This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie, and her love for the family's priest, Father Ralph de Bricassart. Meggie tries to forget Ralph by marrying dashing stockman Luke O'Neill, but she and Ralph are soon reunited, with tragic consequences for them both...
"We had this scene, where Father Ralph comes to the veranda at Drogheda in a huge rainstorm. And there’s nobody around, and he’s soaking wet, so he strips right there on the veranda—thinking there’s nobody around. And he’s standing there, totally naked, and Stanwyck comes out. She said a couple of lines, I said a couple of lines, and she dried. And she had never, NEVER had any trouble with her lines, EVER before. And there was a sort of shocked pause on everybody’s part, and kind of a moment of silence…and then she said ‘I’m sorry, it’s just been SO long since I’ve stood next to a naked man."
Archbishop Vittorio Contini-Verchese: When your rose fell to the ground, I understood at last, the sadness you always wear like a holy mantle.
Ralph de Bricassart: Oh Vittorio, I have tried so hard to get her out of my heart.
Archbishop Vittorio Contini-Verchese: You think I don't know that?
Ralph de Bricassart: Then why?
Archbishop Vittorio Contini-Verchese: Ralph, our God has given us freewill. And with that freewill comes the burden of choice. It is time, far past time that you took up that burden, because until you do, you cannot go on.