"Route 66" Same Picture, Different Frame (TV Episode 1963) Poster

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5/10
When Love Kills
AudioFileZ17 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Want to see a later day Joan Crawford performance? Well, this isn't the great showcase you might hope for. Season four finds Route 66 struggling to weave some of it's magic and there's hope that a former screen icon may help. Only thing is the whole affair is hobbled by a dark and unmoving story.

Tod and Linc find themselves working at a dated historic Polish Springs Hotel and Resort with Tod assuming the role of the social director and Linc being the youth director. Joan Crawford stars as an aging woman of some social standing who has returned home to spend her later years where it all started for her. She is a dark complicated lady who never got the life she envisioned when she left with the young man who romanced and wed her only to wreck both of their lives. Linc is immediately drawn to her in a strange attraction where he seems to want to be a type of savior in her healing. He gets his chance as Morgan's estranged husband returns in a very creepy way. He seems to want to paint the masterpiece with her as the subject standing by a furnace no less, one that he fires up every chance he gets. In his quest to get his paramour in the right backdrop he ends up stalking her and killing a man in the process. The writers try for some comic relief with Tod staying busy fending off a young sixteen-ish gal who is vacationing with her parents to no avail - neither in the way of comic relief or a relationship that makes any sense. Sound convoluted? It most certainly is and in that there is no compelling entertainment despite some scenic and historic Poland Springs landmarks.

One thing is certain and that is Sterling Silliphant is fearless in his attempt to write heavy themes into Route 66. Mostly, throughout the previous three seasons he has succeeded, but when it falls flat, as it does here, it really lands with a "thud". To her credit, Joan Crawford plays the part she is given with sincerity, but, ultimately, her performance fails flat due to the script she is handed. Noteworthy only due to her appearance this episode is otherwise not recommended, particularly not for casual viewing.
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10/4/63 "Same Picture, Different Frame"
schappe18 January 2016
This is likely the first episode filmed for the fourth season. They are in Poland Springs Maine, (which gets credited in this and the next episode, "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are" as well as the fifth episode shown this year, "Build Your House With Their Backs to the Sea"). There is a very lengthy thread by a man named Robert Spears that is still on the message board for this series. Mr. Spears was working at Poland Springs when the company arrived to prepare for and film the episode and he has some interesting observations about his experiences and what the cast members were like when they were there, including a link to some on-set pictures:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053534/board/flat/41570440?p=1 He was involved with preparing the scenes in the boy's bunkhouse and the residence Joan Crawford, Glenn Corbert and the Sheriff's Deputy are riding toward when they get shot at. He also prepared the semi- comic brawl scene in "Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are". A great book could be written about the residents of the mostly small towns the series filmed their episodes in across America and what they remember about the filming.

Crawford plays a woman who should obviously be about 20 years younger than the actress is, (she was about 60 at the time: like many actresses, determining her actual age is like trying to catch a butterfly). Her jealous lover is played by Patrick O'Neal, who was 36 at the time. He's a deranged artist who first discovered her as a young actress 20 years before, (an element introduced to cover Crawford's age but she would have been about 40 even then). She became his muse and his paintings reflect his ever-changing feeling about her. She got scared by his obsessiveness and in a struggle, he lost the sight in one eye. She's come home in an attempt to evade him but he shows up. She's gotten to know Linc, a camp counselor and he tries to help her. They both wind up captives of the by now totally deranged O'Neal.

Todd has another job at Poland Springs he never seems to be doing. Instead, he's comically pursued by a teenage girl with a crush on him. He never gets directly involved with Linc's story. His scenes are supposed to be comic relief but they hardly go with the over- wrought main story.
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