Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run March 27-30, became the United States' second highest rated mini-series of all time behind Roots; both series were produced by television veteran David L. Wolper.
The mini-series starred Richard Chamberlain, Rachel Ward, Barbara Stanwyck, Christopher Plummer, Bryan Brown, Mare Winningham, Philip Anglim, and Jean Simmons. It was directed by Daryl Duke.
Set primarily on Drogheda, a fictional sheep station in the Australian outback, the story focuses on the Cleary family and spans the years 1915 to 1969.
The epic begins with Meghann "Meggie" Cleary, a four-year-old girl living in New Zealand in the early twentieth century, the only daughter of Paddy, an Irish farm labourer, and Fee, his harassed but aristocratic-looking wife. Although Meggie is a beautiful child with curly red-gold hair, she receives little coddling and must struggle to hold her own against her numerous older brothers. Of these brothers, her favourite is the eldest, Frank, a rebellious young man who is unwillingly preparing himself for the blacksmith's trade. He is much shorter than his brothers, but very strong; also, unlike the other Clearys, he has black hair and eyes.
Paddy is poor, but has a wealthy sister, Mary Carson, who lives in Australia on an enormous sheep station called Drogheda. One day, Paddy receives a letter from Mary offering him a job on her estate. He accepts, and the whole family moves to the Outback.
Here Meggie meets Father Ralph de Bricassart, a young, capable, and ambitious priest who, as punishment for insulting a bishop, has been relegated to a remote parish in the town of Gillanbone, near Drogheda. Ralph has befriended Mary, hoping a hefty enough bequest from her to the Catholic church might liberate him from his exile. Ralph is strikingly handsome; "a beautiful man"; and Mary, who doesn't bother to conceal her desire for him, often goes to great lengths to see if he can be induced to break his vows. Ralph blandly shrugs off these attentions and continues his visits. Meanwhile, he cares for all the Clearys and soon learns to cherish beautiful but forlorn little Meggie. Meggie, in return, makes Ralph the centre of her life.
Posted by mygreekspirit at 5:48 AM