The Following is from
|The debut of the television series Route 66 on October 7, 1960 the weekly travelogue starring Martin Milner as youthful, Yale-educated Tod Stiles, and George Maharis, as brooding
New York born orphan Buz Murdock|
|The story begins when Todd's father dies. The two young drifters, with
only a Corvette and no money in their pockets, set out on the road looking for a place to put down roots. During their
travels they encounter and tell the stories of various loners, outcasts, and dreamers. By the end of its four-season
run, the Route 66 production caravan had traveled to twenty-five states as well as Toronto, Canada. Guest roles
were filled by a wide range of characters ranging from fading stars, like Joan Crawford and Buster Keaton, to newcomers
such as Suzanne Pleshette, Robert Duvall, and Robert Redford.|
Studio executives argued with the show's creators that no one would sponsor a show about
two "bums." Of course, Chevrolet proved them wrong.
Route 66 created television history by being the first television show shot entirely on location. The early episodes
were politically charged and dealt with deep issues that mirrored the problems of the times. The first episode told
the story of a wealthy businessman who, learning that his son had been killed in action, murdered two German POWs
as his neighbors watched. Subsequent shows featured a variety of characters including a heroin addict, a
washed-up prizefighter, migrant farm workers, an aging RAF pilot (turned crop-duster), a runaway heiress, an eccentric
scientist, a small-time beauty contest promoter, drought-stricken ranchers, a recent ex-con (female and framed), a grim
Nazi-hunter, a blind dance instructor, a dying blues singer--each facing some personal crisis or secret pain.
CBS executives, concerned about the seriousness of the series and its political undertones, ordered
the show's producer to add more "broads, bosoms, and fun" to the show. The producers eventually conceded to network
demands and introduced young female guest stars such as Tuesday Weld and Suzanne Pleshette to provide more romance for Tod
Maharis left the show in 1963 and was replaced by Glen Corbett as Linc, a recently-retuned Vietnam
veteran. Viewers never really bonded with the new character and the shows ratings foundered. It was eventually
Even though the series is associated with Route 66 the highway, only a few of the episodes were
actually firmed in towns along the old highway itself. Nevertheless, it managed to capture the feelings of adventure
and wanderlust that the road invokes in people's minds.
In 1993, a summer series on NBC put Buz's illegitimate son at the wheel of the Corvette.
He took to the highway with a forgettable partner in the passenger seat. The new Route 66 only lasted a
few weeks but it led to other TV series based on the wandering Samaritan doing good on his travels
We've had visitors to our site ask what happened to Martin Milner and George Maharis?
a biography of Martin Miler
To learn more about George Maharis
Listing of All Route 66 episodes:
1 Black November 10/7/1960
2 A Lance of Straw 10/14/1960
3 The Swan
4 The Man on the Monkey Board 10/28/1960
5 The Strengthening Angels 11/4/1960
6 Ten Drops of Water
7 Three Sides 11/18/1960
8 Legacy for Lucia 11/25/1960
9 Layout at Glen Canyon 12/2/1960
Beryllium Eater 12/9/1960
11 A Fury Slinging Flame 12/30/1960
12 Sheba 1/6/1961
13 The Quick and the Dead 1/13/1961
14 Play It Glissando 1/20/1961
15 The Clover Throne 1/27/1961
16 Fly Away Home (1) 2/10/1961
17 Fly Away Home
18 Sleep on Four Pillows 2/24/1961
19 An Absence of Tears 3/3/1961
20 Like a Motherless Child 3/17/1961
21 Effigy in Snow 3/24/1961
22 Eleven, the Hard Way 4/7/1961
23 Most Vanquished, Most Victorious 4/14/1961
Don’t Count Stars 4/28/1961
25 The Newborn 5/5/1961
26 A Skill for Hunting 5/12/1961
27 Trap at Cordova
28 The Opponent 6/2/1961
29 Welcome to Amity 6/9/1961
30 Incident on a Bridge 6/16/1961
31 A Month
of Sundays 9/22/1961
32 Blue Murder 9/29/1961
33 Good Night, Sweet Blues 10/6/1961
34 Birdcage on My Foot 10/13/1961
35 First Class Mouliak 10/20/1961
36 Once to Every Man 10/27/1961
37 The Mud Nest 11/10/1961
38 A Bridge Across
Five Days 11/17/1961
39 Mon Petit Chou 11/24/1961
40 Some of the People, Some of the Time 12/1/1961
41 The Thin
White Line 12/8/1961
42 And the Cat Jumped Over the Moon 12/15/1961
43 Burning for Burning 12/29/1961
44 To Walk
with the Serpent 1/5/1962
45 A Long Piece of Mischief 1/19/1962
46 1800 Days to Justice 1/26/1962
47 A City of
48 How Much a Pound is Albatross 2/9/1962
49 Aren’t You Surprised to See Me? 2/16/1962
You Never Had It So Good 2/23/1962
51 Shoulder the Sky My Lad 3/2/1962
52 Blues for a Left Foot 3/9/1962
Read the River 3/16/1962
