Two friends, one northern and one southern, struggle to maintain their friendship as events build towards the American Civil War.


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3   2   1  
1994   1986   1985  
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Virgilia Hazard / ... (6 episodes, 1985)
 Garrison Grady (6 episodes, 1985)
 Justin LaMotte (6 episodes, 1985)
 Elkanah Bent / ... (6 episodes, 1985)
 Madeline Fabray LaMotte (6 episodes, 1985)
 Brett Main / ... (6 episodes, 1985)
 Ashton Main Huntoon / ... (6 episodes, 1985)
 Constance Flynn Hazard / ... (6 episodes, 1985)
 James Huntoon (6 episodes, 1985)
 George Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
 Charles Main (6 episodes, 1985)
 Billy Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
 Orry Main (6 episodes, 1985)
 John Brown (6 episodes, 1985)
 Maum Sally (6 episodes, 1985)
 Burdetta Halloran (6 episodes, 1985)
 Frederick Douglass (6 episodes, 1985)
 Abraham Lincoln (6 episodes, 1985)
 Sen. Charles Edwards (6 episodes, 1985)
 Patrick Flynn (6 episodes, 1985)
 Clarissa Main (6 episodes, 1985)
 Congressman Sam Greene (6 episodes, 1985)
 Maude Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
 Madam Conti (6 episodes, 1985)
 William Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
 Nicholas Fabray (6 episodes, 1985)
 Stanley Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
Wendy Fulton ...
 Isabel Truscott Hazard (6 episodes, 1985)
 Priam (6 episodes, 1985)
 Tillet Main (6 episodes, 1985)
 Cuffey (6 episodes, 1985)
 Corporal Owens (6 episodes, 1985)
 Semiramis (4 episodes, 1985)
William Ostrander ...
 Forbes LaMotte (4 episodes, 1985)
Tony Frank ...
 Salem Jones (3 episodes, 1985)
Alveda King ...
 Slave (3 episodes, 1985)
 Benny Haven (2 episodes, 1985)
Nikki Creswell ...
 Young Brett Main (2 episodes, 1985)
 George McClellan (2 episodes, 1985)
Temi Epstein ...
 Young Ashton Main (2 episodes, 1985)
 Tom 'Stonewall' Jackson (2 episodes, 1985)
Arthur Gilliard ...
 Nathaniel (2 episodes, 1985)
Cody W. Hampton ...
 George Pickett (2 episodes, 1985)
 Smith Dawkins (2 episodes, 1985)
 Cadet Ned Fisk (2 episodes, 1985)
Robert Vaucresson ...
 Jed (2 episodes, 1985)


1842, a special summer day at the huge plantation of Mont Royal. A South Carolinian young man, Orry Maine, leaves his rich home for West Point Academy. On his way northwards, in very strange circumstances, he meets two people who will play a decisive role in his life: beautiful lady Madeleine Fabray whom Orry helps and with whom he falls in love and a "Yankee" George Hazard by whom Orry is helped and who is also on his way to West Point Academy. From that time, Orry and George are best friends and help each other at every moment, they fight for the USA in the Mexican War at Churubusco where George saves Orry's life. A few years later, the friendship of Orry and George spread to the friendship of their families, the Maines from South Carolina and the Hazards from Pennsylvania. Yet, the love of Orry's life, Madeleine gets married to Justin LaMotte, a rich cruel owner of nearby plantation in South Carolina. Their love cannot be fulfilled and they only meet in secret. Years pass by and ... Written by Marcin Kukuczka

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

3 November 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

North and South Book I  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Some of the 3,300 costumes were taken from storage at the Burbank Studios and Hollywood costume houses. One young extra even found a name tape marked "Mickey Rooney" sewn into his coat. See more »


When Charles is seeing Willa in St. Louis and eating in the restaurant, they go for a walk and then return to the restaurant. During the walk, Charles' rank is Corporal. Back in the restaurant, his rank is much higher, that of a First Sergeant. When he leaves, he is a Corporal again. See more »


Featured in George W. Bush Battles Jesus Christ (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautifully Crafted
16 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"North & South" the television mini-series is to the 80's what "Rich Man, Poor Man" (the first-ever TV mini-series) was to the 70's.

It's a fabulous adaptation of the first classic novel in the trilogy from author John Jakes. The story itself covers the two decades leading up to the years of the election of President Abraham Lincoln and the imminent proclamation of the Civil War - North versus South. The intertwining stories evolve around the families of the Hazards (the 'North' in the title) and the Mains and their two central figures of George and Orry who form a friendship whilst embarking on their West Point training in 1842.

"North & South" is a wonderful historic timeline and as I have grown older (and wiser!) it very much interests me to learn about the contrasting attitudes to such controversial aspects as 'Slavery' and 'Abolitionists', and how these attitudes originated.

The series also portrays some great characterisation development as we get to know about the friends and enemies in George and Orry's lives, and also the women that stole their hearts as young men. This aspect of the story also uncovers a romantic tale that is set to the turbulent backdrop of the American Civil War.

"North & South", along with "Rich Man, Poor Man" is overshadowed by 1977's "Roots" as the greatest mini-series of all-time. However, it does come a close second/third and also shares the same kind of timeline and themes as "Roots". But, don't let this one get away, even if it's just to see the great scenery, costumes, and brilliant all-star cast including Gene Kelly, Johnny Cash, Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Olivia De Havilland, Lesley-Anne Down et al.

The series is beautifully crafted and is firmly tied to actual historic events and it's a pity the Emmys and Golden Globes didn't honour a lot more of the actors and actresses for their portrayals. Patrick Swayze and James Read, the two virtual unknown lead actors at the time, turn in compelling performances as Orry Main and George Hazard respectively. However, it's Kirstie Alley's riveting performance as George's 'Abolitionist' sister Virgilia that steals the show many times. Plus, Terri Garber, David Carradine and Philip Casnoff as Elkanah Bent are the delicious villains of the piece you just love to hate.

"North & South" Books 1 & 2 are now available on two DVD sets.

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