North and South (1985): S01E01


Introduction

North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC network in 1985, 1986, and 1994.

Set before, during, and immediately after the American Civil War, they are based on the 1980s trilogy of novels North and South by John Jakes.

Outline

Summer 1842 to summer 1844.

Young Southerner Orry Main, the second born son of a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner, decides to go to West Point. On his way to the train station, he rescues and falls in love with the beautiful French-Creole southern belle from New Orleans, Madeline Fabray. In New York City, Orry meets Northerner George Hazard, the second son of a wealthy Pennsylvania steel-factory owner, who is also on his way to West Point. They quickly become close friends. At the Academy, they meet classmates George Pickett, George McClellan, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and a senior student named Ulysses Grant. They also meet the amoral egomaniac Elkanah Bent, a fellow cadet from Georgia. Bent is a handsome, smooth-talking man who hides his evil, twisted nature beneath his charm and good looks. He takes an instant dislike to Orry and George and uses his status as their drillmaster to constantly harass them. Orry constantly writes letters to Madeline, although it seems that she has not been responding to him. After two years of training, the men return home for a summer leave. George’s sister, Virgilia, is a passionate abolitionist and immediately takes a dislike to Orry when she finds out that his family keeps slaves. While at home, Orry is devastated to learn that Madeline is marrying his cruel neighbour, plantation owner Justin LaMotte. Orry has an argument with his father over the hiring of the brutal and sadistic Salem Jones as the plantation’s overseer. Orry stops Jones from using a bullwhip to “punish” one of the slaves, sparking a tense relationship between the two. After Orry witnesses Madeline’s marriage, they privately speak to each other afterwards and find out that Madeline’s father has been hiding Orry’s letters to ensure that she would marry Justin. That night, Justin hits and rapes Madeline, leaving her broken.

North and South Series

You can find a full index and overview of North and South here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 1985.
  • Rating: PG.
  • Running Time: 90 minutes.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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