Home » Photos » George Maharis, Route 66, "A Month of Sundays," 1961

George Maharis, Route 66, "A Month of Sundays," 1961

George Maharis, Route 66,

Route 66
Season 2, Episode 1, "A Month of Sundays"
Original television broadcast aired on September 22, 1961

The two handsome young stars of the acclaimed road-trip drama "Route 66" were Martin Milner (December 28, 1931 - September 6, 2015) and George Maharis (b. September 1, 1928), who played the two young drifters driving across America in their Chevrolet Corvette convertible during the early 1960's. Maharis was nominated for an Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) Emmy for his role as Buz Murdock.

Guest cast member in this episode included Anne Francis (September 16, 1930 - January 2, 2011), Conrad Nagel, Betty Garde, and Rodney Bell.

Episode recap, via IMDb:
Tod and Buz, in Butte, Montana working as laborers in a copper mine, meet a beautiful girl at their rooming house. She is a local girl who has made it big and has mysteriously come home despite being the star of a current hit on Broadway. Buz quickly falls in love with her and becomes serious. Tod knows her dark secret.

This episode was filmed on location in Butte, Montana, including St. Lawrence O'Tooles's Parrish and Berkeley Copper Mine Pit.

Summary of the show, via IMDb:
Only fiction series written and shot all over North America. Two young adventurers in a Corvette explore early 1960's social problems and changing mores, looking for the right place to settle down while seeking themselves. Debuting 3 years after "On the Road" transformed modern literature, while such newly available fast cars dominated the new teenage culture, Tod, an Ivy Leaguer, and Buz, an orphan from Hell's Kitchen, cruise the U.S.A. coping with shifting relationships and lifestyles. The FCC's Newton Minow characterized U.S. TV as a "vast wasteland," in 1961, but "Route 66" found important, compelling stories all over.
 
Sterling Silliphant, who won an Oscar for writing "In the Heat of the Night," traveled around the U.S. and Canada scouting locales, while writing ¾ of the very dark, literate show's episodes - a feat only Rod Serling matched with "The Twilight Zone." Soon, a crew of 50 arrived at the location. Shows were filmed in 40 States.
 
Tod, from a once-wealthy family, inherited only a Corvette when his father died, so he and Buz (suddenly jobless because he worked for Tod's father's company) strike out across North America, especially along the iconic Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. which the Okies traveled. Tod and Buz take local jobs (such as shrimping, shipbuilding, oil rigging) to support their wanderings. The 2 socially conscious knights of the road, encourage, champion, and learn from oppressed and troubled people they encounter. 1962 guest star Ethel Waters was the first African-American woman nominated for an Emmy Award. The CBS show doubled Corvette sales its first season. Tod and Buz's beige Corvette's 2 seats meant "sans souci" and constant movement, so shows were shot in 6 days, in a new city almost every week.
 
The two drifters reject the post-war American Dream of the suburbs, while exploring a disappearing North America with very diverse local culture, not yet dominated by international franchises and cookie-cutter suburbs. The shows' vibrate with the new dreams for a Great Society and the fears of the Cold War. The volatile Buz Murdock was cast quickly, while Martin Milner beat out Robert Redford for the Tod Stiles role. Due to hepatitis, Maharis did not appear in the series' last 1 ½ seasons.
 
The show grew from a pilot on creator Silliphant and Route 66 producer Herbert B. Leonard's "Naked City," also shot on location. "Naked City" and "Route 66" bridged the widely varied anthologies and live plays of the 1950's Golden Age of Television, to the much cheaper, 1-hour dramatic, set -based series, which continue to rule prime-time. Nelson Riddle's atmospheric "Theme from Route 66" and his episode scores factored heavily in the show's allure. The breezy song "Route 66, written by Bobby Troup (of the 1970's TV series "Emergency!"), a 1946 Nat King Cole hit, wasn't used for the series. A sequel to Route 66 appeared in 1993, but lasted only 4 episodes.


********
Fair Use Doctrine; if you use this photo, please provide attribution credit; not for commercial use (see Creative Commons license).

(read more)

Photo taken on 9 April 2019 (© classic_film / Flickr)

Related tags :
 route 66, tv, television, drama, 1961, sixties, 1960s, añejo, alt, american, america, americana, retro, vintage, época, entertainment, classic, clásico, george maharis, actor
 

Clásico Photos