54 Even Stones Have Eyes 3/30/1962
55 Love is a Skinny Kid 4/6/1962
56 Kiss the Maiden
All Forlorn 4/13/1962
57 Two on the House 4/20/1962
58 There I am, There I Always Am 5/4/1962
59 Between Hello
and Goodbye 5/11/1962
60 A Feat of Strength 5/18/1962
61 Hell is Empty, All the Devils are Here 5/25/1962
an Enchantress Fleeing 6/1/1962
63 One Tiger to a Hill 9/21/1962
64 Journey to Nineveh 9/28/1962
65 Man Out of
66 Ever Ride the Waves in Oklahoma 10/12/1962
67 Voice at the End of the Line 10/19/1962
Leg and Owlet’s Wing 10/26/1962
69 Across Walnuts and Wine 11/2/1962
70 Welcome to the Wedding 11/9/1962
Every Father’s Daughter Must Weave Her Own 11/16/1962
72 Poor Little Kangaroo Rat 11/23/1962
73 Hey Moth, Come
Eat The Flame 11/30/1962
74 Only by Cunning Glimpses 12/7/1962
75 Where is Chick Lorrimer? Where Has He Gone? 12/14/1962
76 Give an Old Cat a Tender Mouse 12/21/1962
77 A Bunch of Lonely Pagliaccis 1/4/1963
78 You Can’t Pick
Cotton in Tahiti 1/11/1963
79 A Gift for a Warrior 1/18/1963
80 Suppose I Said I Was the Queen of Spain 2/8/1963
Somehow It Gets to Be Tomorrow 2/15/1963
82 Shall Forfeit His Dog and Ten Shillings to the King 2/22/1963
83 In the
Closing of a Trunk 3/8/1963
84 The Cage Around Maria 3/15/1963
85 Fifty Miles From Home 3/22/1963
on an Old Red Fire Engine 3/29/1963
87 The Cruelest Sea of All 4/5/1963
88 Peace, Pity, Pardon 4/12/1963
a Shining Young Man Was Our Gallant Lieutenant 4/26/1963
90 But What Do You Do in March 5/3/1963
91 Who Will Cheer
My Bonnie Bride 5/10/1963
92 Shadows of an Afternoon 5/17/1963
93 Soda Pop and Paper Flags 5/24/1963
94 Two Strangers
and an Old Enemy 9/27/1963
95 Same Picture, Different Frame 10/4/1963
96 Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are 10/11/1963
97 Where Are the Sounds of Celli Brahms 10/18/1963
98 Build Your Houses With Their Backs to the Sea 10/25/1963
And Make Thunder His Tribute 11/1/1963
100 The Stone Guest 11/8/1963
101 I Wouldn’t Start From Here 11/15/1963
102 A Cage in Search of a Bird 11/29/1963
103 A Long Way From St. Louie 12/6/1963
104 Come Home Greta Inger Gruenchaffen
105 93 Percent in Smiling 12/20/1963
106 Child of a Night 1/3/1964
107 Is it True There Are Poxies
at the Bottom of Landfair Lake? 1/10/1964
108 Like This It Means Father, Like This Bitter, Like This Tiger 1/17/1964
Kiss the Monster, Make Him Sleep 1/24/1964
110 Cries of Persons Close to One 1/31/1964
111 Who in His Right Mind Needs
a Nice Girl 2/7/1964
112 This is Going to Hurt Me More Than It Hurts You 2/14/1964
113 Follow the White Dove With
the Broken Wing 2/21/1964
114 I’m Here to Kill a King 3/20/1964
115 Where There’s a Will, There’s
a Way (1) 3/6/1964
116 Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way (2) 3/13/1964
Route 66 was one of the most unique American television
dramas of the 1960s, an ostensible adventure series that functioned, in practice, as an anthology of downbeat character studies
and psychological dramas. Its 1960 premiere launched two young drifters in a Corvette on an existential odyssey in which they
encountered a myriad of loners, dreamers and outcasts in the small towns and big cities along U.S. Highway 66 and beyond.
And the settings were real; the gritty social realism of the stories was enhanced by location shooting that moved beyond Hollywood
hills and studio backlots to encompass the vast face of the country itself. Route 66 took the anthology on the road,
blending the dramaturgy and dramatic variety of the Studio One school of TV drama with the independent filmmaking practices
of the New Hollywood.
Route 66 was the brainchild of producer Herbert B. Leonard
and writer Stirling Silliphant, the same creative team responsible for Naked City. The two conceived the show as a
vehicle for actor George Maharis, casting him as stormy Lower East Side orphan Buz Murdock, opposite Martin Milner as boyish,
Yale-educated Tod Stiles. When Tod's father dies, broke but for a Corvette, the two young men set out on the road looking
for "a place to put down roots." Maharis left the show in 1963 in a dispute with the show's producers, and was replaced by
Glenn Corbett as Linc Case, a troubled Vietnam Nam vet also seeking meaning on the road.
Like Naked City, which producer Leonard had conceived
as an anthology with a cop-show pretext, the picaresque premise of Route 66 provided the basis for a variety of weekly
encounters from which the stories arose. Episodes emphasized the personal and psychological dramas of the various troubled
souls encountered by the guys in their stops along the highway. Guest roles were filled by an array of Hollywood faces, from
fading stars like Joan Crawford and Buster Keaton, to newcomers such as Suzanne Pleshette, Robert Duvall, and Robert Redford.
