Route 66: Season 4, Episode 17

Cries of Persons Close to One (31 Jan. 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 12 users  
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Tod and Linc, driving along the Eastern Coast of Florida, make the acquaintance of an uneducated alcoholic boxer and his faithful girlfriend after a melee. While Tod is hardly sympathetic, ... See full summary »

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(as Allen Miner)

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(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Cries of Persons Close to One (31 Jan 1964)

Cries of Persons Close to One (31 Jan 1964) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
...
Tank
Ellen Madison ...
Gaybee
Michael Baseleon ...
Blair
Ken Strange ...
Motorcycle Policeman
Frank Tweddell ...
Schoolteacher
...
Penny Baker
...
Carhop
...
Mr. Newton
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Storyline

Tod and Linc, driving along the Eastern Coast of Florida, make the acquaintance of an uneducated alcoholic boxer and his faithful girlfriend after a melee. While Tod is hardly sympathetic, Linc is and after offering his help to the couple, Linc even goes as far as to substitute for the fighter in a boxing match! Written by dubchi

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Adventure

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Release Date:

31 January 1964 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
The Lost & Forgotten
6 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For this viewer the fourth season of Route 66 has rarely been up to the standards of seasons one and two. Things improve markedly here. As the episode opens up Tod & Linc are in Florida driving by the sea and their banter is crisp in the old style of Tod and Buz. Linc is trying to collect on a breakfast he is reasoning to Tod is owed him and if he orders breakfast at noon, well the hour of the day is irrelevant. Tod finds his argument persuasive enough to offer lunch wherein Linc believes it could be a bad deal because he gets his breakfast, but may well now be indebted to Tod for a lunch. Whew! Tarrantino would definitely see the charm in this.

So, Linc is about to get his lunch at stylish beach side drive-in when a fight in the parking lot among the local spoiled youth and our episodes protagonist ends in his being knocked unconscious...or just drunk? Turns out the young man is called Tank, played by the already seasoned TV actor 24-year old Michael Parks (Then Came Bronson), and he is perpetually drunk and in constant trouble as a result. His only lifeline to any normalcy is his faithful girlfriend Gaybee.

Linc, in his usual humanistic bleeding heart role offers to drive the couple to what turns out is the transient's livelihood, pick-up fights. As is also usual for the course Tod is entirely reticent to help and is angered over Linc's forcing his hand. Here is where it would be refreshing if the writers "pulled a 180". How imaginative would it be if Tod went into a bad situation wantonly? Nonetheless, Tod does get involved and finds out Tank's problem stems from an inferiority complex which started with his speech impediment that in-turn was likely labeled mental deficiency. His parents, tragically, took him out of school and the intervening years have been anything but kind. Tank has spiraled downward with no family or home save for the young gal who lived next door...she never left. Tank seems to be a hopeless case as he is already an advanced alcoholic. Why?, because when he drinks, before he loses control, he can then speak unencumbered by his stammering. Still he has no self-respect because of his lack of education and the drinking is a vicious circle.

On fight night Tank is, as expected, inebriated. Linc steps in his place and is taking his licks pretty well courtesy of a cock-sure Penny Baker (nice cameo by James Farentino), when all of the sudden Tank arrives at the ring and takes on everyone in a crazed brawl. Tank gets knocked out (his pattern, is he really a fighter?) and Linc gets paid which he in-turn gives Tank. Tank leaves alone looking for Gaybee. When he finds her there's a poignant scene where, perhaps inspired by an earlier dress-down intervention style talk given by Tod he shows his desire for redemption. That strong lecture by Tod prompted Tank to write (remember he can't read or write) "GOD" on a chalk board (alluding to the fact he isn't as lost as he appears). This was more powerful than it may sound reading about it so watch and see.

This episode was better and deeper than the bulk of the season four story lines. Things came together nicely, there's even a dream-like scene where the cinematographer uses inverse polarization for effect (it's crude by today's standards, but the gist of it works). Even if it not a must-see episode it stands out as a solid one in a season in need of, well, solid. No longer expecting the highs of the early years it nice to see the show still has some legs left. Now, here's hoping there is some lighter hearted travelogue episodes left before the show fades to black.


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