Petals on the Wind is a 2014 film of the 1980 novel written by V.C. Andrews. It aired on May 26, 2014, on the Lifetime channel.
Set 10 years after the events from Flowers in the Attic, in the year 1970 in South Carolina, the surviving Dollanganger children, Cathy, Chris, and Carrie, attend the funeral of Paul Sheffield, a kind doctor who took them in and provided them the means to achieve their dreams.
However, still haunted by the death of their younger brother, Cory and the betrayal of their mother, they are unable to move past their memories in the attic, particularly Cathy, who still wonders how a mother could betray her own children.
Meanwhile, back in Virginia, Olivia is bedridden and an invalid due to having suffered a stroke and possibly guilt-ridden for keeping quiet about it, frequently shouts out to the servants that Corrine poisoned her children, but no one believes her. Corrine begins to renovate Foxworth Hall so that she can take full ownership of the mansion, but asks that the attic be sealed.
Now blossoming into a beautiful young woman and determined to achieve her dream as a famous ballerina, Cathy partners with a fellow dancer named Julian, who seems genuinely infatuated with her. While she finds him attractive, she dislikes him due to his possessive and abusive behavior. Despite this, she enters in a relationship with him in order to move past her incestuous relationship with Chris, who is still in love with Cathy.
Despite their best attempts, Cathy and Chris are unable to forget their feelings for each other; when Cathy is offered and accepts the opportunity to go to New York to be a ballet dancer with Julian, she and Chris give into their passion for each other and make love. Then, it is revealed that Cathy had become pregnant with Chris' child, conceived from their first sexual encounter while they were imprisoned in the attic and miscarried.
Cathy tells Chris she must leave in order to give themselves a chance to live a normal life and not repeat their parents' sins. Chris also attempts to move on with his life by entering in a relationship with Sarah, who is the daughter of his boss at the hospital he works at. Cathy goes on to have a love-hate relationship with Julian; she feels love for him when they are performing on stage together but feels hate when they are off stage.
Julian, who is frustrated with Cathy's inability to love him, tries to keep her away from her others, except for Carrie, but Cathy doesn't end the relationship due to their dance partnership. Carrie is frequently bullied by her classmates at her boarding school for her small size and carrying a doll (which is the only present she has left of her mother). She asks Cathy if she can come live with her and Julian, which she agrees.
During Cathy's performance in "Romeo and Juliet," Chris catches Julian "molesting" Carrie and a violent fight occurs, which ends with Julian storming off and Cathy running after him. During this argument while Julian is driving, Cathy reveals that she is pregnant which distracts Julian and causes them to get into a car accident. Julian is killed instantly, but Cathy and her unborn child are alright. Cathy later gives birth to a boy whom she names Jory and opens up her own ballet school.
Carrie attempts to find some form of happiness by entering into a relationship with Alex, a young man who works as a minister whom Carrie met at a session. Alex truly loves Carrie, and he proposes to her, but she is unable to bring herself to answer him. This is because Carrie is still haunted over the loss of her twin and her grandmother's words of evil, and questions herself about becoming a minister's wife. Her negative feelings grow when she runs into Corrine at a charity gathering, who casually denies Carrie being her daughter.
Thinking that she is evil and unwanted, Carrie consumes doughnuts heavily-laced with arsenic, the same poison that killed her twin. Cathy and Chris are grief-stricken when they discover Carrie dead and over how she chose to commit suicide. This enrages Cathy into plotting revenge against her mother and grandmother for what they did to her and her siblings and she also plots to seduce her mother's new husband, Bart Winslow, as part of her revenge.
Chris is disgusted with her plan and tries to get her stop, but Cathy is determined to make her mother suffer for what they've endured. It doesn't take much to successfully seduce Bart, who is immediately smitten with her, and they begin an affair. Chris eventually proposes to Sarah (under pressure from her father, his supervisor), and she accepts. However, the day before the wedding, Chris admits that he doesn't want to marry Sarah because he wants to be with Cathy. She tells him that she still loves him but they need to move on with their lives. This leads them to share a passionate kiss, which Sarah witnesses. Horrified, she ends her relationship with Chris (who also gets fired from his job at the hospital), and rumors start to spread about the incestuous relationship.
With their secret revealed, Chris asks Cathy to come live with him in California so they can start a new life with Jory, but Cathy reveals that she is now pregnant with Bart's child and needs to finish what she started. Chris asks Cathy if she loves Bart, which she says no and she loves Chris. Chris decides to go to Foxworth Hall to confront their mother.
On the day of the Christmas party and reopening of Foxworth Hall, they sneak back into the mansion. Cathy finds her grandmother, and takes the moment to vent her anger at Olivia, who tells her that she will always be trapped within the Foxworth family and remain known as the devil's spawn.
During the party, Bart makes a toast to Foxworth Hall's restoration and Corrine. Cathy appears on the staircase (wearing the same gown Corrine wore to the Christmas Party twelve years ago) and proceeds to announce her identity and her mother's crimes to the guests. At first, Corrine denies that she has any children and she doesn't know what Cathy is talking about, especially about Cory's death. Bart is suspicious and demands answers, and Olivia refuses to defend Corrine. Olivia orders Corrine to tell the truth and with that, Corrine finally admits everything. However, she insists that she never intended to kill Cory, but only made her children sick so she could sneak them out of the house much to Bart's disgust. Cathy further announces her pregnancy with Bart's child much to his and Corrine's shock.