The show's distinct anthology-style dimension was symptomatic of a trend Variety dubbed "the semi-anthology," a form pioneered
by Wagon Train and refined by shows like Bus Stop and Route 66. The series' nomadic premise, and its
virtual freedom from genre connections and constraints, opened it up to a potentially limitless variety of stories. While
the wandering theme was hardly new in a television terrain overrun with westerns, for a contemporary drama the premise was
quite innovative. Route 66 was consistent in tone to the rest of TV's serious, social-realist dramas of the period,
but unencumbered by any predetermined dramatic arena or generic template--as against the likes of The Defenders (courtroom
drama), Dr. Kildare (medical drama), Saints and Sinners (newspaper drama) or Mr. Novak (blackboard drama).
Indeed, the show's creators met initial resistance from their partner/distributor Screen Gems for this lack of a familiar
"franchise," with studio executives arguing that no one would sponsor a show about two "bums." Of course, Chevrolet proved
Perhaps even more startling for the Hollywood-bound telefilm
industry was the program's radical location agenda. Buz and Tod's cross-country search actually was shot across the country,
in what Newsweek termed "the largest weekly mobile operation in TV history." Remarkably, by the end of its four-season
run, the Route 66 production caravan had traveled to twenty-five states--as far from L.A. as Maine and Florida--as
well as Toronto. The show's stark black and white photography and spectacular locations provided a powerful backdrop to its
downbeat stories, and yielded a photographic and geographical realism that has never been duplicated on American television.
The literate textures and disturbing tones of Route 66's
dramas were as significant as its visual qualities. The wandering pretext provided both a thematic foundation and a narrative
trajectory upon which a variety of psychological dramas, social-problem stories, and character studies could be played out.
The nominal series "heroes" generally served as observers to the dramas of others: a tormented jazz musician, a heroin addict,
a washed-up prizefighter, migrant farm workers, an aging RAF pilot (turned crop-duster), a runaway heiress, Cajun shrimpers,
a weary hobo, an eccentric scientist, a small-time beauty contest promoter, drought-stricken ranchers, Cuban-Basque jai-alai
players, a recent ex-con (female and framed), a grim Nazi-hunter, a blind dance instructor, a dying blues singer--each facing
some personal crisis or secret pain.
The show's continuing thread of wandering probed the restlessness
at the root of all picaresque sagas of contemporary American popular culture. The search that drove Route 66 was both
a narrative process and a symbolic one. Like every search, it entailed optimism as well as discontent. The unrest at the core
of the series echoed that of the Beats--especially Kerouac's On the Road, of course--and anticipated the even more
disaffected searchers of Easy Rider. The show's rejection of domesticity in favor of rootlessness formed a rather startling
counterpoint to the dominant prime-time landscape of home and family in the sixties, as did the majority of the characters
encountered on the road. The more hopeful dimension of Route 66 coincided with the optimism of the New Frontier circa
1960, with these wandering samaritans symbolic of the era's new spirit of activism. Premiering at the dawn of a new decade,
Route 66 captured in a singular way the nation's passage from the disquiet of the fifties to the turbulence of the
sixties, expressing a simultaneously troubled and hopeful vision of America.
Despite its uniqueness as a contemporary social drama, and
its radical break from typical Hollywood telefilm factory practice, Route 66 has been largely forgotten amid the rhetoric
of sixties-TV-as-wasteland. When the series is cited at all by television historians, it is as the target of CBS-TV president
James Aubrey's attempts to inject more "broads, bosoms, and fun" into the series ("the Aubrey dictum"). Aubrey's admitted
attempts to "lighten" the show, however, only serve to underscore its dominant tone of seriousness. What other American television
series of the 1960s could have been described by its writer-creator as "a show about a statement of existence, closer to Sartre
and Kafka than to anything else"? (Time, 1963). Silliphant's hyperbole is tempered by critic Philip Booth, who suggested
in a Television Quarterly essay that the show's literacy was "sometime spurious," and that it could "trip on its own
pretensions" in five of every ten stories. Still, Booth wrote, of the remaining episodes, four "will produce a kind of adventure
like nothing else on television, and one can be as movingly universal as Hemingway's 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.'"
How often Route 66 matched the power of Hemingway (or
the existential insight of Sartre) is debatable. That it was attempting something completely original in television drama
is certain. Its footloose production was the antithesis of the claustrophobic stages of the New York anthologies of old, yet
many of its dramatic and thematic concerns--even certain of its stories--echoed those of the intimate character dramas of
the Philco Playhouse era. Indeed, one of Aubrey's CBS lieutenants, concerned with the show's "downbeat" approach to
television entertainment, protested to its producers that Route 66 should not be considered "a peripatetic Playhouse
90"--capturing, willingly or not, much of the show's tenor and effect. Route 66 was trying to achieve the right
mix of familiarity and difference, action and angst, pathos and psychology, working innovative elements into a commercial
package keyed to the demands of the industry context. Even with its gleaming roadster, jazzy theme song, obligatory fistfights
and occasional romantic entanglements, Route 66 was far removed indeed (both figuratively and geographically) from
the likes of 77 Sunset Strip.
