The Manions of America

ABC (ended 1981)


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The Manions of America

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A sweeping epic romance with an all-star cast featuring Pierce Brosnan and Kate Mulgrew, that spans two continents and several decades. The story chronicles the journey to America of one Irish immigrant family, the O'Manions, and their rise to prominence in the gunpowder business in their adopted country.

The story begins with main protagonist Rory O'Manion, a hot-headed and rebellious farmer, who has become increasingly fed up with his meager existence in British-controlled Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the 19 th century. He ironically meets and falls in love with Rachel Clement, the feisty daughter of a local English landlord, but he decides to set off to establish a new life in America without her. Once there, after working various day labor jobs, his bravery and determination help to earn him a full-time job and later, a business partnership in a gunpowder mill that Rachel's uncle owns in Philadelphia. Rachel's subsequent arrival in America reunites them, setting off a chain of events where the two families grow increasingly intertwined on both sides of the Atlantic, during the turbulent decades of pre- and post-Civil War United States and the industrial revolution. However, through all the trials and tribulations of his life, Rory fights to stay true to his promise to make life better for his fellow countrymen, both in Ireland and in America.

The miniseries originally aired on ABC in September 1981 and marked the American TV debut of actor Pierce Brosnan.moreless
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  • Set during the mid-19th century Irish potato famine and U.S. Civil War, an intricate web of romance, deceit, and loyalty, resonate through a story of an Irish immigrant family in America.moreless

    As an Agnes Nixon (of soap fame) tour-de-force, this 6 hour mini-series draws you in and makes you care about the characters. You feel the hardships and are taken on a roller coaster ride of the ups and downs that run throughout the plot.

    The one drawback is that the story abruptly ends and makes one want for a sequel to follow the family in later years. But other than that, a decent historical account that brings the hardships to light and moves just short of being overtly political (in terms of showing the British), while acknowledging the rebellions that the Irish have and continue to wage against the British.moreless