brutally murdered. Tessa's companion, a doctor, appears to have fled the scene, and the evidence points to a crime of passion. Members of the British High Commission in Nairobi assume that Tessa's widower, their mild-mannered and unambitious colleague Justin Quayle, will leave the matter to them. They could not be more wrong. Haunted by remorse and jarred by rumors of his late wife's infidelities, Quayle surprises everyone by embarking on a personal odyssey that will take him across three continents. Using his privileged access to diplomatic secrets, he will risk his own life, stopping at nothing to uncover and expose the truth - a conspiracy more far-reaching and deadly than Quayle could ever have imagined. Written by focus features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The highly anticipated international thriller from John le Carré & Fernando Meirelles the Academy Award nominated director of City of God See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some violent images and sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Two actresses who have won the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award worked on the movie. Rachel Weisz won her Oscar for portraying Tessa Quayle in this film. Lupita Nyong'o, an American born to Kenyan parents, worked as a production runner during filming in Kenya. She won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for and 12 Years a Slave (2013). See more »


When Tessa plays a QuickTime movie, the movie's counter stays at 0:00 and the progress indicator doesn't move. See more »


[first lines]
Justin Quayle: Oh, thank you Arnold. I... I can manage that. But I still don't see why you couldn't wait a couple of weeks. Why go all the way up to Loki?
Tessa Quayle: Well, we want to hear Grace Makanga speak, and she won't be coming to Nairobi.
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Crazy Credits

END CREDITS DEDICATION: This film is dedicated to Yvette Pierpaoli and all other aid workers who lived and died giving a damn. See more »


Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Written by Mbarak Achieng
Arranged and Performed by Ayub Ogada
Published by Womad Music Ltd. / EMI Virgin Music Ltd.
(p) 1993 Real World Records Ltd. / Virgin Records Ltd.
Ayub Ogada appears courtesy of Real World Records
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User Reviews

It left me wondering: "How close to the truth did they actually come?"
31 August 2005 | by WCS02See all my reviews

I walked away from The Constant Gardener wondering how drug companies actually bench test their drugs. (The current Vioxx settlement certainly inspired cynicism) This is a thriller for the thinking crowd – with sufficient chase scenes and action sequences to justify the genre. It's paced slower then the average Grisham or Ludlum (Jason Bourne) movies I've come to love. But if you're interested in the stark realities of how medicines are tested in third world nations without having to endure negative consequences, this is a film you will want to see. It purports to reveal real-world events from Africa.

Pharmaceutical company corporate greed and compromised government ethics set the mood as Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz (on separate courses) do what they can to reveal the corruption spinning all around them. Fiennes is a British diplomat who understands what it takes to succeed in a compromising diplomatic position. Weisz refuses to give in. She's on a mission to reveal the truth - taking the political activist route - from the moment they meet. Fiennes is a love interest to the luscious Weisz, someone who offers an opportunity to cut the red tape and speed the truth about the mischief to which the drug company(s) are up to in Africa.

It's a brilliant movie showcasing how third world countries are (or can be) exploited. It deals with how a major pharmaceutical firm conducts harmful tests on ignorant, unsuspecting Kenyans. We see the other side of Africa – the side unseen in the enticing Kenyan safari tourist posters.

This is a thriller that thrills both the mind as well as the spirit. It left me wondering, "how close to the truth did they actually come?"

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Official Sites:

Production Notes


UK | Germany | Kenya | France | USA | Switzerland


English | Italian | Swahili | German

Release Date:

31 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Constant Gardener See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,577,000, 4 September 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS (as dts)| Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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