Route 66: Season 1, Episode 20

Like a Motherless Child (17 Mar. 1961)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure
8.4
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Tod and Buz, driving through Nevada, pick up an orphan hitchhiking. Tod insists he be returned to the orphanage. Buz, both unhappy and angry, separates from Tod. On his own now, Buz looks ... See full summary »

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Title: Like a Motherless Child (17 Mar 1961)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Hannah Ellis
...
Jake Hunter
...
Ina
Benedict Herrman ...
Martin (as Brad Herrman)
Nina Vaughn ...
Liz (as Mina Vaughn)
Joyce Horne ...
Peg
Chris Carter ...
Theresa
Barbara Hines ...
Frieda
Rodney Bell ...
Chuck
...
Alley Golden
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Storyline

Tod and Buz, driving through Nevada, pick up an orphan hitchhiking. Tod insists he be returned to the orphanage. Buz, both unhappy and angry, separates from Tod. On his own now, Buz looks to fill his loneliness and meets a motherly lady. He finds her sad life includes alcoholism over regret for a long lost son. Written by dubchi

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Adventure

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17 March 1961 (USA)  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The Reno City Council voted in September 1999 to demolish the Mapes Casino and Hotel over the strong objections of area preservationists and historians. On the wintry Super Bowl Sunday morning of January 30, 2000, Clauss Construction imploded the building. It was the first building since 1949 to be demolished that was on the National Register of Historic Places. See more »

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3/17/61: "Like a Motherless Child"
15 April 2015 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

This is a very personal episode for Tod and Buz. It even results in their temporarily splitting up. They are driving along in good spirits when they encounter a child walking along an open road. They pick him up, intending to return him to his parents. At first they have some good-natured fun with him in the car. But things get deadly serious when they find that he escaped from an orphanage. Buz came from an orphanage and it was not a good place to be. He refuses to be a party to returning the child to his orphanage. Tod feels they have a responsibility to return him. No matter how bad it is, it's better than the kid being out on his own, (he seems to be about 10 and they picked him up in the desert). Strangely, Tod never asks Buz what his alternative plan would be. Instead they just argue angrily and Buz gets out of the car and leaves, hitch-hiking down the road.

Then the main story commences. Buz gets a job at a livestock auction and rents a small trailer next to that of the head of a group of showgirls, played by Sylvia Sydney. They strike up a friendship. And he becomes concerned with her emotional well-being, especially since the owner of the troupe, played by Jack Weston, is cruel to her. Meanwhile Tod gets a job at the same auction, (it's the only source of employment in the town), and tries to make-up with Buz. Tod finds out where Sylvia and the girls are working. It's presented in a mild fashion this being 1961 television. But it's obviously a dive where their primary product is sex appeal. Tod, with the morality of the times, decides that means that Sylvia is bad news for Buz and takes him to see the place, where Sylvia is entertaining patrons at the bar. Buz is repulsed by this but even moreso by Tod and they have a fight in the parking lot that ends with mutual exhaustion and a reconciliation. But Buz doesn't give up on Sylvia, breaking her down gently until she confesses that she's haunted by the fact that she gave up her only child year ago and has never had the opportunity to be a mother. This anticipates the ending of my favorite episode of the series, "The Mudnest" from Season 2.

James Rosin's book says that "Before leaving with Tod, Buz is pleased to find that Martin, (the boy they found), has found happiness at the orphanage." There's no scene depicting this in the episode on my DVD. It would have been a nice ending.


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