In 1993 the Corvette took to the highway once more in a nominal
sequel, a summer series (on NBC) that put Buz's illegitimate son at the wheel with a glib Generation-X partner in the passenger
seat. Although the new Route 66 lasted only a few weeks, by reviving the roaming-anthology premise of the original,
it evidenced television's continuing quest for narrative flexibility (and Hollywood's inherent penchant for recycling). From
The Fugitive to Run For Your Life to Highway to Heaven to Quantum Leap to Touched by an Angel,
television has continued to exploit the tradition of the wandering samaritan, to achieve the story variety of an anthology
within a series format. Route 66 established the template in 1960, launching a singular effort at contemporary drama
in a non-formulaic series format. That the series mounted its dramatic agenda in a Corvette, on the road, is to its creators'
Tod Stiles .................................................Martin
Buz Murdock (1960-1963)...................... George Maharis
Linc Case (1963-1964)..............................
PRODUCERS Herbert B. Leonard, Jerry Thomas,
Leonard Freeman, Sam Manners
PROGRAMMING HISTORY 116 Episodes
October 1960-September 1964
"A Knock Develops on Route 66." TV Guide (Radnor, Pennsylvania),
26 January 1963.
Barnouw, Erik. Tube of Plenty. New York: Oxford University
Bergreen, Laurence. Look Now, Pay Later. New York: Mentor,
Booth, Philip. "Route 66--On the Road Toward People." Television
Quarterly (New York), Winter 1963.
Castelman, Harry, and Walter Podrazik. Watching TV: Four
Deacades of American Television. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.
Chandler, Bob Chandler. "Review of Route 66." Variety (Los
Angeles), 12 October 1960.
Dunne, John Gregory. "Take Back Your Kafka." The New Republic
(Washington, D.C.), 4 September 1965.
"Have Camera, Will Travel." Variety (Los Angeles), 12
Jarvis, Jeff. "The Couch Critic." TV Guide (Radnor,
Pennsylvania), 12 June 1993.
Jenkins, Dan. "Talk About Putting a Show on the Road!" TV
Guide (Radnor, Pennsylvania), 22 July 1961.
"Rough Road." Newsweek (New York), 2 January 1961.
Seldes, Gilbert. "Review of Route 66." TV Guide (Radnor,
Pennsylvania), 10 February 1962.
"The Fingers of God." Time (New York), 9 August 1963.
"The Hearings that Changed Television." Telefilm (New
York), July-August, 1962.
See also Silliphant, Sterling
On the Road with Route 66
by Guy Belleranti
the early 1960’s television traveled the U.S. and Route 66 through the dramatic series Route 66. The hour long program
began in the fall of 1960 on CBS. 116 episodes were produced over the series’ run.
For the first two and one
half years Route 66 followed the travels of Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock, played respectively by Martin Milner and George
Maharis. Stiles had led a fairly sheltered life and had a college degree. Murdock, meanwhile, had no college education and
had grown up in Hell’s Kitchen.
But as the program begins Stile’s father has died virtually pennyless.
His only asset, a Corvette convertible, passes to Tod. It is in this car that Tod and Buz hit the road searching for a new
place to put down roots. Along the way they meet up with adventure, trouble, romance and more.
the typical TV program. Indeed, much of the series was filmed along Route 66 in gritty black and white. And parts that
weren’t filmed on Route 66 were still done on location in other places of the U.S. and, in a few instances, in Canada
People came and went episode by episode as Tod and Buz traveled Route 66, continually encountering
new accents, livelihoods, ethnic groups, etc. – the flavor of America. The episodes themselves featured great character
studies and moody, dark subjects.
Socially conscious stories included those revolving around a heroin addict,
a runaway, a Nazi hunter, a dying jazz singer, migrant farm workers and so on.
In the latter part of the third
season Milner’s Tod Stiles had a new traveling partner, Lincoln (Linc) Case, played by Glenn Corbett. Linc was a
Vietnam War vet searching for new direction in his life. Linc remained through the fourth and final year, with Maharis’
Buz Murdock never returning.
Besides the on location shooting and socially conscious stories several other things
also stood out on Route 66.
One of course was the Corvette. Another was the instrumental theme song by Nelson
Riddle. In fact the song became a pop hit.
The majority of the episodes were written by Stirling Silliphant,
the same man who wrote the screenplays for such motion pictures as In the Heat of the Night and The Poseidon Adventure.
a number of both fading stars and rising newcomers were featured as guest stars on Route 66.
A few of them were: Peter Lorre, Rod Steiger, James Caan, Robert Redford, Inger
Stevens, Diane Baker, Buster Keaton, Boris Karloff, Walter Matthau, Ethel Waters, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Lee Marvin.
An excellent series, unjustly neglected, 29 April 2003
Author: mike robson from cramlington u.k.
Simply one of the finest shows from American t.v.This is an undeservedly "lost" show ,amazingly neglected when so many
inferior 60's series are wildly overpraised.If you have never seen "Route 66" try to,it's a rare gem.The scripts are not just
highly literate,but often close to poetic(no wonder Jim Aubrey,downmarketeer boss at CBS TV disliked it!).There's a great
deal of acting talent in the guest roles-Boris Karloff,Lee Marvin,Robert Duvall,Warren Stevens,Lew Ayers,Michael Rennie,Martin
Sheen,Dorothy Malone,Ed Asner,Walter Matthau,Edward Andrews,Leslie Nielson,Anne Francis,Jack Lord,William Shatner and Dan
Duryea are just a few to look out for.The two part story "Fly away home" has a haunting tortured performance by Michael Rennie
as a doomed pilot;"Welcome to Amity"featuring Susan Oliver is both uplifting and truly moving; in "A month of Sundays" the
"Route 66" camera captures Anne Francis at the peak of her stunning beauty and series regular Martin Milner gives the performance
of his life as a drug crazed Tod Stiles in "A thin white line".These are just some of the highlights in "Route 66".The location
filming (unusual then and now),provides a marvellous time capsule of a now vanished America.
