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|Index||18 reviews in total|
This is a very good classic sit-com and gives a real sense of the mid 1960s America. The writing, direction and cast are superior to more famous shows from the same time. These episodes hold up surprisingly well. The writing is fairly intelligent and easy to take. Until now, only a few episodes have been available to see. THIS TV seems to be running the entire series right now. The films look excellent. This series is a real testament to Patty Duke's incredible acting. Her Cathy and Patty characters are so believably different. This is probably the finest performance of one actor portraying 2 different people in the same movie. This show was not highly regarded when it was first produced. Seeing it now, one must acknowledge that it was among the best of its time. William Schallert also deserves recognition for his wonderful, pivotal performances.
I grew up on this really cute series as a teenager myself, and only
wish today's adolescents had more programs of its quality and sense of
genuine fun. The Patty Duke Show is shades of Hayley Mills's Parent
Trap. In fact, every young girl's heroines back then were Patty Duke,
Hayley Mills, and Sally Field (star of Gidget & The Flying Nun). The
teen magazines were full of this trio of stars.
The series portrays the story of two identical cousins, Patty and Cathy Lane. Cathy, the daughter of a globe trotting journalist, comes to live with her aunt & uncle, Martin & Natalie Lane. They have a daughter, Patty, who's the same age as Cathy and the absolute spitting image. However, aside from looks, these two teenage girls are completely opposite in personality, taste, and life experiences.
Patty Duke charmingly captures the dual roles of the cousins and manages to make the viewer think that there are actually two different teenagers here. There are some great special effects for that era when the 'two of a kind' cousins appear together on screen. Whether realistic or not, the show had a great story idea with a variation on the identical twins with contrasting personalities theme. Making them cousins with totally different childhood experiences, the screenwriters could make this pair of lookalikes seem really diverse.
In fact, their personality and culture clash forms the basis of the series. Since Patty and Cathy are such polar opposites, they have trouble understanding each other. The urbane, sophisticated Cathy is a quiet and serious young lady, who has been living in Scotland with her father and has traveled abroad in Europe. Patty is a typical peppy, outgoing, and very social American teenager living in Brooklyn Heights. Cathy is studious and scholastically excellent, while Patty receives average grades and is more concerned with fashions, fads, friends, fun, and sleepovers than with schoolwork. Cathy's taste in music runs to classical ('the minuet and ballet Russe') while Patty likes to bop around to the rock & roll music of that era. Even their taste in food...well, Cathy prefers gourmet cuisine such as the elegant Crepes Suzette, while Patty chooses hot dogs, ice cream, and junk food.
However, although jealousy and conflict arise (always humorously conveyed of course), it's much like a sibling relationship. Underneath it all, the cousins really do care about one other and sometimes even conspire together to pull off pranks or get themselves out of scrapes. (Typically Patty gets into the scrape and Cathy must help her out of it!) Also, the cousins are not actually that different in some important ways. Patty desires popularity and Cathy at least some sense of acceptance. And of course both young ladies are interested in BOYS. Patty would accurately be described as boy crazy, while Cathy conveys her interest a bit more subtly. The girls don't always go for the same type, but in one episode, the pair are actually rivals for the attentions of the new boy next door. I note among the episode list that once there's even a double date, have forgotten the details, but would predict some sort of switcheroo or mix up.
Patty's father, Martin Lane, is managing editor of a fictitious New York newspaper, the New York Chronicle, for which Cathy's father (Martin's brother) works as a foreign correspondent. The two brothers are identical twins, presumably explaining their daughters' close physical resemblance. Cathy's father wants her to complete high school in the States before returning to Scotland.
The father in this series really stands out in my mind these many years later. William Shallert is absolutely wonderful in the role of Patty's father, Martin Lane, the classic kind & caring American dad who's often at his wit's end over his teenage daughter's antics. This actor also plays Cathy's father in a few of the episodes. I don't remember the mother, Natalie Lane, but that isn't to say the actress wasn't competent. It's been quite a few decades!
