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Route 66 - Season 1, Vol. 1


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Deal of the Week: Up to 62% Off "Monk: The Complete Series" on DVD and AIV
This 32-disc collection includes every episode from all 8 seasons with hours of behind-the-scenes bonus features, making Monk: The Complete Series a compulsively essential addition to any DVD obsessive’s collection. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Maharis
  • Directors: Arthur Hiller, George Sherman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Black & White, Collector's Edition, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Surround Sound, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Infinity Entertainment Group
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TV1SSS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,138 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Route 66 - Season 1, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The first 15 episodes on four discs
  • Classic original TV commercials
  • Filmographies of stars and special guests
  • Classic Corvette photo gallery and specs

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Now available on DVD for the first time, Route 66 has been digitally transferred from the original masters. The television series, which aired 1960-64, is one of the most brilliant dramas to emerge from the '60s, famous for its catchy Nelson Riddle theme song, intriguing characters, top-drawer writing and stellar guest appearances. The original "road trip" drama, this classic television series was one of the most highly rated of the era, establishing the Corvette as an American icon.

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Vintage TV buffs will get their kicks (you saw that one coming) from Route 66, the 1960 nomadic series that brought Beat-inspired wanderlust to primetime. Three years after the publication of Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Yale-educated Tod (Martin Milner) and his scrappy Hell's Kitchen-bred friend, Buzz (George Maharis), set off in search of America in Tod's awesome Corvette convertible, his sole possession following his once-wealthy father's death. Buz ("the kid with the punch") handles most of the scrapes the buddies get into as they take odd jobs and invariably become embroiled in the personal dramas of the people they meet, as in the pilot, when they arrive, unwanted, in a closed-off small town hiding a shameful secret.

Route 66 is perhaps best-known today for Nelson Riddle's classic cruising theme song (not the Nat "King" Cole tune), but nearly 50 years later, the series still runs like a top, with a vivid sense of place (the cross-country episodes were filmed on location) and dialogue that goes from cool banter ("Buz." one lunchtime pickup inquires, "is that your name or a high frequency?") to philosophical musings. Sterling Silliphant, who would go on to win an Academy Award for In the Heat of the Night, wrote the bulk of the literate, compelling scripts. The DVD box misleadingly pictures as guest stars Walter Matthau, Robert Redford, and Martin Sheen, who did appear during the series' run, just not in these first 15 episodes. But we do get Lee Marvin as a nasty rancher in "Sheba," Leslie Nielsen as a scientist who takes refuge in Carlsbad Caverns in anticipation of a bomb attack in "A Fury Slinging Flame," and E.G. Marshall as a misguided father in "Three Sides." There is unfortunately no star commentary, but this four-disc set gets some extra mileage from original commercials for Bayer Aspirin and Phillips Milk of Magnesia, and one touting the '61 Chevy Biscayne featuring William "Bub" Frawley and the kids from My Three Sons, and a Chevrolet Corevette photo gallery that should get classic car buffs' engines running. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

I look forward to seeing more of the series.
Lynn Ellingwood
Since this series was actually filmed all over the U.S., it is like an emotional and cerebral history lesson of where we were and where we are.
Stuart Morris
The format is easy to use and quality is excellent.
P. Paynter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Breyel on August 5, 2007
Verified Purchase
Wow! Route 66 on DVD. Finally, we get to cruise America with Tod (Martin Milner) and Buzz (George Marahis).

What can I say to convince you it's a `60s B&W series worth watching? Well, the vette is one thing, but it never overshadows the stories. Despite all the adventure, travelogue, drama and poetry this duo gets into, the real subject of the series was the human condition. Tod and Buz acted as observers and mentors to broken-down prizefighters and rodeo clowns, sadists and iron-willed matrons, surfers and heiresses, runaway kids and people from all walks of life, forced by circumstances to confront their demons.

While we may only get Route 66 Season 1 in Volumes 1 and 2 as some reviewers have indicated, this is what we have to look forward to in the first year (October 1960 to June 1961):

Episode 1 -- "Black November" -- Car trouble strands Tod and Buz in a small town with a terrible secret.

