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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1993   1992   1991  
Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 31 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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)
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Storyline

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>

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Drama

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7 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Io volerò via  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

In the 2013 book "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad", David Chase (a writer and executive producer on "I'll Fly Away" before creating The Sopranos) recalled his impatience with some of the network's strategies for marketing the show, especially NBC airing commercials featuring Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World." "If I'd had a gun, I would have killed somebody. What fucking wonderful world? Ku Klux Klan, Mississippi civil rights workers being murdered, housewives from Detroit being gunned down in their car, black kids being lynched? They were trying to sell a series about human pain as a cute story about some cute little boy and his nanny. And it fucking made me want to puke." See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Followed by I'll Fly Away: Then and Now (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Sam Waterston Fan-for-life
1 April 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is my first posting to IMDb, so I had to make it for one of the truly outstanding TV series ever. What incredible television. To Kill a Mockingbird with layers of complexity due to very human interaction, sometimes sympathetic, sometimes not, but always moving. It was serious, without a sense of humor, and shown in the kiss-of-death Friday evening time slot; a veritable recipe for failure.

Those reviews that pan the show for not being true to a particular interpretation---as if every household must hew to the same story line---of civil rights history do history and storytelling an injustice. The show is simply the story of a household set against the backdrop of the civil rights era south. Forrest Bedford (Waterston) has put his wife into a sanitarium, cheats on her at least once, treats his black maid somewhat tyrannically, tries to be a good D.A., and occasionally gets it right. Neither Atticus Finch nor KKK. The maid, Lilly Harper (Taylor), is mostly a governess to Bedford's three children: an older son (London) who plays the role of naive white do-gooder whom Lilly doesn't much care for, a spoiled middle daughter who can be oblivious to what's going on around her, and a younger son who, to Lilly's own surprise, has Lilly's heart. Lilly herself leads a double life: maid-governess to a white lawyer's family, civil rights worker and single mother at home; and these lives are very separate. Sometimes Lilly's life in the civil rights movement intersects with Forrest's life as DA, and the result is extraordinary because of the private experiences of both in the same Bedford household! As complex as real life indeed. Who cares if it's real history. I can get real history elsewhere.

I told my grad school apartment-mate about it at the time, and we both ended up glued to the television Friday evening for two years. We may have had better things to do at the time, but we didn't. The series was aired on PBS a year or so later with a two-hour "what-happened-down-the-road" episode added to the end. I'm moved thinking about it to this day, especially the relationship between Lilly and the little boy, John Morgan---best described as a young Bobby Kennedy---which was at once endearing and difficult.

Watch it and be redeemed. Truly a masterpiece that couldn't emerge from the muddle. Because of this show I've been a Sam Waterston fan ever since, although his character on Law & Order is very one-dimensional by comparison. I wish Regina Taylor had done more since.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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