Overall, it was wonderful programming that the teenagers of that era could relate to. No sex and drugs on screen back in the Good Old Days. However, many of the classic teen story lines are featured, including parties, dating, school football stars, teachers, baby sitting, kid brothers, and peer rivalry. Patty spars with her own younger brother, Ross, and must also cope with an annoying school rival, Sue Ellen. Probably most young viewers preferred the extroverted chatterbox, Patty, but personally, being shy and bookish myself in those days, I identified more with the introverted, academic Cathy. The Patty Duke Show was very popular among all my own school friends and quite deservedly so. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find it in re runs, but suspect that even some of today's teens might still get a kick out of it.
Having grown up in the 60's I like thousands of other boys fell in love with Patty Duke! Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC were reserved for our date with Patty and Cathy! The show was so well done and Patty was wonderful as the 2 completely different cousins! It is a shame that television does not offer such wholesome entertainment today! I am a teacher and have shown my class clips from this show and believe it or not even inner city kids found this 60's relic entertaining! I hope TV Land brings it back!
I was born in the middle of this show being in its heyday, but thanks
to syndication, I got to see it and grow up with it as a child, and
again as an adult on Nick At Nite. Patty Duke has always been among my
favorite actresses, and the sheer simplicity of this show was a relief
in and of itself. Surrounded today as we are by base violence and drug
problems and other things, the simplicity of the Patty Duke Show is a
welcome respite from all that. It wouldn't win any awards for
compelling writing, possibly, but its a cherished and loved show from
my younger days all the same and I hope TV Land resurrects this gem of
a show as well.
In contrast to today's world, where TV revolves around inane writing and situations, this show truly showcased the acting talent of the actors and actresses within it, especially the fabulous Anna Marie "Patty" Duke-Pearce. Though the vehicle itself was simplistic and even somewhat "childish" in nature at times, she used the talent she had to forge two very distinct and different personalities, so distinct and different that you actually catch yourself believing there ARE two cousins, instead of one actress in two parts. The stories were very situation and character driven, without the absurdity of some of the things that we see in modern TV today. They actually had a plot, even if it was over the top and hare brained at times.
The true joy of the show was the subtle morals and family and personal values the show portrayed. Like good television of any era, and especially of that time period, lessons were brought to us by wonderful fictional characters that we could identify with, that we felt we knew, recognized and loved dearly. How many times have you watched the show and wished your parents were as understanding and easy to get along with as Martin and Natalie Lane were? That your parents showed you the sort of interest that they did their daughter, son and niece? Life today is much faster and much more hectic, and often we miss out on the simplistic idea of our parents taking time out as this particular set did.
The entire show was one filled with good, solid values and a lot of pure, real fun, portrayed in a very realistic, but also very funny, way. We learned to laugh at ourselves and keep ourselves going from watching this show. We learned that while life is serious, we shouldn't be overly serious with it, and that just because we laughed at a situation or ourselves, it didn't subtract from the seriousness of it.
In my personal opinion, you'll find very little TV today with similar merits, honestly. The casting and acting of the show was brilliant, and I think the writing was excellent, perfect for what it was intended to be: life lessons delivered in a contemporary and fun way. I think everyone should be exposed to this show, and ones of its caliber to relearn what real, honest, good and just plain fun really is. You'd probably find yourself surprised.
I only stumbled across this classic 1960s sitcom about two months ago,
having been vaguely aware of its existence beforehand and only knowing
Patty Duke - who I couldn't have picked out of a line-up - as being
Sean Astin's mum. After watching the insanely catchy opening credits, I
decided to watch an episode of the series for two main reasons: (a)
I've always been a big fan of the wonderful character actor William
Schallert, who is probably best known for playing Nilz Baris in the
classic "Star Trek" episode "The Trouble with Tribbles" and who still
occasionally acts at nearly 91 and (b) there was an adorable Old
English Sheepdog. Having previously owned one, I'm extremely partial to
the breed! I wasn't expecting much, if I'm honest, but I found it to be
an utterly charming and very funny series from the get go and began
watching it from the beginning. Well, the dog disappeared without
explanation about halfway through the first season but otherwise no
complaints from me!
