The Thorn Birds, Part 1 (1983)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Period Film, Religious Drama, Romantic Epic  |   Run Time - 122 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Based on the best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, the 1983 miniseries The Thorn Birds was set in Australia and covered the life of Ralph de Bricassart (Richard Chamberlain), a Roman Catholic priest engaged in a constant struggle between his calling and his carnal desires. In the three-hour opening episode, originally telecast by ABC on March 27, 1983, young Father Ralph becomes the object of desire for powerful sheep rancher Mary Carson (Barbara Stanwyck, who also won an Emmy), while the priest himself expresses concern -- and sometimes more than concern -- for the well being of Mary's niece, Meggie Cleary (played as a youngster by Sydney Penny and as an adult by Rachel Ward in her first American TV role).

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Keywords

priest, love-vs-duty, rancher, struggle, Catholicism