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Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Louise Fletcher , Victoria Tennant , Jeffrey Bloom  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Louise Fletcher, Victoria Tennant, Kristy Swanson, Jeb Stuart Adams, Ben Ryan Ganger
  • Directors: Jeffrey Bloom
  • Writers: Jeffrey Bloom, Virginia C. Andrews
  • Producers: Charles W. Fries, Mike Rosenfeld, Sy Levin, Thomas Fries
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059PP1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,125 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Flowers in the Attic" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dreams of an inheritance turn into a nightmare for four innocent children who are locked in the deserted north wing of the family mansion, beaten by a vicious grandmother and tormented by a menacing caretaker.
Item Type: DVD Movie
Item Rating: NR
Street Date: 04/24/01
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Language: ENGLISH
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Dubbed: no
Full Frame: no
Re-Release: no
Packaging: Sleeve

The classic teen novel of adolescent torment and forbidden love gets brought to the screen. When the father of four beautiful blond children is suddenly killed, their mother (Victoria Tennant, L.A. Story) takes them to the family home she fled 17 years earlier. Their fierce and frightening grandmother (Louise Fletcher, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest) locks them in an upstairs room, from which the only escape is into the cluttered and cobwebbed attic. The children's isolation gets more and more extreme as their mother abandons them, finally even slowly poisoning them to gain her father's inheritance. Sadly, the movie shies away from what made Flowers in the Attic such a hugely popular book--namely, the incestuous sex that began between the two older children, Cathy (Kristy Swanson, the movie version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Chris (Jeb Stuart Adams). Instead, the movie insinuates incestuous longing in all directions: Cathy's father brings her special presents before he dies, Chris scrubs Cathy's back in the tub, Chris has a noticeably stronger attachment to their mother than Cathy does--not to mention that the grandmother whips the half-naked mother in front of the grandfather. Fletcher brings a bit of bite to her role, and the movie occasionally rises to absurdly lurid zest. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too mixed and jumbled... January 3, 2002
By Sarah
First off, I have to say that the movie barely even follows the same plot as the brilliant book. The were so many problems! In the book the oldest girl was supposed to be 12 when they came to the attic, in the movie she looks 15 or 16. In the book the grandmother didn't cut the oldest girls hair, she tried but Chris stopped her. And what happened to the incest? It carried such huge messages and themes in the book and in the movie there is none of it. I could go on for pages about the inconsistensies, even the ending is hugely different. I swear sometimes when they actually said something from the book I would think "Hey! That's kinda like Flowers In The-...oh yeah...". But to defend the makers of this movie a bit, this was before the entertainment industry relized how much it annoys people when they don't follow much loved books. I mean look at the 2 latest movies based on books, Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter. They are two great books with movies that are good as well and stay true to them. I really wish they would remake the movie and have a movie for each book in the series. I think Flowers In The Attic was around 400 pages. When a 400 page book is squashed into an 85 minute movie it isn't pretty...But for a moment here lets forget about the book, now lets look at the problems with the stand alone movie. The acting was quite weak at times. Cory's voice was annoying but I actually respected that because it seemed more realistic. Another thing I like about the movie was how it showed that man digging the four graves, that was a very eerie well done scene. A shame it was only 4 seconds and the rest of the movie never had that eerie mood. A movie like this really should have that eerie mood. It all happened too fast. Read more ›
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
In my point of view, if you want to know the real story, read the book! I read the book before I saw the movie and I was VERY disappointed. The movie leaves out all of the feelings and losses of the characters, which is what makes the book amazing.
The story is about four beautiful children (Chris, Cathy, Carrie, and Cory), who are locked away in a room by thier selfish mother, with a filthy attic as their playground. Their cruel heartless Grandmother brainwashes the small children, Cory and Carrie, into thinking that they are "devil's spawn", and they are painfully malnourished. They live each day as if it were a year, sadly awaiting the truths that are to come from their greedy mother.
This book will capture the tears from your eyes, as you feel the trials and triumphs of four helpless children, locked away without care.
I recommend the rest of the dollanganger series from V.C. Andrews, from the escape from the attic; to the return; and thier lives still haunted by the house; and a Pre-quel.
-Petals on the Wind,
-If there be Thorns,
-Seeds of Yesterday,
-and finally, Garden of Shadows.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bland and Boring December 5, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
The casting and acting is superb. So there's credit given where it is due.
However, the plot of this movie, when compared to the actual novel of the same name written by V. C. Amdrews, is just pathetic. The movie's ending stinks, the characters weren't developed hardly at all, and more than half of the things that happened in the attic were left out of the movie.
If I rated the movie based on the novel, it wouldn't even get one star. If you loved the movie, you would absolutely LOVE the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Bill M.
Adapting a book to film isn't as simple as using the book as the movie script. Some ideas simply don't translate well to the big screen, especially if you have less than 2 hours to develop all of your characters, tell the story, and reach a resolution. So film makers inevitably have to cut corners and modify the story to make a movie that can be understood and enjoyed by people who haven't even read the book. That's what they did here. And as a movie in and of itself, I thought they did a good job.

The book "Flowers in the Attic" isn't just a horror story of 4 kids locked away in an attic by their zealot grandmother. It weaves a complex tale about mixed relationship roles in a family, as the lines blur between father/brother, mother/sister, spouse/sibling, and parent/grandparent. It's also the first book in a series, and the ending doesn't offer much of a resolution. The bottom line is that there is simply no way you can cram that whole book into a 90 minute movie. The character development would have been extremely rushed and confusing, and the film might have even gotten an NC-17 rating at the time with the incest. The writers obviously knew this, though I guess the 1-star reviewers here don't. I suppose they could have alternatively tried adopting it into a mini-series, but I don't know if they would have been able to keep new viewers tuning in week after week.

So the writers instead cut out the incestuous complexities of the brother/sister relationship, and added a resolution which the book doesn't have. Does this sacrifice a lot of the parallel stories in the book? Sure. But again, I don't know how else you could have turned this into a 90 minute movie. All things considered, they did a decent job. I have no shame in saying I even liked the movie's ending more than the book's passive ending.
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Topic From this Discussion
Anybody know where "Foxworth Hall" is?
The outside was shot at Crane Estate in Ipswich MA, the interiors were at Greystone Park Manor in Beverly Hills CA. Hope that helps, not sure if you found out already or not since this post is old...but I always wondered as well!
Jan 21, 2008 by N. Scofield |  See all 5 posts
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