The series' premise may be a bit far-fetched but, considering the 1960s produced sitcoms featuring witches, genies and talking horses, it's pretty damn realistic, comparatively speaking. It concerns 16-year-old Cathy Lane (Patty Duke), the daughter of a globetrotting foreign correspondent, going to live with her uncle Martin (William Schallert) and aunt Natalie (Jean Byron) in Brooklyn Heights. Martin and Natalie have a daughter named Patty who is the same age as Cathy and just happens to look absolutely identical to her. The "explanation" for this is that Cathy and Patty's fathers are identical twins, which is quite funny as Patty Duke doesn't resemble William Schallert (who plays Cathy's father Kenneth in a few episodes) even slightly! While the premise is certainly gimmicky, the cousins' resemblance is used as a plot device far less than you might think. It's mostly an excuse for Patty Duke to play two completely different characters, the constantly scheming and slightly crazy Patty and the quiet, polite and demure Cathy, which she does to perfection. I sometimes forget that they are played by the same person. She won an Oscar at the age of 16 and it's easy to see why. Rounding out the main cast are Paul O'Keefe as Patty's wisecracking little brother Ross and Eddie Applegate as Richard Harrison, her gormless but good-natured half-puppy, half-ape of a boyfriend.
Most episodes focus on Patty's dating life or feature her jumping into a new project or scheme with a huge amount of (i.e. too much) enthusiasm, realising that she's gotten in over her head and being rescued by either Cathy or her parents. Cathy often acts as Patty's conscience and puts her back on the right track. The best thing about Patty is that, rather unusually for sitcoms of the era, she was a multi-faceted character who could at turns be kind, manipulative, sweet, egotistical, vulnerable and a fire storm. Cathy is a bit more one note at times but that's okay as she was designed as a foil for Patty anyway. William Schallert and the late Jean Byron are both extremely good as Patty's kind, patient, loving and often extremely understanding parents as they make Martin and Natalie seem like real people. They have fast become one of favourite TV fathers and mothers.
The humour is the series is gentle, generally producing a steady stream of chuckles and the occasional belly laugh in this fan, with many of the funniest lines being delivered (perfectly) by Paul O'Keefe, who was only 12 when the series started, almost all of which are at Patty's expense. It's a shame that he never got another big role (and only a few small ones) after the series ended. From what I can tell, the series is an accurate if idealised depiction of middle class 1960s America with Patty being a typical American teenager of the era, albeit one who faces more farcical situations and less serious problems than her real life counterparts. Overall, the Lanes feel like a real family, which isn't often the case with sitcom families of the era.
One thing that I found refreshing about the series is that quite a few of the extras, particularly in the school scenes, are African-Americans, which again wasn't common in late 1950s and early 1960s sitcoms. Apparently, only one single solitary black person appears in "Leave It to Beaver", which ran for 234 episodes. However, none of them are in Patty and Cathy's circle of friends and in the first two seasons only two black people - one of them being Sammy Davis, Jr. - have any dialogue. Still, it was a baby step in the right direction.
I'm curious to see how well and how fondly remembered the series is by people who watched it while it was originally on from 1963 to 1966. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, I can't recommend it highly enough. The acting, particularly from Patty Duke and William Schallert, and comic writing are both top notch. As an Irish person born in 1987, I'm proof that you don't need to be an American baby boomer to enjoy the series!
