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I'll Fly Away (1991–1993)

TV Series  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 546 users  
Reviews: 20 user

Forrest Bedford is a Southern lawyer in the late 1950s, generally content with his privileged life. But the winds of change are blowing, and he becomes increasingly involved with civil ... See full summary »

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2   1  
1993   1992   1991  
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 31 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Forrest Bedford (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 Lilly Harper (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 Nathaniel 'Nathan' Bedford (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 Francie Bedford (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 John Morgan Bedford (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 Christina LeKatzis (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
Peter Simmons ...
 Paul Slocum (38 episodes, 1991-1993)
 Adlaine Harper (19 episodes, 1991-1993)


Forrest Bedford is a Southern lawyer in the late 1950s, generally content with his privileged life. But the winds of change are blowing, and he becomes increasingly involved with civil rights cases. Mean- while, Lilly Harper, who cares for his children, is on her own journey of political and personal awareness. Written by Cleo <frede005@maroon.tc.umn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

7 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Io volerò via  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The role of Nathaniel 'Nathan' Bedford was played in the pilot by Jason London. When the series was picked up for more episodes, Jason was already committed to filming The Man in the Moon (1991)'. He suggested that his twin brother, Jeremy, replace him in the series. However, Jason took over the role again in late 1993 for the series' two-hour conclusion ("I'll Fly Away: Then & Now") when Jeremy was shooting another project. See more »


[Francie and John Morgan are fighting in the back seat]
D.A. Forrest Bedford: If I have to stop this car somebody's going to regret it!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Danger!! Death Ray (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Second Best Show Ever
19 May 2006 | by (Morning Sun, Iowa) – See all my reviews

My comment is simple. My favorite TV show ever (and I go back to about 1962 or 63 for television) is "Homicide: Life on the Street." Number two is "I'll Fly Away." It's just a masterpiece. I believe this is the first "10" I've ever given anything.

It's been awhile, so I'll forget some characters' names, and I'm too lazy to hit the back button and open a new window here. The youngest son was one those exceedingly rare little-kid characters in television or movies who acts precisely his age, as opposed to an obnoxious seven-going-on-seventeen. Francie was adorable and winning as his older sister and, again, absolutely believable as being her correct age, and in going through the crises of her particular age.

The actress who played Lily (I've got to hit that back button), their "colored" maid and the center of the cast, was the gem of the show. As so often happens, though, she never seemed to get anywhere after "I'll Fly Away." I thought for sure we had a real up-and-comer there. (And as I recall, so did many critics).

And oh yes, Sam Waterston had a life before "Law & Order" for you kiddies out there. To a degree I still think of Jack McCoy as the guy from "I'll Fly Away." Nowadays on television, his character's relationship with Lily, the maid, would be riddled with politically correct sensibilities, which is to say it would be pandering, one-dimensional and cloying. But no, Waterston is not some cartoonishly "evolved" white good guy; he's a convincingly complex southern liberal in the 1950s. At any rate, the relationship between Lily and Waterston's character is rich to watch unfold.

Is it out there somewhere on DVD or video? If so, rent it and get caught up in it like you would an HBO series. The story lines are continuous for the most part. The ratings for "I'll Fly Away" were just about zero for the first of its two season, on ABC, but it was one of those occasional noble instances by a network where they renew a losing show purely on the basis of its unanimous critical acclaim.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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