Ellen Burstyn

Flowers in the AtticIf you’re a certain age, you likely have memories of reading Flowers in the Attic, by V.C. Andrews. It was a book that was passed along from reader to reader, accompanied by nervous giggles and most likely some sort of admonition like “You’ve got to read this. No really. Read it. You’ll see what I mean.”

Although, by the time you got your hands on the book, you probably already knew what it was about.

And if you did read the book back in the day, now you’ll get a chance to revisit that period of your life, during which you sat, book in hand, quiet, breathlessly turning the pages, thinking, “Holy crap. You’re kidding me. No way! Whoa” and other thoughts along those lines.

Heather GrahamLifetime has given the made-for-TV movie “Flowers in the Attic” the green-light, and TV Line reports that Heather Graham will play mother Corrine and Ellen Burstyn the ultra-scary grandmother, Olivia. The four children in the story – Cathy, Chris, Carrie and Cory – have not yet been cast.

Flowers in the Attic tells the story of four children who move with their mother to their grandmother’s creepy mansion. They’re allowed to stay there on one condition – that they remain hidden in an upstairs room so that their grandfather doesn’t find out about them.

Ellen BurstynAfter their move, the children discover that they are the result of incest: their parents were uncle and niece. Initially attentive, the children’s mother, Corrine, more or less abandons them as she finds a new love and remarries, and they are left to their abusive grandmother’s tender mercies. Along the way, the two oldest, Cathy and Chris, reach puberty and, yes, repeat the incest pattern set by their parents.

As you can tell, the novel was pretty controversial when it first came out. It was also adapted into a film back in 1987; the movie didn’t do well with the critics or readers, but that’s not too surprising, considering they totally left out the incest bit between Cathy and Chris, which was, really, THE major theme of the novel.

Have you read Flowers in the Attic? Did you see the 1987 movie version? What do you think about a new adaptation? Let us know your thoughts below!

Images: IMDb


  1. As one “of a certain age” who passed around the books and loved them (what can I say? I was a repressed Catholic teen at the time!), I can only say this: This movie HAS to be better than the ’80s version, if only b/c that one was so bad that’s it’s impossible to make one worst.

  2. Jackie – Right, there was a movie made in 1987. I haven’t read the book or seen that movie, but it all sounds a little creepy! What’s the appeal of the book? And thanks to Belle Wong for the great story and letting us know about the new movie.

  3. I read all of them. It was a total middle school book. Totally shocking and salacious at the time – something you thought you weren’t supposed to be reading. I probably won’t see the movie, but I have to say how much I love, love, love Ellen Burstyn. I have adored her ever since I saw her in Same Time, Next Year with Alan Alda (my fave movie of all time: and Belle you could totally review that since it was a play first). Funny that this is resurfacing now, along with Tiger Eyes which is coming out. Will Forever also by Judy Blume also be a movie?

    • Forever was made into a movie back in the late 70s, but with Blume’s son being a filmmaker and director, maybe they’ll do another movie adaptation of it! I’ve never seen Same Time, Next Year – will have to add it to my list.


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