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Flowers in the Attic (1987)

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

Director:

Jeffrey Bloom

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Louise Fletcher ... Grandmother
Victoria Tennant ... Mother
Kristy Swanson ... Cathy
Jeb Stuart Adams ... Chris
Ben Ryan Ganger ... Cory (as Ben Ganger)
Lindsay Parker ... Carrie
Marshall Colt ... Father
Nathan Davis ... Grandfather
Brooke Fries ... Flower Girl
Alex Koba ... John Hall
Leonard Mann ... Bart Winslow
Bruce Neckels ... Minister
Gus Peters ... Caretaker
Clare Peck 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:

Home Sweet Home Is Murder See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flores en el ático See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,151,736
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fries Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original early cut of the movie was test screened to an audience in December 1986 in the San Fernando Valley and it got very negative reactions. Scenes of incest between Cathy and Chris were the cause of this. The test audience, mostly consisting of adolescent girls (the same type of audience who were fans of the original book series) reported on test cards that they were revolted by those scenes and another one where Victoria Tennant's character Corrine disrobes in front of her father to be whipped by her mother. They also disliked the original ending where Louise Fletcher's character tries to kill the children with butcher knife because they thought it was "too horrific".

Producers also insisted on a new ending because they thought that audience for the film would want to see the kids take revenge on the wicked mother, so somebody else was brought in to film the new ending where Corrine dies (despite the fact that her character lives in the first three books in the series) but the scene was filmed with Victoria Tennant's double since the actress refused to film the scene and walked off the set. While rest of the movie was filmed in Castle Hill, a Tudor Revival mansion in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which served as Foxworth Hall, the new ending was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

Following severe re-cutting of the film, which was done not just to remove "sensitive content" but also to make the movie shorter to secure more theatrical screenings, and adding the infamous new ending that director Jeffrey Bloom hated and refused to film, movie was again test screened in January and it got a better reaction; this was the version that was later released. Due to the drastic re-cutting the original March release was pushed to November 1987, almost an entire year later after Bloom's original cut was completed and test-screened.

According to Bloom in a 2010 podcast interview for Natsukashi.wordpress.com, cuts on the nudity and incest scenes were not done only because of the bad reactions of the test audience but also because studios wanted to secure a lower MPAA rating. It got to the point where even the "small shots and small suggestive stuff" were cut out to make sure that the movie got a PG-13 rating.

Kristy Swanson also confirmed in a 2014 interview that there was a test screening of the movie which had all the incest scenes included in it but when the audience found them to be uncomfortable they were cut out. Producer Sy Levin also mentioned that one of the cut scenes had Chris watching Cathy through the crack of the door while she was taking off her clothes and getting into the bathtub.

Also, test screenings of the film in San Jose and Ohio (after movie was re-edited) were said to include yet another ending but no further details were reported, although actor Alex Koba did mention in an LA Times interview at the time when the movie was released in theaters that there were actually three different endings and the studio picked the worst one. In another, earlier article it was also mentioned that Bloom's original intended ending was very similar to the ending of the original book, and it included the children simply walking out of their attic prison and Foxworth Hall into the sunshine during the wedding, to symbolize growing up, Bloom said, with "the way to freedom clear." It is not known whether this version of the ending was included only in Bloom's original script, or whether it was actually filmed and is this the second alternate ending that was shown in some test screenings.

Despite interest from fans of the book series and the movie no uncut version or director's cut were released and it is not known if the deleted footage still exists. See more »

Goofs

During the party when Corinne and her date are dancing, she is wearing a strapless dress and there are clearly no scars or any indication that she was beaten with a whip. See more »

Quotes

Cathy: Look at us, Mother! Do we look like you with your rosy cheeks and your bright eyes? Look at the twins, Mother! Cory has stomach cramps almost every day, and Carrie has little sores growing on her skin! Do you know or even care that the grandmother has stopped feeding us for more than a week?
Mother: Stop it! You have no right to talk to me like that! Do you think I've had pleasure while my children have been in pain? You are heartless. When you're ready to treat me with love, I'll be back.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Orphan Black: Transgressive Border Crossing (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why isn't anyone else ripping their hair out at this movie?!
7 June 2005 | by gemma_l_loveSee all my reviews

I had been debating with myself for years about watching this movie. Having been an avid fan of the entire series of "Flowers in the Attic" books, I knew there was a strong possibility the film would do nothing but irritate me by way of poor acting and even poorer script-writing. What I didn't realise, was how much of a massacre the film was going to make of such a beautifully written book.

First off, and I'm sorry - but it is a shallow comment to make: Those kids; Chris, Cathy, Carrie and Cory are supposed to be stunning. "The Dresden dolls" because they are *that* striking. Whoever cast the film seemed to have sorted through the "Village of the Damned" rejects in order to find the two youngest (scariest looking couple of children I have ever seen) Chris was, I'm sorry - just nothing like the original character and while Kristy Swansen is very pretty - she just didn't cut it as Cathy.

Which brings me to my next point - Cathy's thing is ballet - she's an excellent dancer - and aside from a couple of pathetic scenes involving Swansen trying to get her leg higher than her hip-bone, they ignored the one thing that the entire character centres around.

And just out of interest - where was the relationship between Cathy and Chris? I know having an incestuous relationship played out in film has got to be controversial - but don't bother even picking up a pen to write a script for a story if you have absolutely no intention of keeping the central story-lines. And if you do, don't have the audacity to pass it off as the film version of a highly acclaimed book just by giving it the same title.

"Flowers in the Attic" was based on a true story. (As stated in the prologue of the copy I have anyway). How - HOW is it OK to just butcher such an awesome piece of work? It's like passing Pokemon off as the Mona-Lisa; sick and entirely wrong. They have completely missed the point of the story: It wasn't about 4 kids sitting in an attic waiting to die or be let out; it was about four children adapting to a situation wherein they have to become adults long before their time. It was about how the relationships between the siblings evolved, and the psychological consequences of losing one parent through death and another through greed.

For anyone who has watched the film and is ready to dismiss the books because of it - seriously; don't be fooled by such an obvious lacklustre attempt at a book adaptation. There are not enough words in the English language to explain how wrong this film is - how utterly and completely pathetic the script, setting, acting, casting, directing and the 101 other ways in which the movie sucks beyond belief.

And just... just don't get me started on the ending. Every time I think about it I just want to do nasty things involving pointy objects to the script-writer.

Please tell me someone agrees with me?


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