Teenage actress Patty Duke,fresh from her riveting motion picture
triumph in the 1962 film "The Miracle Worker",co-starring Anne Bancroft
for which Duke won an Academy Award for her brilliant performance was
ready to make the jump from feature films to starring in her own weekly
television series. Patty Duke plays a dual role in this light-hearted
family comedy titled "The Patty Duke Show",which was on ABC-TV from
September 18,1963 until the final episode of the series on April
27,1966 with repeated episodes airing until August 31,1966. In all,a
total of 105 episodes were produced all in classic black and white and
produced through Miss Duke's own production company(the youngest person
ever to be an executive producer in charge of production)Chersaw
Productions in association with United Artists Television. The show ran
for three seasons on the air in prime-time and it survived the
network's transformation years as some of the programs that were in
black and white were about to make the jump to color in the show's
final season. However,this series was still in black and white in its
final season and never got the chance to make the change to color,and
it was there that ABC pulled the plug on the series in the spring of
1966 after four seasons. Under the creation of Sidney Sheldon and
William Asher(who also served as executive producers of this
series),this was a show that was patterned after the classic 1961
Disney film "The Parent Trap" starring Hayley Mills(who also played
dual roles in the film)and here on "The Patty Duke Show",Miss Duke
plays dual characters. As Patty Lane she was a perky,bubble-gum chewing
loudmouth teenager who digs Paul Anka tunes,worships The Beatles,dances
to the latest teen-oriented musical tunes,and has "slumber
parties",with her girlfriends.
As Cathy Lane,she was Patty's intellectual Scottish cousin,newly arrived from overseas to live with the Lanes,complete with bagpipes and burr. The girls confused everybody in their middle-class Brooklyn Heights,New York neighborhood by mischievously switching personalities at critical moments. Since they were exact look-alikes,no one could tell them apart. The rest of the family consisted of the father figure Martin Lane(William Schallert),who was Patty's harried father, a newspaper editor for the New York Times;Natalie Lane(Jean Byron),the mother was the stay-at-home housewife who basically kept the kids at bay while daddy was away at work or whatever he was implied to doing. The 12-year old Ross Lane(Paul O'Keefe)was the younger brother,who was constantly at war with the girls and basically got blamed for everything that he didn't do but in just about every episode the girls get away with their mischief while poor Ross gets severely punished for something he didn't do,but was forgiven for it. Richard Harrison(Eddie Applegate)was Patty's boyfriend who was a part-time Western Union messenger(she liked men in uniform). If that is not all,Patty also had a rival who was always after the affections of Richard too,the underhanded Sue Ellen(Kitty Sullivan). The show itself was hilarious to boot with Patty coming up with one hair-brained scheme after another and of course always got in some kind of trouble with Cathy or Dad for help her out of a tight situation.
The show was so good that several guest stars made appearances. One episode I do recall had two of the hottest British musical acts of their day which was the hit recording duo of Chad and Jeremy. The others featured Bobby Vinton,teen heartthrobs Fabian and Frankie Avalon and not to mention appearances by Sammy Davis,Jr. really help the show's popularity among the teenage audience too. In filming some of the episodes for the show however was difficult since having one actress play two parts did present many problems during production especially when both girls were in the same scene. The young woman who served as Patty/Cathy's double,and was seen from the back as one girl while Patty Duke faced the camera as the other was Rita McLaughlin,who was the exact look-a-like complex of Miss Duke herself. In perspective, "The Patty Duke Show",brought out some of the things that teens in the 1960's faced especially when dealing with football games,parties,and other things of interest and this show handled that very well. However,a reunion of the original cast came back in 1999 for ABC however in a two hour television movie based on the hit series from the 1960's with Patty Duke again in the dual roles that made her a household name.
The Patty Duke Show stands as a testament to the acting ability of Patty Duke, who truly created two completely different characters as Patty and Cathy Lane. The stories, written in the main by Sidney Sheldon are heartwarming and typical of early 1960s sitcom scripts. William Schallert and Jean Byron were wonderful as Martin and Natalie, and wasn't Jean Byron one of the most gorgeous of all sitcom moms? Paul O'Keefe was suitably mischievous as little brother Ross, and Eddie Applegate was fine as the slightly oafish Richard Harrison, Patty's boyfriend (most of the time). Patty Duke herself was going through some really rough times during the filming of this show, and only in recent years has she been able to embrace what a good show it was and how truly good her performances were in it. How she escaped winning a best-actress Emmy for this show is beyond me. To this day there are those who still think that two actresses played these roles. Other actresses tried to emulate playing dual roles on their series, but Patty was absolutely the best at it. It must have been grueling work to essay two parts on a week-to-week basis. The series was filmed in New York for it's first two seasons because of the more relaxed child labor laws which allowed the producers to work Ms. Duke more hours than would have been possible if the show were filmed in California. The Patty Duke Show is fondly remembered by those who grew up watching it. It certainly holds up better than the current crop of sitcoms will in the future. And the theme song is maybe one of the all-time best.
