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North and South, Book I (TV Mini-Series 1985) Poster

Trivia

To prepare for the role of George Hazard, James Read spent several weeks at Patrick Swayze's horse ranch, where Swayze taught Read how to ride.
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Since modern West Point bears little physical resemblance to the Academy of 1842, the West Point scenes were filmed at Jefferson College outside Natchez, Mississippi. Local military school cadets and R.O.T.C. students involved in the film were granted permission to grow their hair for six months for the proper period look.
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Having entered West Point in 1842, George Hazard and Orry Main were part of the Class of 1846, perhaps the most famous and most talented graduating class in West Point history. George B. McClellan, Thomas J. Jackson, and George Pickett introduced themselves to George and Orry. McClellan ranked second in that illustrious class. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson ranked seventeenth. George Pickett (later famous for "Pickett's Charge" at Gettysburg) ranked at the bottom of the class. All of them rose to the rank of General. Ranked first in that class, was Charles Seaforth Stewart. The highest rank Stewart achieved was Colonel.
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James Stewart's final acting work in front of a camera.
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The scenes filmed in downtown Charleston required very little set preparation. Truckloads of dirt had to be brought in to cover the cement-paved streets.
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According to an extra from North and South, Book II (1986), during the big Manassas scene with pandemonium amongst the soldiers and the crowd, the wide angle shot was not staged, there was real panic. Something had gone wrong, a gun went off when it wasn't suppose to, somebody else ran a direction they weren't supposed to go, and it all caused a stir.
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James Read's great-great-uncle, Sebaldus Hassler, fought and died with the Union Army, falling in battle at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on May 20, 1863. Read's great-great-grandfather, Sampson T. Groves, served in the First Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery until his honorable discharge on July 25, 1865, after which he lived to a ripe old age.
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Production took two years, and involved eighty-seven hundred pieces of wardrobe (lead actresses each wore twenty-eight to thirty-five different costumes), nine hundred forty scenes, a five hundred forty page teleplay, and twenty-five million dollars.
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Living history groups with the expertise to re-create the Mexican-American War battle of Churubusco (1847) filmed the battle in a field near Natchez, Mississippi. In mid-May 1984, fourteen re-enactor units from a dozen states took a week to stage the largest authentic encampment of Mexican War re-enactors ever held. More than one hundred forty people arrived at their own expenses, bringing their own (mostly handmade) period-correct uniforms, hand weapons, and artillery, caissons, limbers, battery wagons, field ambulances, tenting, and camping equipment. The production company provided water, hay, feed, and straw for horses, reimbursement for powder, and donations to each of the participating units.
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Exterior shots of Mont Royal were taken at the mansion Boone Hall. The interior were taken at another mansion, Stanton Hall.
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All Saints Chapel, where Madeline (Lesley-Anne Down) and Orry (Patrick Swayze) met for secret trysts, was a built set.
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According to Kirstie Alley in her memoir, she and Patrick Swayze fell in love during filming. Both were married to other people, and did not cheat on their spouses.
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Philip Casnoff was nearly passed over for the role of Elkanah Bent because the producers thought he was too short. Casnoff won them over when he did a practice scene in which he slammed another actor against a wall and yelled at him viciously. Casnoff noted that for the audition, he summoned his feelings of rage from being recently mugged in a parking lot.
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When the historic structures were correct, but the furnishings were not, or priceless antiques were so fragile they could not be used, the company brought in their own pieces, such as the bronze and marble statuary valued at more than two hundred thousand dollars that decorated the house used for the New Orleans bordello.
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The publicity shot of George and Orry in uniform that is used as the main art work for the DVD collection, the flags behind them are a U.S. flag and a Texas flag. The photo was taken during the filming of the Churubusco scenes, and the only flags available on set were the U.S. and Texas flags.
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Some of the eighty-seven hundred 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.
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With the exception of military or servants' garb, none of the main characters wear the same thing twice in the miniseries. Two exceptions are, Ashton (Terri Garber), who wears a purple dress for when she arrives, and departs Mont Royal, and Madeline (Lesley-Anne Down), who wears the same dress when she visits her father when he is on his death bed, and when she leaves Mont Royal after Ashton tells her that her mother was a prostitute.
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Filming of the miniseries resulted in four marriages among the cast and crew. Read and Kilbourne, who played opposite each other, married in 1988 and now have two children. Frakes and Francis, who had previously played opposite each other on the failed NBC soap Bare Essence, also married in 1988. Lesley-Anne Down married assistant cameraman Don E. FauntLeRoy in 1986. They met during filming of Book I when both were married to other people, and eventually obtained divorces. Garber married screenwriter Chris Hager, whom she met in 1985 when he worked as a grip on the set of North and South: Book II. They had a daughter, Molly, in 1986, and later divorced.
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Several actors and actresses also appeared in the Star Trek franchise. Jonathan Frakes (Stanley Hazard) appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) as Commander William Riker. Kirstie Alley (Virgilia Hazard) appeared as Lieutenant Saavik in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Jean Simmons (Clarissa Main) appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) as a retired Starfleet Admiral. John Anderson (William Hazard) appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). Mitchell Ryan (Tillet Main) appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987). David Ogden Stiers appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987).
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Genie Francis (Brett Main Hazard) and Jonathan Frakes (Stanley Hazard) were married during filming. They had met in another production in 1983.
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Cast members John Stockwell and William Ostrander had previously costarred in the Stephen King thriller "Christine (1983)".
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Lesley-Anne Down met her future husband, Cinematographer Don E. FauntLeRoy on the set of this miniseries, who was an Assistant Cameraman. Since then, they have worked together on around twenty movies: Scenes from the Goldmine (1987), Ladykillers (1988), Night Walk (1989), on one episode of CBS Schoolbreak Special: Frog Girl: The Jenifer Graham Story (1989), Night Trap (1993), Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (1994), Munchie Strikes Back (1994), Young Hearts Unlimited (1998), The King's Guard (2000), The Perfect Wife (2001), Today You Die (2005), Seven Days of Grace (2006), Mercenary for Justice (2006), Rosewood Lane (2011), Dark House (2014), I Am Watching You (2016), A Cinderella Christmas (2016), and Gates of Darkness (2017).
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Forest Whitaker and Mark Moses appeared in Platoon (1986).
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