161 user 35 critic

Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Children are hidden away in the attic by their conspiring mother and grandmother.



(novel) (as V.C. Andrews), (screenplay)
4,055 ( 828)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Ben Ryan Ganger ...
Cory (as Ben Ganger)
Marshall Colt ...
Nathan Davis ...
Brooke Fries ...
Flower Girl
Alex Koba ...
John Hall
Leonard Mann ...
Bruce Neckels ...
Clare Peck ...
Narrator (voice) (as Clare C. Peck)


After the death of her husband, a mother takes her kids off to live with their grandparents in a huge, decrepit old mansion. However, the kids are kept hidden in a room just below the attic, visited only by the grandmother, and their mother, who becomes less and less concerned about them and their failing health, and more concerned about herself and the inheritance she plans to win back from her dying father, to the point of murder... Written by David Gibson <djg6@ukc.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Home Sweet Home Is Murder See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flores en el ático  »

Box Office


$15,151,736 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Kristy Swanson, when she was introduced to Virginia C. Andrews, the elderly author said that Swanson was "just as she pictured Cathy". See more »


Near the beginning of the film, Chris walks in on Cathy in the bathtub. Her hair goes from long & dry to wet from one scene to the next. See more »


[about his grandmother]
Chris: Look at you in your black dress. Your fancy jewels. Your pinched face. We're not afraid of you! We laugh at you! Do you hear that? We laugh!
See more »


Referenced in Coronation Street: Episode #1.8885 (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jeff Bloom did one right thing...he never made a sequel.
16 January 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That might sound a little harsh. It certainly wasn't the worst movie I have ever seen, but it's down there. The events that transpire throughout the course of the film stay true to V.C. Andrews' novel, in some ways. Four siblings are locked in the northern wing of their grandparents' house by their selfish mother and sadistic grandmother after the death of their father has left the family in debt. The movie does open up before "Daddy's" death, and there is even a scene where the oldest daughter, Cathy, is given a music box by her beloved father, just like in the book. However, the relationship between Cathy and her father seems almost irrelevant to the whole feel of the movie, from what I can remember, because unlike in the book, their relationship is not developed well, not much beyond that one scene in fact. And there were sequels to the book that were able to expand on the effects Chris Sr.'s death had on Cathy, especially seen through her incestuous relationship with her brother, which was cut out of the movie. Then there is the night of the father's birthday party (only in the movie, there are no guests), and the family is waiting for him to come home from work. He never does. Instead, a couple of police officers show up at the door. Cathy screams. Cut to Cathy and Chris in a bus (was it a bus? In the book, they were in a train), on their way to their grandmother's house, or rather, mansion. Blah blah blah. The kids arrive, are locked away in a northern room, and that's where they stay for the next few years. You have to pardon me. I know all about the book. I know it by heart. But I haven't seen this movie for years so I don't remember exactly how long they were imprisoned in the film. In the book, it was like 3 years, four months and 16 days. In the closet of this sequestered room, there are stairs leading up to the attic where they often like to play, and where Cathy practices ballet. Cathy and her brother Chris do not go on to have a love affair, though, like they did in the book. Yet there is still plenty of abuse. Besides the obvious fact that they are being locked away from the world, the grandmother also cuts Cathy's beautiful hair and slaps the children and stuff. And Chris and Cathy do like to take baths with the other one watching. The ending is the worst part of this movie. It strays far from the book's conclusion. It goes for sensation, unlike V.C. Andrews, whom I think knew what she was doing when she had the story end the way it did. She also left room for a sequel. Jeff Bloom really didn't. I read that there was talk of a sequel, but they never got around to it. I'm glad. Petals on the Wind was my favorite in the series, and the rest were really good too, better than the original because the characters were more complex. I shudder to think of what would have been done to them in a film adaptation. Overall, this is not a movie worth seeing. Fans of the book will most likely be disappointed, and those who haven't read it probably won't like it much either. I don't know quite why the movie failed to live up to the book. Well, no movie seems to, just by principle, with rare exceptions. On top of that, the acting wasn't very good, though Kristy Swanson does look like Cathy would. Though perhaps that's because I originally bought the movie tie-in copy of the book, and the kids on the cover were modeled after the actors. There certainly was a vague resemblance between Cathy, Chris and their younger brother Cory, twin of Carrie, on the cover and the actors who played them. On some of the movie covers, it shows the illustrated picture from the book cover. It is cool. It shows four kids standing in the attic doorway as if they are prepared to enter a dangerous other world, looking scared. The main failure though is probably that the way V.C. Andrews wrote the book cannot be duplicated by any director or screenwriter. And the prologue was ten times better than Cathy's voice-over during the opening credits. But mainly, this is the kind of story to be read, especially since I feel that V.C. Andrews was a much better writer than most people give her credit for being, most of all this movie, which by the way, she had a cameo in. She was a window-washer. So if you want the story, read the book. Read the whole series, if you want. I gave the first four books very high ratings on Amazon, though they disturbed me greatly, and in a way, I hate them for that. And it takes a lot to disturb me. Forget this. I give it a 3 out of ten.

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