The Thorn Birds (1983)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama
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This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie,... See full summary »

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1983  
Won 4 Golden Globes. Another 10 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Actually taking place in the middle of the original Thorn Birds miniseries, which chronicled the love affair of Meggie Cleary and Fr. Ralph de Bricassart from 1920 to 1962, this two-part ... See full summary »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Ralph de Bricassart (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Meggie Cleary (4 episodes, 1983)
...
...
 Luke O'Neill (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Bob Cleary (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Judy (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Pete (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Alastair MacQueen (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Mary Carson (4 episodes, 1983)
...
 Fiona 'Fee' Cleary (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 Anne Mueller (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 Luddie Mueller (3 episodes, 1983)
Philip Anglim ...
 Dane O'Neill (3 episodes, 1983)
John Friedrich ...
 Frank Cleary (3 episodes, 1983)
Stephen W. Burns ...
 Jack Cleary (3 episodes, 1983)
Bill Morey ...
 Angus MacQueen (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 Miss Carmichael (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 Mrs. Smith (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 Rainer Hartheim (2 episodes, 1983)
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 Paddy Cleary (2 episodes, 1983)
...
 Justine O'Neil / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Richard Venture ...
 Harry Gough (2 episodes, 1983)
...
 Stuart Cleary (2 episodes, 1983)
...
 Sarah MacQueen (2 episodes, 1983)
Chard Hayward ...
 Arne Swenson (2 episodes, 1983)
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Storyline

This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie, and her love for the family's priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart. Meggie tries to forget Ralph by marrying dashing stockman Luke O'Neill, but she and Ralph are soon reunited, with tragic consequences for them both. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love unattainable. Forbidden forever. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pájaro espino  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Olivia Newton-John auditioned for the part of Meggie. See more »

Goofs

The name of the farm is mispronounced. It is named after the Irish town Drogheda. The American cast did not know that 'gh' in Irish is pronounced like an 'h' in English. The cast said Drow-Geeda whereas the proper pronunciation is Dro-huh-duh, where Dro is pronounced like in "drop". See more »

Quotes

Luddie Mueller: Well we're just glad you did show up, Your Grace, It's good to know there's someone in the world who cares about the poor girl.
Ralph de Bricassart: Thank you. I want to go back into her.
[Anne stares after Ralph, as he goes back to Meggie]
Anne Mueller: Cares about her, Luddie? If you ask me, he's in love with her.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in How to Get Away with Murder: The Night Lila Died (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

The "Gone With The Wind" of the Australian outback
2 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

Upon my initial viewings, this moved me. It is an emotionally charged drama of forbidden love, scandal and tragedy that teaches a very powerful lesson...that we, as a human race, are all doomed to destruction, each generation repeating the mistake of the one before (remember Rev. Jim Jones himself said "those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it").

This miniseries was the Australian outback's answer to "Gone With The Wind". Only this time it's Cardinal DeBricissart (Richard Chamberlin) that's the Scarlett O'Hara and Meggie Cleary (Rachel Ward) that's the Rhett Butler. And yes, it cries for a sequel that can never be made. And yes, not all love stories have happy endings.

And there are some sequences that do not depend on a music score, such as the touching climactic scene with Meggie and Justine in the barn.

But that's just what makes a miniseries a classic. This is not some cheap-skate adaptation of a best selling book...this is the way novels should be made.


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