18 out of 20 people found the following comment useful :-
A series that was way
ahead of its time, 6 March 2002
Author: jeffhill1 (email@example.com) from Sapporo, Japan
I have been living in Asia for the past 32 years so I don't know if
reruns of "Route 66" have ever been running
on television in the States
over the past 3 decades. But 20 years ago when I read Alvin Toffler's
in The Third Wave that the future would see professionals
not loyal to any one company but working with an honest fervor
given task and then moving on to the next worthy challenge, my
impression was, "this guy is describing
the world of Buz and Tod on
'Route 66'." In an era when America was composed of white collar
and blue collar union members, all working towards a
pension, 'Route 66' was a breath of fresh air, an escape, and
challenge to try something different as well as a reminder that one
should move on not with a sense of despair
but with a feeling of
jubilation and wonder at what is over the next hill. Against the
current economic climate
in both Japan and the U.S.A., such a reminder
is especially needed today. Let's move on with a sense of jubilation
wonder. And to help us do it, bring back the "Route 66" series.
14 out of 14 people found the following comment useful :-
Just look to your left
and click on "Guest Appearances", 9 May 1999
Author: Vern Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Dell Rapids, SD
Just look to your left and click on guest appearances. If you do you're in for one heck of a surprise! This show had some
great writing in the early years. Reruns were on the Nick-At-Night TV network in the eighties, I was so disappointed I haven't
watched the network since. Every episode was a full and complete story, the writing had to be excellent to be able to pull
in the caliber of talent that you see on this list. Many current and back then, future stars ought to make this show more
visible than it is but sadly that's not the case. It had a great music score from Nelson Riddle and great stories written
by Sterling Silliphant. Last but not least, a great car! PLEASE, SOMEBODY BRING THIS SHOW INTO OUR HOMES AGAIN.
12 out of 12 people found the following comment useful :-
Where, oh where, did
this kind of drama go?, 5 October 2001
Author: stargazer24 from midwest
I got hooked on this through my obsession with Adam-12 and some tapes I bought off ebay. I've only seen 14 episodes, but
they are 14 of the greatest TV episodes of any drama ever to make it into our homes. So few shows now make you think, but
this does and that's good. Makes you think about human nature, the world, and your role in it. It's more than just a show
about two cute guys in the world's coolest car (though there's nothing wrong with that), it's about people. I cry when I remember
that no one has jumped at the opportunity to put this show on their network. What are they thinking??? This is the drama that
all the dramas since have wanted to be but never succeeded at becoming.
11 out of 12 people found the following comment useful :-
My favorite 60's show!,
31 October 1999
Author: camille-7 (email@example.com)
I was about ten when this show premiered and watched it with my parents every friday night between Rawhide and Twilight
Zone. As you can see Friday was a good night for TV. I was fascinated with the show and its two stars, both of whom I had
crushes on. They were both so natural in their acting and always delivered some words of wisdom by the shows end. The fact
that the show was always on location made it much more interesting to watch. I was sorry too when Nick at Night quit airing
it in the 80's. I watched as many of the reruns as I possibly could and even now have a few on tape. It's a show I think that
still holds up today because of its uniqueness and naturalness.
9 out of 9 people found the following comment useful :-
As good as most theatrical
movies, 24 December 1998
Author: Tom Chenevert (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Dunstable, Ma
Rt 66 was such a breath of fresh air. I have been a movie buff all my life and after seeing all the backlot tv shows from
the mid fifties to 1960, this show had my eyes wide open. Everything was on location and the production values were as good
as any theatrical movie. Some of the story lines toward the end of the run were stupid but the values were always there. Most
of the time I would watch the show to see how good location filming done quickly could be done so good. I think the producer
owned or had owned Republic Studios who were the best at making movie serials and that would explain a lot. In watching reruns
it is surprising how little the Corvette was actually seen in some episodes. After this, I found backlot shows to be very
cheap, boring entertainment.
8 out of 8 people found the following comment useful :-
Julie Newmar is the woman
Marilyn Monroe wanted to be., 10 December 2003
Author: ocangaceiro from Wallingford, Vermont
This was one of those special "shocker" moments in 60's TV series: writing that showed actual thought, lines that snapped
your head back, diction at once poetic and didactic.... it is possible that no one else in TV at that time could have done
what Julie Newmar did here; she was luscious and sensual, at perfect ease within the screen space, and at the same time possessed
of a powerful intelligence and wit. PLUS, is "How Much a Pound is Albatross?" one of the greatest titles you ever heard?
7 out of 7 people found the following comment useful :-
one word - terrific,
19 August 2005
Author: iceturkee1950 from United States
it's funny, i was in 8th grade the last year route 66 aired and got to see a few episodes. this was because one had been
filmed in daytona beach so i watched it. then i caught the rest of the last season before it went off the air.
think i could fully appreciate just what a remarkable show this was. shot on location, featuring a literal who's who in Hollywood,
i think maybe, this show was way ahead of its time. but it worked so well in the early 60's when quality television was quite
anyhow, i always said this was the ONE SHOW i wanted to see in reruns. when it aired on nick at nite in 1985,
i watched more than half of the episodes and was never disappointed. mix a way cool theme song, some beautiful country, two
hip guys and the corvette, how could you go wrong!!
