7.9/10
7,595
68 user 10 critic

The Thorn Birds 

In the arid 1920s Australian Outback, a Catholic priest and the beautiful granddaughter 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?
Reviews
Popularity
1,667 ( 229)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1983  
Won 4 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At the height of WWII and ten years after their union in Matlock Island, Father Ralph reunites with Meggie who faces a deep crisis. Now, he must make up his mind, as the burden of choice is insufferable. Will he risk it all for love?

Director: Kevin James Dobson
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Amanda Donohoe, Paul Bertram
Shogun (1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An English navigator becomes both a player and pawn in the complex political games in feudal Japan.

Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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

Stars: Kirstie Alley, Georg Stanford Brown, David Carradine
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of two friends and their families on opposite sides of the American Civil War.

Stars: Kirstie Alley, David Carradine, Philip Casnoff
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Civil War has just finished, but things in the country aren't much better, especially in the South.

Stars: Philip Casnoff, Kyle Chandler, Cathy Lee Crosby
Shogun (TV Movie 1980)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An English navigator becomes both pawn and player in the deadly political games in feudal Japan.

Director: Jerry London
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Toshirô Mifune, Yôko Shimada
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An examination of the trials and tribulations of the Jordache family, from the period following World War II to the late 1960s.

Stars: Peter Strauss, Nick Nolte, Susan Blakely
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The trials of the Henry and Jastrow families in the early years of World War II.

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, Jan-Michael Vincent
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Wealthy but plain heiress Stephanie Harper marries handsome tennis player Greg Marsden, and thinks she has found true love. That is, until her husband makes a play for her best friend and ... See full summary »

Stars: Rebecca Gilling, James Reyne, Wendy Hughes
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jeong-Eun has been searching for her biological mother who had abandoned her since birth. Jeong-Eun and Young-Jo become close friends because they share the pain of growing up without a ... See full summary »

Stars: Tae-Ri Lee, Hye-jin Han, Hwa-yeon Cha
Roots (1977)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Stars: LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos
War and Remembrance (1988–1989)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The trials of the Henry and the Jastrow families amidst the events after the U.S.'s entry into World War II.

Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Seymour, Hart Bochner
Edit

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 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 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
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thorn Birds See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Rachel Ward has said she initially did not consider herself to be the right type for the role of Meggie, instead envisioning Sissy Spacek in the part. See more »

Goofs

When the shearers leave Drogheda, and Luke stays, he walks back to the wool-shed. As the camera rises following him, a part of the crane is visible in the lower right corner of the image. See more »

Quotes

Meggie Cleary: You complacent, conceited, self-centered *bastard*! *You* can't make love for toffee!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coronation Street: Episode #1.8622 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Forbidden Love
Written and Performed by Henry Mancini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The "Gone With The Wind" of the Australian outback
2 May 2004 | by hiphatsSee 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.


29 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 68 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed