The large headgear on 90-pound novice Sister Bertrille, of the convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico, enables her to fly in any stiff breeze. Her gift enables her to aid others, whether they wish it or not. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The writer of the book "The Fifteenth Pelican", on which the series was based, was listed as "Tere Rios", which was the maiden name of the late Theresa Versace, mother of the late Humbert R. Versace, who grew up in Washington, D.C. with a Henry Martin (Hank) Buchanan, a brother of political commentator and perennial presidential candidate Patrick Joseph (Pat) Buchanan. Her son Humbert R. (Rocky) Versace was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on July 8, 2002 for service in Vietnam. See more »
Watching a show like "The Flying Nun" is like experiencing part of a 60's time capsule (in the best sense) because it's light years away from today's television fare. Starring the young Sally Field as a novice at the Convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico (who, incidentally, can fly) and co-starring such worthies as Madeleine Sherwood (as Mother Superior), Alejandro Rey (as playboy Carlos Ramirez) and Marge Redmond (as Sister Jacqueline), the makers of the show actually triumphed over its admittedly outrageous premise and crafted a series full of humor and heart. Field was ideally cast as Sister Bertrille (the former Elsie Etherington) who eventually wins over even the staid Mother Superior with her undeniable charm, high spirits and always good intentions. The gradual way in which she endears herself to The Reverand Mother (beautifully played by the gifted Sherwood) and the often exasperated Carlos, is unexpectedly moving. The show is beautifully photographed as well, and sports a truly lovely musical score. Marge Redmond (who served her convent apprenticeship as a Nun in "The Trouble With Angels" the year before), is a warm and wise sidekick for Sister Bertrille. There are several up-and-coming future stars as well. The first two seasons are now out on DVD and they have stood the test of time. It's easy to call the series just a throwback to a more innocent era, but there's more to it than that. Just watch the wonderfully touching episodes in the first season--the truly touching "Tonio's Mother", "The Dig-in" and "The Sister and the Old Salt". They tug at the heartstrings without being the least bit cloying. And for those who demand variety, there's "With Love From Irving" in which Sister Bertrille is stalked by a lovesick pelican! As a bonus, several episodes feature Field singing, something she did very well, and the songs are charming as a result. Vividly restored on DVD, "The Flying Nun" remains as enjoyable as ever--can't wait for season three!
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