7 out of 7 people found the following comment useful :-
I too hit the road,
26 December 2000
Author: (email@example.com) from pacfica, ca
I saw many of the 1960 and 1961 episodes while in the service. I was so taken by the show that in my mind (confusing reality
and television), I decided to hit the road when I got discharged in 1962. I purchased a 1961 Vette and a buddy and I set off
from Sacramento, California sometime in May 1963 a la Tod and Buzz to find adventure and romance at every stop. Unfortunately
we only got as far as southern Utah when we totally ran out of money. I guess we forgot that Buzz and Tod took time out to
work here and there. Anyway, it was fun while it lasted and my only lasting regret was having sold the Corvette. Back to the
show: one fascinating aspect is in the scripts. Silliphant in particular was a great writer both serious and comedic - but
what is amusing today is the amount of beat-era language, as well as existentialist philosophy. Sterling must have read his
Sartre and Camus - or at least Tod did while at Yale. The show had at times a strangely schizophrenic nature: trite, even
stupid story lines, but some very profound dialogue (at least for television). And the need for at least one fist fight in
every episode gives the lie to any myth of a "kinder and gentler nation" before the counter culture invasion in the mid 60's.
6 out of 6 people found the following comment useful :-
Marty, George & Driving
the Marvel Way, 21 May 2006
Author: animal_8_5 from Dundalk, Canada
Marty Milner and his sidekick George Maharis get into intrigue and adventure on the highways and byways. Mostly across
the good old USA, but one stop each in Canada and Mexico.
Ahhh, what a great concept for a TV series in this post-war
period. Two virile young dudes getting into a gorgeous Corvette and driving aimlessly until the gas money ran out. This was
one of the more well written and plotted series of the day, too! Some have called the dialogue intellectual and poetic. It
is one of those shows that was impossible to stop watching once you were in the first five minutes. Gorgeous scenery and the
perpetual sense that adventure was always just around the turnpike.
Stan Lee and Marvel Comics wouldn't admit this,
but it would appear they may have unintentionally ripped off the Buzz Murdock character in creating one of their stable characters,
Daredevil. According to all the trivial facts about Route 66, Buzz Murdock hails from Hell's Kitchen! Daredevil's secret identity,
MATT Murdock, hails from Hell's Kitchen! It seems to me in one episode, Buzz was even blinded! Matt Murdock is blind!
I don't really care either, but thought somebody out there might find it interesting.
A one-of-a-kind TV show, 2 February 2006
Author: ruffrider from United States
It was 1960, when the country was far less crowded and open roads beckoned just outside the cities. This was before the
country lost its innocence via Vietnam and Watergate, a time when the rest of the world bought our manufactured goods and
America had saved the world from Hitler and fascism within recent memory.
Cynicism and paranoia hadn't yet taken hold,
many people would actually stop to help if your car broke down on the highway and altruism was a viable concept on TV and
in real life. Into this world rode 2 young guys in a Corvette convertible (Corvettes were still somewhat exotic at the time),
who met unusual people everywhere they went, which was all over the USA and even Canada. The two young men were total opposites,
who made a fascinating personality clash and a winning pair of adventurers and Good Samaritans. Dark-haired Buz Murdock (played
by George Maharis) was the brooder and battler with street smarts, who spoke like the hep-cat and jazz buff he was, while
sophisticated, red-haired Yale grad Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) quoted literature and poetry, charmed the ladies and handled
his share of the bullies. Sometimes the two boys were the center of the stories, other times just onlookers.
socially-conscious scripts met the tough issues head-on, from runaway kids and juvenile delinquency (this was long before
young kids routinely carried guns to school) to substance abuse, terrorism and mercy killing. The quality of the scripts demanded
high-powered acting, which it got from its stars Maharis and Milner and the impressive list of guest stars, including Rob't
Duvall, Rob't Redford, Lee Marvin, Ed Asner, Martin Balsam, Alan Alda, Janice Rule and Jack Warden, to name only a few.
66" was so progressive socially because its producer (Herbert Leonard) allowed his chief writer (Stirling Silliphant) to tackle
just about any subject he wanted, with no interference from the network or sponsors - a very unusual situation, even in 1960.
There are so many out-of-the-ordinary elements in this show it's hard to list them all and in retrospect it seems like a kind
of avant-garde television, with 100% location filming, travelogue, adventure and even a sort of Playhouse-90-like dramatic
quality, all rolled into one. Perhaps the show's most striking element was the remarkable dialog, usually relegated to the
guest actors, which often took the form of meditations on life or the ruminations of demoralized characters forced to confront
their demons. This dialog can be seen today as nothing less than brilliant free-verse poetry, into which (future Oscar-winning
Hollywood screenwriter) Silliphant poured his deepest thoughts. Looking back it seems remarkable such a show was ever made
at all. Having written a book on this program, I've come to know "Route 66" quite well and feel privileged to have watched
3 out of 3 people found the following comment useful :-
Keep On Truckin', 16 August 2001
Jim Rowe from Sunny SoCal, USA
Still the best of the TV "Road Shows", ... even in re-runs (Nick at Night).
