IMDb > "The Thorn Birds" (1983)
"The Thorn Birds"
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"The Thorn Birds" (1983) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1983-

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Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   5,058 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer:
Lee Stanley (writer)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Thorn Birds on IMDbPro.
Seasons:
1
Release Date:
27 March 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Love unattainable. Forbidden forever. See more »
Plot:
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... See more »
Awards:
Won 4 Golden Globes. Another 10 wins & 17 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The perfect unrequited love epic See more (61 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast [25])

Richard Chamberlain ... Ralph de Bricassart (4 episodes, 1983)

Rachel Ward ... Meggie Cleary (4 episodes, 1983)

Christopher Plummer ... Archbishop Vittorio Contini-Verchese (4 episodes, 1983)

Bryan Brown ... Luke O'Neill (4 episodes, 1983)

Brett Cullen ... Bob Cleary (4 episodes, 1983)

Stephanie Faracy ... Judy (4 episodes, 1983)

Barry Corbin ... Pete (4 episodes, 1983)

John de Lancie ... Alastair MacQueen (4 episodes, 1983)

Barbara Stanwyck ... Mary Carson (4 episodes, 1983)

Jean Simmons ... Fiona 'Fee' Cleary (3 episodes, 1983)

Piper Laurie ... Anne Mueller (3 episodes, 1983)

Earl Holliman ... 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)

Holly Palance ... Miss Carmichael (3 episodes, 1983)

Allyn Ann McLerie ... Mrs. Smith (3 episodes, 1983)

Ken Howard ... Rainer Hartheim (2 episodes, 1983)

Richard Kiley ... Paddy Cleary (2 episodes, 1983)

Mare Winningham ... Justine O'Neil / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Richard Venture ... Harry Gough (2 episodes, 1983)

Dwier Brown ... Stuart Cleary (2 episodes, 1983)

Antoinette Bower ... Sarah MacQueen (2 episodes, 1983)

Chard Hayward ... Arne Swenson (2 episodes, 1983)
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Series Directed by
Daryl Duke (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Writing credits
Carmen Culver (4 episodes, 1983)
Colleen McCullough (4 episodes, 1983)

Lee Stanley (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Irving Paul Lazar .... associate producer (4 episodes, 1983)
Edward Lewis .... executive producer (4 episodes, 1983)
Stan Margulies .... producer (4 episodes, 1983)
David L. Wolper .... executive producer (4 episodes, 1983)

Lee Stanley .... co-producer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Original Music by
Henry Mancini (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Cinematography by
Bill Butler (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Film Editing by
Carroll Timothy O'Meara (2 episodes, 1983)
Robert F. Shugrue (2 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Production Design by
Robert MacKichan (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Art Direction by
Robert MacKichan (unknown episodes)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Jerry Adams (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Costume Design by
Travilla (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Makeup Department
Del Acevedo .... makeup artist (4 episodes, 1983)
Lee Crawford .... hair stylist (4 episodes, 1983)

Marina Hart .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
Sharleen Rassi .... hair stylist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit production manager (4 episodes, 1983)
George Taylor .... post-production supervisor (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jim Gardner .... first assistant director (4 episodes, 1983)
Warren Gray .... second assistant director (4 episodes, 1983)
Eric Jones .... second assistant director (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Art Department
Victor E. Petrotta Sr. .... property master (4 episodes, 1983)

Ray Pedler .... scenic artist (unknown episodes)
 
Series Sound Department
Richard Wagner .... sound (4 episodes, 1983)
Don Crosby .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 1983)
Al Kajita .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 1983)
Larry Kaufman .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 1983)
Alan Potter .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Special Effects by
Doug Hubbard .... special effects (unknown episodes)
 
Series Visual Effects by
David Stipes .... visual effects (unknown episodes)
 
Series Stunts
Carol Daniels .... stunt double: Barbara Stanwyck, Rachel Ward (4 episodes, 1983)

Kim Kahana .... stunts (unknown episodes)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Emmanuel Vouniozos .... on-set technician (4 episodes, 1983)

