Remember the suburban neighborhood in “Edward Scissorhands” where all the houses were painted in pastel colors? The small blue ranch where Avon Lady Peg Boggs and her family lived is on the market, so today we’re taking a look back at the houses from the movie, including the fabulously creepy old castle on the hill.
Johnny Depp played Edward, a boy created by an inventor who died before he could give him human hands. When Peg knocks on the door of the castle one day, she finds him living alone and decides he needs some mothering (and some of Avon’s astringent for his scars!).
The Tim Burton film came out in 1990 and he said it was inspired by his memories of growing up in the suburbs of Burbank, California, where he never felt like he fit in.
Read on to see how they rented out an entire neighborhood in Florida to create the now-iconic suburb in “Edward Scissorhands” and built the castle in a nearby farm field.
Note: There are Amazon affiliate links in this post that may earn commission.
Creating the Colorful Neighborhood in “Edward Scissorhands”
The suburban neighborhood where the story takes place was lined with cookie-cutter, pastel-painted houses. At the end of the street, there were iron gates leading to a crumbling castle on a hill.
Burton says the story represented his experience growing up in the suburbs of Burbank, California.
“To represent Burbank, we had to go all the way to Florida.
We filmed in a real suburb but added foliage and did a little paint job on each house.”
Burton says it was amazing to see how the neighborhood transformed when they began filling it with Edward’s living sculptures.
They had to paint the houses back to their original colors when filming was over and remove all the topiaries. As a result, the neighborhood is practically unrecognizable today.
The idea for the movie came from a sketch of a boy with scissors for hands that filmmaker Tim Burton had drawn as a teenager.
When he showed it to a writer friend named Caroline Thompson, she said, “Stop right there. I know what to do with it!” And she wrote the screenplay.
Thompson was living in Burbank when she wrote the script and says the characters were based on people she knew.
“My mother wasn’t an Avon lady, but she was always bringing strangers home. Lots of the neighborhood women were based on the mothers of friends of mine, much to their chagrin.
“Edward was a portrait of Tim (Burton), although my high school boyfriend was a mime and lots of people from home think it was based on him!”
The houses had a mix of 1960s and 1980s design.
Joyce was played by Kathy Baker and had the most stylish rooms on the block.
She even has pink toilet paper to match:
Dianne Wiest played Avon Lady Peg Boggs:
The Boggs’ Blue House in “Edward Scissorhands”
After finding him alone in the castle, Peg brought Edward home to her little blue house on the corner.
The house they used for the movie is in a neighborhood called Carpenter’s Run in Lutz, Florida.
The House Today:
It went on the market last month and looks very different now
with the tan siding and red door — not to mention the large shade tree in the front yard.
They filmed on location inside the house.
The Front Door Today:
The Living Room with Vaulted Ceiling in the Movie:
The Same Living Room in the Listing Today:
The listing says:
Come and see this charming home that also happens to be a famous movie house. Located in Carpenters Run, Lutz (Pasco County), this home sits on a corner lot, has a fenced in backyard, and is ready for you to move in!
This home was featured in the movie Edward Scissorhands and is known as The Boggs’ house or the Avon Lady’s house.
There are 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The master bathroom has been fully remodeled and also features a walk-in closet.
“The kitchen cabinets and counter tops are original, but all are in good working order. A high ceiling in the living room and updated insulated windows throughout the home.
“This home and area is great for someone just starting out, or ready to settle into their forever home. The Community has a clubhouse, pool, playground, tennis court and basketball courts. Just minutes from I-75, Wiregrass Mall, Tampa Premium Outlets, restaurants and more!”
The white carpet from the movie has been replaced with ceramic tile.
Winona Ryder played Peg’s daughter Kim, who fell for Edward despite his scissorhands.
Anthony Michael Hall played Jim, her bully of a boyfriend.
I had the same canopy bed in my room as a girl that Kim had in hers. Anyone else?
The one-story home was built in 1989, right before filming began.
It has 3 bedrooms + 2 baths, with 1,432 square feet.
Edward created topiary figures of the Boggs family in the backyard:
The Backyard in the Listing Today:
Johnny Depp says when he first read the script, he was so moved by it that he cried.
He watched a lot of Charlie Chaplin’s silent movies to prepare for the role.
About half of the newly built houses in the Florida suburb hadn’t been sold yet,
so it was easy to film on location in the neighborhood.
In a behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD they show a
miniature version of the neighborhood they built, too (Amazon affiliate link):
They rented about 50 of the houses in the Carpenter’s Run neighborhood for filming.
The families stayed at a nearby hotel for the duration.
Building the Castle for “Edward Scissorhands”
The hill and castle we see in this shot overlooking the neighborhood was only a matte painting:
However, a real house was built in Dade City for filming scenes with the actors.
“The castle was built on the only slight hill in all of Florida,” Burton says.
A Fox 13 News story showed the structure being built in 1990.
The Castle in the Movie:
Scriptwriter Caroline Thompson says, “It’s a fable. A fable is something that people don’t necessarily believe, but they understand. You understand it’s about a feeling that you don’t belong, but you want to belong.”
She says it started out as a musical in her mind.
For instance, there was a song called “I Can’t Handle It” that featured the lyrics, “Whatever I touch turns to tatters. I can’t handle it if it matters. If it can break, it shatters. If it can spill, it splatters.”
But when Burton read the first draft, he felt like the story could work on its own, and nixed the songs.
Initially, she says, she didn’t want Johnny Depp for the role: “At that time he was just Winona Ryder’s boyfriend. I wanted John Cusack, who I thought was adorable. And I wanted Laura Dern for the girl. But I’m perfectly happy with how it turned out.”
Peg, the Avon Lady, lets herself into the castle, determined to make a sale.
It may be a little creepy, but she isn’t deterred!
She marches right on up the old staircase in search of potential customers.
She finds Edward afraid and alone, cowering in the attic.
The castle belonged to a reclusive inventor played by Vincent Price,
who created Edward in his lab and trained him how to be human.
He intended to replace Edward’s steel shears with hands but died before he had a chance.
Burton says he loves monster movies but never considers his stories to be dark or scary because “there’s an emotional component to them. I grew up with monster movies, and they were my fairytales.”
For more information about “Edward Scissorhands” and filming locations:
- Local News Report of Castle Being Built in 1990
- Interviews with the scriptwriter here and here
- Video showing neighborhood today
- DVD of “Edward Scissorhands” (Amazon affiliate link)
- Movie Trivia on IMDb
The blue house from the movie is on the market for $224,000. Thanks to real estate agent Stacie Savoy for letting me share the listing photos with you. You can see more at Berkshire Hathaway.
Visit my Movie Houses page to search for more faves I’ve featured,
listed A-Z, including the one from “Beetlejuice.”