The Thorn Birds 1983 free online
Intro linesFrom the raw Australia of the 1900s, comes a turbulent saga that spans the decades in McCullough's best selling novel: The Thorn Birds. The story of a priest driven by ambition he never be what he want. Tormented by desire. From the moment he saw Meggie, he knew he would love her forever. Mary Carson, the richest woman in Australia, and the loneliest. In the years that followed, no one could stir Meggie's heart. No one till a rover named Luke O'Neill. The story that travels around the world from the Vatican to the Australian outback. From the islands of Greece to London. Watch free online the saga that spans half a century echoing through three generations.
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Producers found the conditions of shooting in Australia to be impossible. Most of the sheep ranches were to far out in the middle of nowhere for film crews to get to, and the requirements placed on American film crews to shoot in Australia were unrealistic. So the entire ranch, Drohgeda was built in California.
Many actresses tested for the role of Meggie, including Michelle Pfeiffer. Finally, it came down to two actresses, Rachel Ward, and Jane Seymour. Producers liked Seymour's acting much better, but felt she was too strong an actress and lacked the vulnerability needed to play Meggie. So the part went to Ward.
A "midquel" was produced in 1996, by CBS entitled The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years, which tells the story of the 19 years unaccounted for in the original miniseries.
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown fell in love on the set. They were married in 1983 and have three children.
The role of Mary Carson was offered to Audrey Hepburn.
The movie has had great success in France. The French title is "Les oiseaux se cachent pour mourir" (The birds hide to die). The series is still regularly repeated on TV channels.
Deviations from the novel
The novel begins in New Zealand on December 8, 1915, Meggie Cleary's fourth birthday. The miniseries begins in Australia five years later. Ralph dies while sitting in a chair with Meggie's head in his lap, recalling the legend of the thorn bird, not in Meggie's arms as in the novel, and not immediately after Dane's funeral.
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StorySet primarily on Drogheda, a fictional sheep station in the Australian outback, the story focuses on three generations of the Cleary Family and spans the years 1920 to 1962.
AwardsWon 4 Golden Globes (Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV; Richard Chamberlain; Richard Kiley; Barbara Stanwyck) and another 4 nominations (Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown, Jean Simmons, Piper Laurie).
The Thorn Birds mini-series was nominated in 16 categories at the Primetime Emmy Awards in 1983, 7 of which were for acting.
Crewdirected by Daryl Duke; based on the novel by Colleen McCullough; produced by Stan Margulies; executive producer David L. Wolper, Edward Lewis; cinematography by Bill Butler; music by Henry Mancini; film editing by Robert F. Shugrue, Carroll Timothy O'Meara; production design by Robert MacKichan.
Colleen McCullough (born: 1 June 1937, Wellington, New South Wales, Australia - died: 29 January 2015, Norfolk Island). Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Maori descent.
She attended Holy Cross College, having a strong interest in the humanities. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered dermatitis from surgical soap and was told to abandon her dreams of becoming a medical doctor. Instead, she switched to neuroscience and worked in Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. In 1963 she moved for four years to the United Kingdom where she met the chairman of the neurology department at Yale University at the Great Ormond Street hospital in London, who offered her a research associate job at Yale. McCullough spent ten years from April 1967 to 1976 researching and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. It was while at Yale her novel was written. The success enabled Colleen McCullough to give up her medical-scientific career and to try and "live on her own terms". Colleen McCullough finally settled on the isolation of Norfolk Island in the Pacific, where she met her husband, Ric Robinson (then aged 33), to whom she has was married on 13 April 1983. Colleen McCullough is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
QuotesFIONA CLEARY: I don't know, and never will how much of our lives we're allowed to choose how much is decided long before we're born. But looking back, I see now choices I could've made and didn't!
ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO: And like all self-perpetuating institutions the Church has always a place for ambitious men. In fact you are everything the Church admires in her high officials. You are conservative, quick, subtle. You know enough never to give away what is going on behind those eyes. And you have the most exquisite gift of knowing how to please. Even when it comes to pleasing those you loathe. RALPH DE BRICASSART: You make me out to be a Machiavelli, except that he was an Italian. ARCHBISHOP VITTORIO: My dear Ralph, you are a delight. I can scarcely wait to see your effect on our short, fat prelates in Rome.
RALPH DE BRICASSART: I wanted to be Cardinal de Bricassart more than I wanted our son. More than I wanted you. Of all the wrong I've done the worst is that I never made a choice for love. Half given to you, half given to God but really given to my own ambition. I knew it and I did it anyway. I told myself it was meant to be.
MEGGIE CLEARY: Daddy, I know about Frank. I came to understand it a long time ago. And you're not to blame for anything. PADDY CLEARY: I tried so hard to treat him like one of my own. But he was a thorn in my side from the first. He always stood between us.
FIONA CLEARY: For years I've sat by and watched you do all the things that I did. Crying for a man that you could never have. Giving all your love to his son, the way I gave mine to Frank. Neglecting Jussie, as I neglected you. You've lived your life as I did mine. Driven, always driven! I don't know, and never will how much of our lives we're allowed to choose how much is decided long before we're born. But looking back, I see now choices I could've made and didn't! Even after Paddy died. Even after I lost Frank. I might have asked your forgiveness years ago. But it's too late for me now, Meggie. But it's not too late for you.
JUDY: How about a kiss for Miss Gilly? Come on, give me something to confess on Sunday. RALPH DE BRICASSART: I mustn't make my best girl jealous, now, must I?
MEGGIE CLEARY: There's one thing you've forgotten about your precious roses, Ralph. They've got nasty, hooky thorns!
MEGGIE CLEARY: You have your work. And you have the love of a man who will never break your heart. That's more than most of us get in a lifetime. Don't give it up for anything. And least of all for me. JUSTINNE O'NEILL: But how can I leave you here grieving for Dane. MEGGIE CLEARY: You must. To give us hope. A light has gone out. Not just for me, but for all of us. We will spend who knows how long in mourning it. But if you go, your light can burn for us. Knowing that will bring an end to our mourning.
Open questionsMARY CARSON: When Satan tempted Christ with the whole world is it because he hated him or because he loved him?
MEGGIE CLEARY: What kind of God would shut men out of Paradise for loving women?
FIONA CLEARY: What's a daughter? Just a reminder of the pain a younger version of oneself who will do all the same things, cry the same tears.
MARY CARSON: But birthdays at our ages are rather a mixed blessing, aren't they?
ANNE MUELLER: If you ask me, he's just like most of the men around here. Marry some poor girl and go off and traipse all over with their mates. If a bachelor's life is what they truly want, why marry at all?
ConclusionAll your life I've watched you wage your battles against God. Yet you were always closer to his desires for us than I. In the end you've always been able to love. Somewhere in me I must have known from the very first that Dane was mine. But I didn't want to know. I wanted to be Cardinal de Bricassart more than I wanted our son. More than I wanted you. Of all the wrong I've done the worst is that I never made a choice for love. Half given to you, half given to God but really given to my own ambition. I knew it and I did it anyway. I told myself it was meant to be. Long ago I told you a story, a legend about a bird that sings only when it dies. The bird with the thorn in its breast. You said it pays its life for that one song. But the whole world stills to listen. And God in his Heaven smiles.
Final lineWhen we press the thorn to our breast, we know, we understand and still we do it.