Posted by: Gregoryno6 | July 4, 2012

Bonus for the Fourth: Australians explore Route 66.

Craig Hill does it with words.

Stu at YelPar does it with pictures.

And I can offer – you can guess what.

Last year I tracked down year one and two of Route 66 the tv series, which actually had bugger all to do with the highway. As the producers said, the title was more about a state of mind: travel, adventure, self-discovery. Not every episode was riveting viewing, but there were compensations. One was the chance to play Name That Face. Known and future stars of the time featured most weeks. The very first episode featured George Kennedy, Keir Dullea – who went on to win an argument with a nutcase computer – and little Patty McCormick. Who had grown up nicely from her days as a Bad Seed. Patty featured here a while ago as the Anti-Pinup. She joined Martin and George in two episodes; in her second, she made a cute prototypical Blues Brother.

I can’t remember now what was happening in this scene to put that look on her face. Considering that there were two guys in the room… best to leave it all alone.

Today the series is an invaluable window on the past. It was filmed on location all across North America. For that alone it held my attention; the series premiered on tv in the US just a few months before I was born, and seeing people and their everyday lives in the towns and cities of the US as they were was a step back in time. I imagine that most of Australia looked very much the same.

Milner and Maharis did become fairly stereotyped in their roles as wandering do-gooders, but their friendship had an easy charm about it. George got most of the ‘heavy’ speeches. And, since it was the 60s, nearly every episode had a fight scene. Rather like another series that followed just a few years later.

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