A true inspiration for every generation
who never felt the "Mother Road" under their tires.
2 out of 2 people found the following comment useful :-
An amazing snapshot of a bygone America,
22 June 2006
Author: JAtheDJ from Alexandria, Virginia
I've just seen several episodes of Route 66, which I remember from reruns in the late 60's. The location shots are absolutely
wonderful - how Martin Milner and George Maharis survived all the travel to shoot on location is amazing in itself.
story lines deal with people and their personal lives in a very intimate way. Wonderful "guest stars" too - from Robert Redford
and Robert Duvall to Walter Matthau and Jack Lord.
I grew to appreciate Milner and Maharis from earlier parts they
played -Milner as the stoic, sincere jazz guitarist in "Sweet Smell of Success," in 1957 and Maharis in the first hour-long
episode of Naked City in 1960. My kind of actors.
All in all, Route 66 is a great show.
3 out of 4 people found the following comment useful :-
Dig that crazy theme song,man!!!, 8
Author: raysond from Chapel Hill,North Carolina
Long before he became Officer Malloy on the old "Adam-12" TV series,Martin Milner was the coolest cat around during his
days as Tod on "Route 66". He was always the hippest cat in that crazy and cool,and good-looking Corvette as he and he buddy
Buz travelled the country in search of fun and sometimes adventure.
The show itself was a symbol of expression and
interest basically keeping viewers keen in their escapades. They say that it was filmed on the backlot of the old Republic
Studios,but instead some of it was filmed on location and the rest on a lot at Columbia Pictures(Screen Gems TV). The storylines
kept the action going,but at the end of the series it was kinda stupid and lame,but in turn the first three seasons of the
show were really great(from 1960-1963).
The re-runs of this show surfaced quite often,but during part of the mid-1980's,the
show ended up on TV's Nick-at-Nite during the early years of the network as part of its weekly line-up of programming. Its
theme song,by the way,will live on forever as the best jazz score ever made(by composer Nelson Riddle),and to this day it
still holds up great!!! Catch the re-runs if you can.
3 out of 4 people found the following comment useful :-
Martin Millner and his hair!!!!!!!!!,
16 March 2000
Author: LONE SOLO from Floyd Montana
ROUTE 66 was the story of two buddies who cruised the highways and byways of america getting into adventures, all the while
looking like two poster boys for a BRILLCREAME ad. I caught these in reruns in the mid 1980's and overall this was a fun show.
This program was an anthology show of sorts...each week our two heroes get into a different adventure with different supporting
characters. It can truly be said that they don't make shows like this anymore...because, well, er,.....THEY DON'T!
1 out of 1 people found the following comment useful :-
Route 66 and the novel On the Road, 31
Author: karlanglin651 from United States
Having watched Route 66 on Nick At Nite in 1985, I feel that the series was loosely based on Jack Kerouac's novel, On The
Road which was written in 1957. The concept of the Beat Generation was certainly applied to this thought-provoking TV drama.
While the two characters in the series were some what upgraded for television audiences, the basic concepts of the freedom
to travel about, experiencing the lives of other people, and not settling into predictability produced a strong resonance
that reverberates inside of many individuals. In some ways Route 66 could be considered a 20th century version of Mark Twain's
classic novel Huckleberry Finn. In many ways. the series is very much a reflection of the human condition and of society looked
at from the inside out. Striling Stilliphant was a true master at the craft of writing. May his work stand forever as an example
of what solid truthful writing should be.
1 out of 1 people found the following comment useful :-
What a terrific show, 15 August
Author: L.J. McFarland-Groves from Connecticut, United States
It's said "they don't make 'em like they used to" and Route 66 certainly brings credibility to that statement. I was only
about eleven years old when the show went off the air, but what an impact it had. I can't see one of those old two seater
Chevys without the sweet theme song going lightly through my head. Here's a masculine buddy show, two good looking guys, side
by side, all the way across the country. Pure and simple, clean and fascinating, both the relationship and the adventures
they achieved. I have no doubt that my own cross country odyssey in a little open air two seater from New England to Southern
California in the mid 1970s was subconsciously a way to live briefly as Buz or Tod. Can't wait for the DVD which I understand
is coming out in a couple of months because the world is a place more lacking for want of reruns of this All American classic.
1 out of 1 people found the following comment useful :-
What a wonderful show to grow up watching
for a 7 year old!, 25 March 2007
Author: HERBERT ("BO") NEWSOME from Salisbury, North Carolina
In 1960, as a seven year old lad growing up in historic Salisbury, North Carolina, the weekly TV show, Route 66, whisked
me away to the open road and adventure in an open-topped red Corvette convertible. How much better could life be for a seven
year old boy in Small Town USA?! This was high-living for me for the next four years of my life. "Buzz" and "Todd" (the main
characters) had quickly become my best friends as I rode with them every Friday night (8PM) to high adventure. I wish "TV
Land" would bring this show back into our lives and remind kids of today that you don't need to have sex and violence in order
to enjoy some great TV! Bo Newsome, Salisbury, NC
In summary, This was a wonderful show!
