Is anyone else a fan of this great miniseries from the "golden age" of that genre? It was about the enduring friendship of Northern industrialist heir George Hazard (James Read) and Southern plantation heir Orry Main (Patrick Swayze). They first meet at Westpoint Academy in the 1840s and obviously their friendship is tested during the Civil War when both find themselves on opposite sides of the battlefield.
But what I find more interesting that the central storyline is the side characters that surround these two men like the evil, conniving Ashton Main (Teri Garber), the staunch abolitionist Virgilia Hazard (Kirstie Alley) and the abusive and psychotic Justin LaMonte (David Carradine).
The series spanned 12 episodes that originally aired from 1985-86. It is currently ranked as the 7th most watched miniseries of all time and is still a fan favorite till this day.
They air it on Encore all the time (it's on now actually).
The fact that the series spans over 20 years and yet nobody ages is always such a WTF to me. Well, OK, they age up George and Orry with some gray hair, but the rest - Madeline looks the same as she does when she's introduced as a naive 16 year old (even though Lesley Ann Down never looked 16 here).
Madeleine's age was a bit problematic. Were we really supposed to believe that Lesley Ann Down was a 16 yr old ingenue??? She looked like a 40 year old chain smoking divorcee!
Yes, Kirstie and Patrick were in their prime then.
I enjoyed watching a miniseries called "North and South."
I've never heard of a show called "The North and the South."
Stop nitpicking, raggy hump at r4. We all know what OP is referring to.
r4 = slave overseer
I was riveted by this as a child. I used to go to bed dreaming of George and Orry's star-crossed love.
I thought it was interesting how they showed a slave owner as a main protagonist. Very provocative if you think about it.
Orry and the Main family totally glamorized the "Old South" but they did show a lot of the brutality towards slaves too. I just think it was unrealistic to have such a goody two shoes slave owner like Orry Main.
I wish I could live in the "Mont Royal" plantation though. Plantation houses like that and "Tara" are a fascination with me.
I did find it a bit homoerotic that the main story was the everlasting bond between two strapping gents. It seemed like the real love affair was between them.
Very, very silly mini-series. The antibellum Southern belles wore pink or red lipstick and dark eyeshadow. And the actors all seemed to be at least 15 years older than the characters they were supposed to play. The characters James Read and Patrick Swayze played were teenagers at the beginning of the story; both Read and Swayze looked at least 35. And yes, Lesley Anne Down's character was a teenager in the first part; she looked at least 35, too.
Philip Casnoff, a relatively small actor, played a character who was supposed to be obese.
I thought David Carradine was great as Justin. He didn't physically resemble the character (none of the actors did) but he was great in the role.
I read some of the trilogy this mini-series was based on. It was pure soap opera stuff, pretty worthless.
John Jakes, the author, comes across as a real dick. At the end of the novels he features an afterword, in which he disses other works on the Civil War (he claims only HE gets dates and times right, only HE portrays people in that time as they really were).
Jake also seems to be a homophobe. One of the evil characters in the first two novels is an obese man, very mentally disturbed. He's in the army and makes decisions that puts soldiers lives at stake without giving a damn. He's a sick bastard; he has perverted "appetites"; he likes fucking women but he likes fucking men, too. Seems the poor guy comes by his sickness by being the product of incest; his mother was raped by her father. And the guy's name is, get this: BENT.
Elkahnah BENT. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Wait...so Bent was originally written as bisexual? Why didn't they put this in the miniseries??? I mean, Dynasty already set the precedent for showing a bisexual character on a major network so there's no excuse. I think it kind of explains Bent's absolute obsession with Orry and George throughout the 20 year story span.
I thought the actor who played Bent was sexy as well in some weird way.
Philip Casnoff was very sexy if not conventionally handsome. The show was overheated tripe.
It was a splashy soap opera but it fit in perfectly with the 80s viewing taste at the time. Primetime soaps were big in the 80s. Come to think of it, most of the grand miniseries were glorified soap operas. "The Thorn Birds" anyone?
Genie Francis was so awful in this. A Southern Belle she was not.
"I think it kind of explains Bent's absolute obsession with Orry and George throughout the 20 year story span.'
Bent's obsession with Orry and George stemmed from the fact that together they schemed to get him thrown out of the army and succeeded. He wasn't not sexually attracted to them. He WAS sexually attracted to Orry's cousin Charles, who is described in the book as being quite handsome. Charles rebuffs his sexual advances and Bent hates him for it ever after.
I liked how they realistically depicted that even though the Mains were "fair" with their slaves, that they all didn't just have unwavering loyalty to them because of that. Some of them were bitter just for being someone's chattel.
Amazing how many big actors they got to play in this. Liz Taylor even played a New Orleans brothel madam! Bent went to "call on her" when he was stationed there only to learn that Madeleine was a "high yellow nigress" because she was 1/8 black.
That pic of Liz is funny - it's the 19th century and she looks like she's on "Dynasty" with all the makeup and big hair.
Wasn't it produced by Aaron Spelling?
My history profs at college always laughed whenever this miniseries was mentioned.
Roots (1977) gets the slavery right; The Blue & the Gray (1982) gets the Civil War right.
I liked that those two guys from the 1983 movie "Christine", good guy "Dennis" and bad guy "Buddy", were both in this series.
Phillip Casnoff was a hottie.
Bent and Ashton made a hot evil couple. Such fun soapy villains!
Philip Casnoff played Blackthorne in Shogun
Casnoff also played Frank Sinatra in a 1992 mini-series.
Is that a joke r24?
Philip Casnoff played Blackthorne in Shogun
Hideously bad in every way.
Casnoff was knocked unconscious by a piece of scenery during a preview of Shogun.
And he was excellent in the Broadway production of Chess.