I grew up on the Patty Duke show. I looked forward to coming home from school and watching it with my friends. We would take turns watching it at each other's houses. It had everything. It was funny. Some of the pranks were hilarious. It taught family values and, even if you didn't always see eye to eye all the time, how important your family was. The Patty Duke Show also taught morality. It showed kids how to have a good time just being with friends and family without any of the vices that kids unfortunately rely on today. It basically showed just how to enjoy being young. I have three teen-age boys. They love old music and old shows, and I just wish I had the opportunity to share this very special show with them. I would really appreciate it if you could bring it to TV Land.
I remember seeing this show for the first time about 4 years after it
stopped premiering. I fell in love with Cathy Lane. I really didn't
want to believe that she and Patty were in and of the same person.
There was even a board game at my house on Patty and Cathy. The
photographic scenes of the two cousins together were phenomenal for
that era. In the last scene of the first season Patty and Cathy
initially glare at each other and are actually seen pacing around each
other in disbelief. The rear stand-ins were average. At times you could
see the faces of the doubles.
The younger sibling, Ross, started out as a pranking brat of a brother. Eventually he segued into a closer relationship with Patty; although he never really had any bouts with his cousin Cathy. Patty's boyfriend Richard reminded me of a teen-aged Donald Hollanger (the boyfriend of Ann Marie--THAT GIRL). In spite of Patty's constant antics, he was often tolerant, understanding, and forgiving. Martin and Natalie Lane, Patty's ever forbearing parents, were ideal for a teenager like their daughter. Martin often gave Patty wise counsel while Natalie tended to be more understanding from a female point of view. Patty and Martin's most touching scene was in the 3rd season when Patty allegedly broke her curfew. Any explanation Patty could give fell on the deaf ears of her father, which caused a rift between the two. Her father finally realized Patty was telling the truth and the result was an emotional dialogue between father and daughter that made Patty Duke's acting stand head and shoulders above any actor her age at that time. Parenthetically her performance in that particular episode was probably a reflection of the difficult times she actually had growing up.
I thought the funniest episodes were when Cathy and Patty were in competition--whether it be for the affections of a boy or as class president. In the final season of TPDS we saw less of the character of Cathy...five episodes without her, to be exact. This was something I did not appreciate. But maybe Miss Duke was getting tired of the dual roles, which could have made it a challenge for her to find herself and discover her place in society.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are several reasons this series worked well, even though it is
evident in a lot of episodes that ABC did not invest much money in the
production. The First reason is the now late Patty Duke. In this show
she gets to play both sides of being a teenager, wild and crazy, and
prim and proper. As in real life Duke had a split personality disorder
of sorts, she makes this work to her advantage here.
The supporting cast is another strength here. William Schallert and others really helped bring this over. The show has a feel much like the original Disney Film - The Parent Trap- because it has a strong mother and father and 2 teenage girls who are really related, though not twins like the Disney movies, and they get into all kinds of trouble.
The teaming of Sidney Sheldon and William Asher (Bewitched meets I Dream of Jeannie) is a part of the success here too. While the writing is sometimes lacking, the direction and production are as good as any 1960's sitcom. It really did not hurt that Duke had won an Oscar before this got going as well.
The late William Schallert's Martin Lane character never hurt this show either. Somehow, if Patty and Cathy got into something too deep he would come along and fix things.
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