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The Thorn Birds 

In the arid 1920s Australian Outback, a Catholic priest and the beautiful niece of a vast sheep station owner stand powerless before God's will, tormented by desire. How far are they willing to go in the name of love?
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1  
1983  
Won 4 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 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'Neill 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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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 | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

Through out the miniseries you see cars driving on the right-hand side of the road. This story takes place in Australia where they have always driven on the left side of the road. Additionally, the cars in the film are left-hand drive instead of RHD. See more »

Quotes

Meggie Cleary: As for Ralph, he'll never know Dane's his, unless you tell him. And if you do, I warn you, I'll be as merciful to you, as you've always been to me!
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Connections

Referenced in Brothers & Sisters: Home Front (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Forbidden Love
Written and Performed by Henry Mancini
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User Reviews

 
The greatest romantic mini-series of all time!
11 October 1999 | by gerry-russell-139See 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thorn Birds See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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