Route 66: Season 2, Episode 4

Birdcage on My Foot (13 Oct. 1961)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 30 users  
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Tod and Buz, in Boston for a day of leisure,interrupt an odd acting man who is attempting to steal a Corvette. Buz, seeing the man is an addict, wants to drop the matter but Tod insists the... See full summary »

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Title: Birdcage on My Foot (13 Oct 1961)

Birdcage on My Foot (13 Oct 1961) on IMDb 8.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Arnie
Mike Kellin ...
Lieutenant Calder
Diana Millay ...
Charlotte Lee
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Storyline

Tod and Buz, in Boston for a day of leisure,interrupt an odd acting man who is attempting to steal a Corvette. Buz, seeing the man is an addict, wants to drop the matter but Tod insists the man be arrested. When it is confirmed the man is a junkie, Tod decides to try and get him clean. Buz has the burden fall on him. Written by dubchi

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Adventure

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13 October 1961 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

While Buzz and Todd are on the way out of town (away from the shrimp boats) they stop at place in the road where the water is quite close to the side of the road. Once out of the car they stand by the water talking. As the conversation continues some books float by. Todd says they are Charlotte's books; thrown over the side of her shrimp boat. The books are floating from above their direction of travel toward the direction they came from. Since these books are supposed to belong to Charlotte the direction of travel is all wrong. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Underside of High Society
10 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Route 66 had two particularly strong episodes back to back with the week prior (Goodnight, Sweet Blues) and this one, the fourth of the season, "Birdcage on My Foot". While the previous episode was heartwarming the opposite could be said here. Birdcage on My Foot begins as Tod and Buz arrive in Boston, a well heeled and mannered stylish example of New England charm as seen in the warming thaw of an approaching summer. As they park to meet their beautiful female friend for a country picnic a young street drug addict attempts to jack Todd's car. While Tod prevents the theft of his car he is alarmed by the strange behavior of the erstwhile car thief. A chase ensues and Tod subdues the man who is arrested. The only behavior stranger is Buz's reaction which is angry and urging Todd to forget charges even as the police lieutenant urges that the best thing for this "drug-addict" is jail. An argument follows to which, against police advice, Todd and his female friend agree to keep watch over the man until he detoxes from his use of heroin.

As much as the story doesn't seem rational, it is a warning of sorts that even in the finest communities there is a evil undercurrent whereby drugs threaten society. The message here seems to be that unless the drug addict is cared for and rehabilitated, as opposed to jail, the cycle can't be broken, a life will be wasted and society will only suffer greater damage That's pretty heavy for a show usually watched mostly for entertainment, but this is no usual episode as we are in for a early performance of Robert Duvall as the drug addled young man. Add to that an off the chart melodramatic performance by George Maharris in which we see why he has much anger toward a life trumped by drug use and the episode rises into another strong one, one with deeper meanings which are aimed at changing perceptions.

Maharris and Duvall are the key here as rarely is Buzz's angry young man persona used to better effect and Duvall, even as a green young actor, shows tremendous ability to inhabit a character. This episode stands as a pretty cool mirror of then current societal trends of ignoring a problem that can destroy a town, one which in the future is all too true. A recommended episode.


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