Colin J. Campbell .... gaffer (unknown episodes)
Dave Friedman .... still photographer (unknown episodes)
Adam Glick .... set lighting technician (unknown episodes)
To Lee .... camera assistant trainee (unknown episodes)
Johnny Walker .... first assistant camera (unknown episodes)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Thomas S. Dawson .... costume: men (4 episodes, 1983)
Donna Roberts .... costume supervisor: women (4 episodes, 1983)

Jerry Herrin .... costumer (unknown episodes)
 
Series Editorial Department
Marc Wielage .... telecine colorist (4 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Music Department
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone soloist (4 episodes, 1983)
Jay Alfred Smith .... music editor (4 episodes, 1983)

Henry Mancini .... composer: song "Anywhere the Heart Goes" (unknown episodes)
 
Series Other crew
Paul Pav .... location manager (4 episodes, 1983)
Sandra Seacat .... acting coach: Rachel Ward (4 episodes, 1983)
Terrance Sweeney .... technical advisor / religious consultant (4 episodes, 1983)
Anne Warner .... script supervisor (3 episodes, 1983)

Elise Ganz .... studio teacher (unknown episodes)
Carol Green .... unit publicist (unknown episodes)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Israel:460 min | USA:477 min (DVD) | USA:487 min (TV version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Producers found the conditions of shooting in Australia to be impossible. Most of the sheep ranches were to far out in the middle of nowhere for film crews to get to, and the requirements placed on American film crews to shoot in Australia were unrealistic. So the entire ranch, Drohgeda was built in California.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Mary Carson is discovered dead, you can see Barbara Stanwyck's chest moving as she continues to breathe.See more »
Quotes:
Meggie Cleary:The day that I first saw you at the Gilly station, you smiled at me, then you said my name. Then you touched me.
[She kisses him]
Meggie Cleary:And since that day, I have somehow known, though I never saw you again, that my last thought this side of the grave would be of you.
[shrugs]
Meggie Cleary:And there's nothing I can do to change it. Do you know how terrifying it is, that power you have over me?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
The perfect unrequited love epic, 27 October 2002
Author: overseer-3 from Florida

For anyone who has suffered through the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune in love, this 1983 mini-series will touch their hearts like no other film or TV series ever made. The casting was perfect in every way to bring the story of the Australian Cleary family to life so vividly (Jean Simmons as the mother "Fee" won the Emmy Award that year; unfortunately Henry Mancini didn't for his gorgeous musical score, and he deserved to win!).

While the main thrust of this story and film appears on the surface to be the love of a Roman Catholic priest for a young girl whom he sees grow into adulthood, the underlying, truly poignant aspect of this story is about the long-term effects of what happens to children when mothers love one child more than another. This theme is the real heart tugger here. Meggie is an afterthought to her mother Fee until the very end of the story (Frank is her favorite child, even though he is troubled, because Frank was the love child of a pre-marital affair), and later on when Meggie becomes a mother Dane is her favorite child (also a product of a clandestine love), and her daughter Justine is the afterthought.

It is this basic lack of love that each child feels from his or her mother that determines the choices they make in life (i.e. Meggie choses to love someone who cannot commit to her, Justine choses to avoid love altogether and throw herself into acting to escape reality, Frank goes off and kills a man because he cannot deal with loving his mother too much, Ralph reveals his mother abandoned him early so he too inclines towards a non-committal type of love with Meggie and escapes through the church, etc.)

The pattern develops early and continues throughout the lives of the Clearys. That is why, to me, the most profoundly moving scenes in this entire series are right near the end: 1) when the old Fee has to tell Meggie that her son Dane has died, and she caresses Meggie's face for the first time in both their lives, and 2) the scene in the stable barn, between Meggie and Justine, as they confront the truth: that Meggie does love Justine, but Dane WAS the favorite child, for reasons beyond Justine's control. In hugging Fee and crying in grief, and in resolving her differences with Justine, Meggie finally finds the peace she needs in life; she is then able to let go of Ralph when the inevitable takes him from her for good.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "The Thorn Birds" (1983)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Australian authenticity? pauldbartlett
Jane Seymour as Meggie Joletta
Who cried? ipacitti
If they did a remake... Tee2381
Richard C. sure looks great ozma50
Old Burger King Commercial with Sydney Penny andersensister
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