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"Route 66" Fly Away Home: Part I (1961)

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Legendary episode of a legendary show

Author: Joseph Harder from warren michigan
20 July 2011

I had heard about Route 66 for years, however, like other shows of the Golden Age of TV, it was inaccessible to me. Thanks to Retro TV, I have just discovered how good it was. One or two of the episodes I have seen have been weak, at least one, ( "A Fury Slinging Flame") , was so far-fetched it bordered on camp. However, others from the first season. ( "Play It Glissando", "Ten Drops of Water", "Strengthening Angels", "Three Sides") have been gripping drama, sometimes with moral and spiritual overtones. One ( " Sleep On Four Pillows") was hilarious.

However, the real highlight of the season so far has been "Fly Away Home.". TV Guide once listed it among the fifty best TV episodes of all time. On seeing it, I would say they were right. Michael Rennie and Dorothy Malone were both magnificent. Our boys, Tod and Buz act more as a chorus to the unfolding tragedy, but that does not render the episode any less gripping, or less vividly written by Silliphant. I have only one complaint. The good folks at retro only showed the second part of the two-part episode. I would love to see both parts someday.

I hope Retro will get around showing to certain other unseen classic shows from The Golden Age. I am thinking of a certain show about an abrasive, dedicated brain surgeon, a certain show about a compassionate but frustrated social worker, and above all, a show about a conscientious, crusading state legislator. Of course, none of these shows had a cool red Corvette.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

2/10-17/61 "Fly Away Home"

Author: schappe1 from N Syracuse NY
12 April 2015

As another reviewer has pointed out TV Guide once ranked the top 50 episodes of TV Series ever and Route 66's "Fly Away Home" made that list. I can't rank it that high but it's a good episode, (a two parter). The memorable thing about it is the performance of Michael Rennie as a pilot who has seen so many colleagues die and yet survived himself that he views himself as a jinx. He's working as a crop duster now for a firm that is barely surviving. They have an offer for a very dangerous run- sulfur- from a local farmer, (Ford Rainey). The firm's owner, who is the widow of Rennie's former partner who died in a flaming crash, turns him down even if they might have to go out of business. Rennie finally agrees to do the run and meets the fate he has been longing for.

It probably could have been a one hour show. It's padded by the appearance of Rennie's ex-wife, a lounge singer played by Dorothy Malone, whom Buz also falls for. There's another subplot about the owner, (played by Cathy Lewis, who I'd never heard of), coming to terms with her husband's death. She somehow retains hope that he'll suddenly fly overhead, buzzing the field and land triumphantly for a romantic reunion. Jenny Maxwell, (who had her own sad meeting with fate twenty years later when she and her husband were killed in a robbery), plays still another sexy girl coming of age who flirts with Tod and wants her mother to give up the business so they can have some fun. But in the end, it's all about Rennie's character and his haunted performance.

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