Book One of the 1976 American mini series adapated from the novel by Irwin Shaw that made Nick Nolte a star. Two strong-willed brothers battle for the attention of their parents and, as World War II ends, begin a 20-year odyssey that will take one to great wealth and power and the other to the brink of destruction. Rudy (Peter Strauss) and Tom (Nick Nolte) Jordache, the sons of an immigrant family, are both fighting to gain the attention of their bitter and disillusioned parents (Edward Asner and Dorothy McGuire).
Rudy is industrious and ambitious while Tom is tough and independent, often resorting to vicious pranks to gain attention. Rudy's childhood sweetheart, Julie Prescott (Susan Blakely) tries to convince him to leave their small town, and when Rudy turns her down, she succumbs to the advances of Teddy Boylan (Robert Reed), the town's wealthy playboy. Tom secretly witnesses the affair and sets a fire, hoping to attract Rudy to the scene. However, Tom's plan goes awry and he is banished by his father from the town and his family...
- The First Mini-Series on Television
"Rich Man, Poor Man," was the very first mini-series on television.
It was the very first of what they called "the long form." Though almost all the television history books say that "Roots" was the first, that is simply not true. It was "Rich Man, Poor Man," a 12 hour mini-series that everyone stayed home to watch. The t.v. historians should be more accurate. This was great television at it's best, produced from ABC and Universal. It was one of Fred Silverman's finest accomplishments and that of Brandon Stoddard as well. You have to credit producer Harve Bennett and the head of ABC television's new department at that time, Esther Shapiro who brought us many great movies and mini-series. It starred Nick Nolte, Susan Blakely and Peter Strauss. It had a cast that has remained unequaled in television.
- Why no DVD or even VHS for such a good series
I saw this series on TV in the 1970's and it was excellent. Great acting by Nick Nolte as the wild one and Peter Strauss as the good guy. It mystifies me that this series was never distributed on DVD or even VHS, when other not even a quarter as good series than this one, have come out on DVD or VHS. I'm positive Rich Man, Poor Man, would sell very well. Everybody would buy it.
- One of the best mini series I've ever seen, and STILL looking for a copy.
Perhaps one of Nolte's greatest works not given enough air-time. When this series hit the air, I didn't own a VCR at the time and have been longing to see it again since the first showing.
- Terrific mini series
Arguably the best mini series ever. I was in high school when ABC was airing RMPM and I definitely didn't miss any of the episodes. I guess most high school kids, well boys anyway, could relate to Tom Jordache. All you want to do is get the heck out of school and move on. As for the series itself the diamonds in the rough were Ed Asner as Axel Jordache and Bill Bixby as Willie Abbott. Asner did a great job getting away from the Lou Grant persona and becoming the brutish Jordache and everybody knew Bill Bixby as the nice guy dad on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father". Bixby did a great job playing the role of the lazy, irresponsible Willie Abbott. For eye candy there was Lynda Day George playing the wife of one of Tommy's boxing rivals. She was really a knockout in that bathing suit. And Susan Blakely wasn't too bad either. Another surprise was William Smith as Falconetti the bad guy. Hey, I was used to seeing him as one of the good guy Texas Rangers on "Laredo" back in the mid 60s. At any rate I wish they'd pull both RMPM parts 1 and 2 out of the archives for another generation.
- The best mini-series I have ever seen
I first saw this series back in the 1970s, and to this day I still remember it well. It made stars out of Nick Nolte and Peter Strauss (too bad those two actors never worked together again), and Edward Asner's character stole the show during the first few episodes. I also read the book, and with the exception of the character of Julie Prescott (who in the series was a merging of three characters from the book), it remains very true to it.
If a local or cable TV channel ever plays this series, get your VCR ready. It is well worth the watch.
- TV mini-series at it's best
Not only was this the first mini-series, but one of the most entertaining as well. There are good times, bad times, funny times, and sad times. Nick Nolte and Peter Strauss were excellent. Televised by ABC in 1976, 25 years ago. There are 12 episodes totaling about 9 1/2 hours. I wish ABC would pull the series out of the archives, and replay it for this new generation. It's a timeless classic that I would love to enjoy one more time.
- The first and one of the few best!
The first ever television mini-series was broadcast as 12 x 50 minute episodes in the U.K., either side of 'News At Ten' on three consecutive Wednesday and Friday nights throughout July, in that summer, of 1976. It was ITV's answer to the BBC's coverage of the Olympics at the time-and what an answer!
The story of Rudy & Tom Jordache...two brothers who battled through their conflicting lifestyles in two different ways. Based on the best-selling novel by Irwin Shaw, we are taken on a roller-coaster ride starting in Port Philip, New York in 1945 through to the French Riviera in the mid-60's. A classic tale of Rags to Riches and Happiness to Heartbreak.
Messrs. Strauss and Nolte are awesome as the brothers with the fine support of Susan Blakely as the love interest in the story. All this interjected with a great well known cast, a legend of the TV Screens was born.
The series won countless Emmy nominations and came away with three in total in the form of Edward Asner, Fionnuala Flanagan and director, David Greene.
Don't miss this one!
- How to be rich, how to be poor
I taped this series every night from TV & it was worth it! From young to older, these two brothers (Nolte & Strauss) couldn't have been more different. And it works! Nolte the Bruiser, Strauss the Smoother. Couldn't stand Susan Blakely's role. Too selfish. But this series is a classic & what put these two guys on the map.
- Nolte's Breakout Role in the Best Mini-Series Ever Made.
This excellent mini-series was actually the first mini-series ever aired and is absolutely flawless from start to finish.
Featuring knockout performances from Nick Nolte as Tom Jordache, Peter Strauss as Rudy Jordache and Susan Blakely as Julie Prescott, this series begins on VE night in 1945 and we follow the three leads over the next three turbulent decades. This is the role that made Nolte a star and he turns in a blockbuster performance in this one. If you get the chance, SEE THIS ONE!
Also features a fine supporting cast with Ed Asner in an Emmy Award Winning performance as Axel Jordache and in one of the best villainous roles I have ever seen, William Smith as Falconetti.
- Best Mini-series ever made.
Read the books, then watch the Mini-series. Absolutely great! It has everything: family turmoil, rivalry, rebellion, sex, violence, haunting characters, twists and turns. It's written and acted so well, you'll forget the passing of time - unless you had to watch it over several nights on TV like I did. The ending is a killer.
cast: Peter Strauss .... Rudy Jordache
Nick Nolte .... Tom Jordache
Susan Blakely .... Julie Prescott
Edward Asner .... Axel Jordache
Dick Butkus .... Al Fanducci
Mike Evans .... Arnold Simms
Gloria Grahame .... Sue Prescott.
Runtime: 515 min
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Format: Digital conversion from DVD