5.7/10
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Flowers in the Attic (1987)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as V.C. Andrews), (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Grandmother
... Mother
... Cathy
... Chris
... Cory (as Ben Ganger)
... Carrie
... Father
... Grandfather
... Flower Girl
... John Hall
... Bart Winslow
... Minister
... Caretaker
Clare Peck ... Narrator (voice) (as Clare C. Peck)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

They have come to a house where secrets are kept....where the future is haunted by the past.....where the innocent live in the shadow of sin.....where a dark legacy awaits to destroy all who defy it..... See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flores en el ático  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,151,736
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alex Koba said in an interview that just like in Andrews' novel his character, butler John Hall, had a much larger screen-time in the original script and also provided a key surprise plot twist. After several rewrites his character was severely reduced and has only one line of dialogue in all the film, "Good evening Mr. Winthrop", and the butler had become little more than a gloomy figure in black who wheels a serving cart back and forth across the screen. And the plot twist was gone. Koba also said about different versions of the endings for the movie; "They had three different endings for that movie, and they picked the worst one, the one you're seeing now." See more »

Goofs

Cathy is wearing knee pads when she throws herself on the floor in an attempt to catch the ballerina figurine. See more »

Quotes

Cathy: Why didn't you ever take us to see the grandparents before?
Mother: I suppose because we were never penniless before... many years ago I did something that angered your grandfather, and his punishment was to disinherit me.
Chris: So, why are we going back there if he won't give us any money?
Mother: Because he will. Your grandfather is dying. He's not expected to live much longer, and in that time, I'm going to win back his love... and then, darlings, I'll be an heiress to a fortune beyond your imaginations. And ...
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Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1987 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Don't judge it by the book
9 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

An earlier review here, one of the few positive reviews of this movie on this site, had one thing wrong, saying that those who read the book would appreciate the movie, and vice-versa. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Having not read the book, I first saw this movie unjaded, and so was able to appreciate it as the sad and tragic story that it is.

The sudden death of a loving husband and father (it appears he may be a little too loving toward the oldest daughter, but the movie doesn't expand on that) leaves the family in despair, so the mother takes the children and herself to her filthy-rich parents' mansion, hoping to inherit the estate from her dying father. Just one little thing: she was long-ago disinherited because she entered into a forbidden marriage, and her father will not grant her an inheritance if he knows the marriage resulted in children, so she and her mother, "The "Grandmother", keep the children hidden in an attic as they await the old man's death, and she tries to win back his approval. The Grandmother is like a cruel warden, treating the children, a teenage boy and girl, and two young twins, boy and girl, like convicted criminals, only worse. The waiting goes on and on, during which the mother is consumed by greed, and emerges as the real villain.

Some readers of the book are indignant that the story was cleaned up for the movie, but that was necessary to make it more watchable to a wider audience. It is still a great and haunting story, reminiscent of the black and white horror flicks of the 1960's ("Whatever Happened To Baby Jane", "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte", etc.). Audiences of the 1980's were not so jaded as today's, and were not ready for incest, especially among sympathetic characters.

Maybe the acting was not first-rate, and some elements, like the climactic ending, a bit campy, but the compelling storyline easily compensates for it, so long as you don't dwell on the few shortcomings, and can't see the forest for the trees.

And the movie has one thing the book hasn't: a memorably haunting, chilling musical score, a perfect compliment to an equally haunting, chilling story.


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