After the guests leave, Corrine confronts Olivia upstairs while Bart talks to Cathy, demanding to know why she seduced him to get back at his wife. In Olivia's bedroom, Corrine blames Olivia for making her put her children in the attic, and Olivia says that is because the children are an abomination. She gives Corrine a trunk with some of her old possessions and Corrine is saddened when she finds the skeleton remains of Cory, under several tissue flowers.
When Chris comes in, Corrine suffers a mental breakdown. She mistakes Chris for his father and pleads with him to help her hide Cory's body. As Olivia taunts her, Corrine coldly bids her mother goodbye and sets the room on fire with candles. Chris rushes his mother out of the house and Bart runs back inside to save Olivia but they both die in the fire.
Six years later, Cathy and Chris have gotten married and live in California with Jory and Bart Jr under their family name of Dollanganger. Corrine, however was deemed incompetent to stand trial for her crimes and is sent to a mental hospital where she constantly screams out for her 'babies.'
Cathy: Rose Mclver (Once Upon a Time)
Chris: Wyatt Nash (Pretty Little Liars)
Corinne: Heather Graham
Julian Marquet: Will Kemp (90210)
Olivia: Ellen Burstyn
Bart Winslow: Dylan Bruce
Differences Between the Film and BookEdit
- The film takes place 10 years after the siblings escape from Foxworth Hall; in the book, it takes place at the exact time they escaped.
- In the film, Paul dies when it begins and served solely as the children's adopted father; in the book, he is a main character as not only their adopted father but as Cathy's lover and second husband.
- In the film, Cathy and Chris continue their incestuous relationship, despite their attempts to move on with their lives; in the book, Cathy tries desperately to forget the relationship and Chris remains determined to keep Cathy to himself.
- In the film, Cathy and Chris have sex after she announces her plan to leave for New York with Julian; in the book, they don't have sex again after their escape, although they've been tempted several times, and only resume their relationship after Paul's death.
- In the film, Chris attempts to marry his boss' daughter, Sarah, in order to move past his relationship with Cathy; in the book, she doesn't exist and he never marries because he truly believes Cathy will reciprocate his feelings.
- In the film, Henny is vocal, knows of Cathy and Chris' relationship, and moves to California with Cathy and Chris at the end; in the book, she is mute, is unaware of the relationship, and dies before Paul.
- In the film, Carrie finds out about her older siblings' relationship after hearing them talk about the wrongness of their love; in the book, she suspects the relationship is incestuous but never knows the whole truth.
- In the film, Olivia is still able to speak after suffering a stroke; in the book, she becomes invalid physically and loses her voice after her stroke.
- In the film, Cathy dates Julian for a few months until his death; in the book, she dates him on-and-off for two years and was married to him for five years before his death.
- In the film, Julian dies instantly in a car accident after Cathy, who was in the car with him, told him she was pregnant with his child; in the book, he was left paralyzed from the car accident, which killed the woman he was cheating on Cathy with, and committed suicide after he told Cathy he didn't want the baby.
- In the film, Cathy never falls in love with Bart because her affair with him is based solely on revenge against her mother and even tells Chris he is the only man she loves; in the book, she does fall for him but has no intentions of being together with him.
- In the film, Cathy moves to Virginia after Carrie's death; in the book, she moves to Virginia after Jory's birth and takes Carrie with her.
- In the film, Cathy gets into a heated argument with Olivia over how the woman treated her and her siblings in the attic, and how Olivia justifies her actions; in the book, Cathy whips her grandmother and taunts her for how Olivia treated the children, but later feels guilty.
- In the film, Cathy reveals her second pregnancy to Bart at Corrine's party; in the book, she told him at her house.
- In the film, Corrine rejects Carrie at a social gathering; in the book, it was on a street in Charlottesburg.
- In the film, Carrie committed suicide and died in her bedroom; in the book, she was found dying in her bedroom, but was taken to the hospital and died shortly after.
- In the film, Corrine never sees her children in the years after their escape and avoids all contact with them; in the book, she attends Cathy's ballet performances and Carrie's funeral.
- In the film, Corrine sets Olivia's bed on fire with candles during a mental breakdown and she coldly bids her mother goodbye; in the book, she set all parts of the mansion on fire with candles during a mental breakdown.
- In the film, Cathy became pregnant with Chris' child when they first had sex during their imprisonment but miscarried; in the book, she suspected that she did miscarry his child but finds out she didn't because she was never pregnant.
- In the film, Corrine had placed Cory's body in a trunk and hid it in the attic; in the book, it was hinted that Cory's body was placed in a hidden room in the attic that smelled oddly.
- In the film, Olivia tells Corrine to admit that she tried to kill her children with poison and imprisoned them in the attic; in the book, this never happened due to her losing her voice from a stroke.
- In the film, Bart believes Cathy right away when she announces herself as Corrine's daughter and what her mother did to her and her siblings; in the book, he accused her of lying when she first told him because of her previous blackmailing schemes on Corrine.
- In the film, the attic and the guestroom leading to it are sealed up on Corrine's orders as a way of concealing her crimes and her children' existence; in the book, Cathy explores the attic and it remains untouched with traces of their existence (dangling paper flowers, the soundproof classroom, etc) faded.