This was a prime time drama about two young men, complete opposites, seeking adventure and purpose., 10
Author: zachsandman from United States
"Route 66" was my favorite TV drama series of the 1960s. It was very appealing for a young male of any race. There were
these two cool guys, Todd Stiles (Martin Milner), Buzz Murdock (George Maharis) and Lincoln Case (Glenn Corbett) (replaced
Maharis during the final season) driving from town to town in a brand new Corvette. Their lives were filled with adventure
and lots of girls. Like "The Twilight Zone", it was a series from which many actors got their start. Each week, viewers could
see actors like Robert Redford, Lee Marvin, William Shatner, Martin Balsam, Robert Duvall, Ed Asner, Rod Steiger, David Janssen,
DeForest Kelley, Burt Reynolds, etc. Plus, the theme song, written by Nelson Riddle, was perhaps the greatest TV theme song
of all times. "Route 66" wasn't a "rebel" type of show. This was probably why the series ran from 1960-1964. Although Stiles
and Murdock were opposites: Stiles, cultured and educated, while Murdock, street like and not so educated, they were both
decent young men. They complimented each other and rarely did they clash with one another. Furthermore, many episodes had
"spiritual" overtones. For examples: Two of the best episodes were: "The Strengthening Angels" (1960) and "One Tiger to a
Hill" (1962) In "Strengthening Angel", a young and beautiful Suzanne Pleshette plays Lotti Montana, a migrant worker who's
going to help pick the peach crop a town called Sparrow Falls. In the opening scene, it's night and raining. Lotti is at the
local church about to give her testimony when she instead runs hysterically from the building. She runs out in the street
and nearly gets hit by Todd and Buzz in the Corvette. Lotti gets a lift with them. Tired and hungry, they stop at the nearest
diner although she insists that they eat outside of the city limits. While at the local diner, Tod and Buzz become acquainted
with the town Sheriff (John Larch). Meanwhile, Lotti is waiting in the Corvette and gets harassed by a drunken man who recognizes
her. While returning to the car, Todd and Buzz see the drunk harassing Lotti. Buzz pushes him away but the drunk brings so
much attention to them that the Sheriff comes after them as they drive away from the scene. The Sheriff stops them further
up the road and arrests them for harboring a fugitive, Lotti Montana. Apparently, Lotti is wanted for the murder of the brother
of the Sheriff. At the station, the Sheriff releases Todd and Buzz but he detains Lotti. As a result of this, Buzz gets into
a fists fight with Sheriff but the Deputy catches Buzz from behind with "cheap" shot. The Sheriff has no intention of keeping
buzz locked up in prison but he does just long enough to patch up his busted head and to give him the low down regarding Lotti's
past. After Buzz is released he and Todd seek an attorney to take Lotti's case. At first, it appears as though the attorney
isn't willing to take the case. However, he does because it turns out that he knows the reason why Lotti killed the Sheriff's
brother. The Sheriff's brother had a romantic interest in Lotti and often pursued her to his brother's disliking. One night
after getting drunk with his friend, the future attorney, they went by Lotti's place. The Sheriff's brother tried to rape
her, so she stabbed him with a pair of scissors. This story is corroborated by Lotti's young daughter who has been sheltered
by her mom from ever giving her side of the story. The most magnificent scene takes place when Lotti's Pastor (Harry Townes)
visits her in prison and prays with her to receive Christ's forgiveness. Townes gave a stellar performance as Pastor Daniel
Wylie. Stirling Silliphant wrote this episode and most of the episodes. The episode concludes with Lotti (Pleshette) being
released from prison and giving Buzz a kiss on the lips for helping her. Buzz and Todd drive off while the Sheriff watches
from his window.
"One Tiger to a Hill" featured David Janssen as Karno, an ex-Vietnam soldier who hates Todd over
a girl (Laura Devon as Toika) and because he escaped the draft as a student in college. Working as salmon fishermen in Astoria,
Oregon. Tod and Buzz encounter Karno, who wants to kill or be killed. Todd and Karno have several brawls but the finale comes
when they brawl on board a ship where Karno is knocked overboard. Meanwhile, Todd, Buzz, and Toika wait at the dock to receive
word from the coast guard regarding Karno. "Lo and behold"! Karno approaches the dock on board a coast guard cutter. The stage
is set for the most magnificent scene of the episode. Karno (Janssen) explains his experience underwater. His experience is
similar to that of Jonah and the Whale. While underwater, he looks up and sees the sky above. For the first time in his life
he fills small, which is good. Then he is miraculously saved from the tempest of the sea. As he said, "All of a sudden I became
gigantic. I was born again." Karno and "teary"eyed Toika walk off into the sunset. Around 1985, the series "Route 66" was
aired in its entirety on "Nick-at-Nite". I have all 116 episodes on DVD. A. Zachary Sanders
Great series with excellent writing and guest stars., 27 November 2005
(firstname.lastname@example.org) from United States
This TV series is one of the best ever produced. Why Columbia-Sony hasn't released more of the episodes is beyond me. Surely
someone out there has an "in" with some" higher ups" at Columbia to let them know how rural America feels about some good
T.V. Tod and Buz in the Corvette's traveling the roads in the U.S.A. The cars colors and years are as follows: 1960 Jewel
Blue : 1961 Fawn Beige: 1962 fawn Beige:1963 Saddle tan; 1964 saddle tan. Some other cars were shown as extra's like a Mako
Shark and some Fuelly cars borrowed from dealers. Most were 250 & 300 hp automatics. Some were stick shift cars like in"
Birdcage on My Foot" and "Ten Drops of Water"