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

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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)
...
 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:

Desire. Passion. Scandal. 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

Bryan Brown, who played Luke O'Neill, was the only Australian on set. See more »

Goofs

When Mary Carson is discovered dead, you can see Barbara Stanwyck's chest moving as she continues to breathe. See more »

Quotes

Meggie Cleary: Oh, go away! I can't bare to look at you anymore! And there's one thing you've forgotten about your precious roses, Ralph, they've got nasty *hooky* thorns!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coronation Street: Episode #1.8549 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest romantic mini-series of all time!
11 October 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Richard Chamberlain became an even bigger heartthrob with the advent of this epic mini-series, Rachel Ward became a star, and Barbara Stanwyk made a major comeback and stole the show in only three hours of on-screen time. "The Thorn Birds", based on Colleen McCullough's best-selling epic novel takes place in the Australia of the 1920's and stretches across three generations to the 1960's and tells the story of a life-long romance between an ambitious priest (Chamberlain) and the woman who only wanted his love. Rachel Ward is a beautiful rose as Meggie, Richard Chamberlain is an ideal Ralph de Bricassart and Barbara Stanwyk is at her best as Mary Carson, Meggie's aunt, the richest yet loneliest woman in Australia. She desires Ralph for herself but he easily spurns her and she takes revenge on him with unmerciful vengeance. He had broken his vow of obedience prior to meeting Mary Carson and she sets out to cause him to break his other vows of poverty and especially chastity. When she dies suddenly she leaves her entire estate to the Church in Rome with Ralph in soul charge as overseer (vow of poverty now broken). She also knows that sooner or later he will hopelessly succumb to Meggie's wish of receiving his love. Several years pass before that vow is broken but it eventually is and what comes of it is a deep, dark secret that will either make or break Ralph. The entire supporting cast is brilliant also: Barbara Stanwyk, Richard Kiley and Jean Simmons all won an Emmy for their performances. Piper Laurie, Christopher Plummer and Bryan Brown were all nominated but poor, little Rachel Ward and Mare Winningham got the shaft. See it! It's a full, rich story with powerful stamina!


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