Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Thorn Birds (1983)

This epic mini-series covers sixty-years of the lives of the Cleary Family, their trials, loves and tragedies. It mostly centers around the youngest Meggie, the only daughter of the Cleary's in a family of males. When Aunt Mary Carson, a brash, no-nonsense tycoon hires her brother Paddy to be head stock man at Australia's Drogheda, Meggie meets and falls madly in love with Ralph De Bricassart, the handsome and ambitious priest. Even when she grows up into a stunning young woman she's still crazy about him, despite the fact that he's a priest and loves God more than she. He encourages her to go out with men and live her own life and Meggie marries young man named Luke O'Neil only to get away from Drogheda and Ralph even though but she doesn't love him. Meggie's mother Fee only has affections for her son Frank, who was fathered by a different man. The pattern of love for only one child continues through the generations; as Meggie only loves her son Dane, who is Ralph's child. While her daughter Justine who is Luke's feels left out so she chooses to avoid love and concentrate on her acting career to escape reality. One of the best and most poignant mini-series about unrequited love; Henry Mancini's musical score is hauntingly beautiful. Based on Colleen McCollough's best-selling novel. Starring Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Christopher Plummer, Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Simmons, Bryan Brown, Richard Kiley, Piper Laurie, Earl Holliman 8/10

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