07-21-09, 12:10 PM
I read Paul Mavis's DVD review of Route 66: Season Three, Volume One at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=37958 and to answer your question about Karloff.. yes, this was the last time he wore the Frankenstein monster make-up. There is a picture of the Route 66 make-up man using a picture of Karloff from "Son of Frankenstein" as a guide to how the monster should look!
07-21-09, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the info! I'm not an expert on Karloff, but I knew that had to be a special moment. Add to that Lorre and Chaney (in both Mummy and Wolfman makeup), and that's a hell of an important episode for classic monster lovers.
07-21-09, 02:34 PM
Last year, there was an issue (#142) of Video Watchdog that published a set of color behind-the-scene photos from that episode.
An excellent, excellent review of route 66, season 3, vol. 1. This series was unarguably the best written series ever to be broadcast on television. I'm old enough to have seen the show when it originally aired on CBS and have been collecting the DVD's (as painfully slow as they are being released).
The Stirling Silliphant scripts for the series were the best episodes, although a few others stand out, particularly in season four. It's a pleasure to read someone's thoughts on Silliphant's themes and the effort he took to fashion such emotionally gripping stories. As you say, there is nothing like it on television now, with most series locked into soap opera formats with three or four subplots running simultatneously, all treated superficially with no depth of understanding. Silliphant was a talented writer, an intellectual, and yet, as liberal as he was, he always presented two sides of every theme that the series dealt with. That dynamic tension made the show work.
In season four I think you'll find Silliphant actually reached his peak as a writer. Several standout scripts await your viewing pleasure, in particular, "The Stone Guest" and "The Cruelest Sea of All." But we still have to get through the second half of season three, and there are some real gems there as well ("shall forfeit his dog and ten shillings to the king.").
I visited the UCLA Charles Young Library in 1999 and inspected some of the Silliphant holdings there (65 boxes of scripts). The amount of writing he did that never got produced is staggering. He was a writing machine. That he could create so much good stuff is a tribute to his genius. My reseach in the archives resulted in a freelance article I sold to the Washington Post that summarized his life and career. It's in the Post's archives, dated, Jan. 4, 2000. At any rate, I'm looking forward to your future reviews of the show, and am curious to see your reaction to the incredible stories still to come.