Episode 2 -- "A Lance of Straw" -- Tod and Buz sign on to crew a shrimp boat, despite the objections of the female captain's boyfriend.

Episode 3 -- "The Swan Bed" -- Tod and Buz meet a girl in New Orleans during a parrot fever epidemic.

Episode 4 -- "The Man on the Monkey Board" -- Tod and Buz meet a Nazi-hunter and his quarry on an offshore oil rig.

Episode 5 -- "The Strengthening Angels" -- Tod and Buz try to help a migrant worker who is in trouble with the local sheriff.

Episode 6 -- "Ten Drops of Water" -- Devastated by drought, three orphaned ranchers need Tod, Buz and the Corvette.

Episode 7 -- "Three Sides" (aka Three Sides of a Coin) -- Tod and Buz get involved in family strife while working for an Oregon hop farmer.
Read more ›
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Caesar M. Warrington on March 14, 2008
Sorry friends and readers, I know it's a bit shopworn but I couldn't resist the title. I assure you, however, that this TV series remains far from stale.

Inspired by the wanderlust of Kerouac and mainstream America's discovery of the beat subculture, ROUTE 66 ran from 1960 to 1964 and was television's first road trip drama. Similar to David Janssen's THE FUGITIVE, each episode would have the all-American Tod Stiles (Martin Milner) and his hipster companion Buz Murdock (George Maharis; replaced in mid-1963 by Glenn Corbett as the haunted army vet Lincoln Case) traveling Route 66 in their blue Corvette, getting involved with the lives and problems of the people they'd encounter on the road.

Although some of today's viewers might find Buz's "hip lingo" to be over-the-top, one should understand that he is a beatnik and he talks like a beatnik. Throughout ROUTE 66's four year run, Stirling Silliphant (VILLAGE Of The DAMNED, IN The HEAT Of The NIGHT, TOWERING INFERNO, POSEIDON ADVENTURE, DIRTY HARRY) was the main scriptwriter, earning the series its well-deserved reputation for quality writing. Nelson Riddle did the show's opening theme, which became a Top 30 hit.

Included in this 4-disc collection is the first half of the first season, containing 15 episodes (guest starring Walter Matthau, Darren McGavin, Lee Marvin, Leslie Nielsen and Jack Warden, among others), along with extras featuring original commercials and the featurette "History of the Corvette." The rest of the first season can be found on the recently released Season 1: Volume 2.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Carter on July 19, 2007
This is one of the best-written anthology shows ever to appear on television (thank you, Stirling Silliphant). Let's hope Roxbury responds to the fan's reaction of this set and does the presentation right by better remastering future volumes and adding interviews with Martin Milner (Tod) and George Maharis (Buz), both still alive and kicking.

Buz and Tod tooled around in a (60'-64') Corvette leading us into the lives of locals all over the country. The show was actually shot on location on the road, as opposed to Fox TV's recent road series disaster, "Drive" (shot on one bad patch of road in So. Cal. subbing for Florida and Georgia!) Episodes focused on boozy broads married to domineering husbands, tormented artists (Jack Lord channeling Chet Baker), and kooky kittens (purr, Julie Newmar, purr).

I ran into George Maharis at a restaurant in Santa Monica a while back when Nick At Night was replaying the series, and just had to go over and congratulate him on the show. He beamed like a proud peacock, wearing a blue blazer, neck scarf, and a wig that still matched his Buz-do. I said, "You must have been on top of the world at 25 in your own series having adventures all over America." He was, and he had some great stories to tell behind the scenes.

Let's hope some of them end up on a future volume of this series on DVD.

Hollywoodaholic: Confessions of a Screenwriter
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Chris D. VINE VOICE on July 20, 2007
UPDATE: The quality on some of the episodes lacks the quality of Season 1 Part 2 which is excellent except for the widescreen formatting they used. You can tell when they used original films versus washed out and barely audible video tapes in Season 1 Vol 1. Just keep that in mind. At least it is in 4:3 format.

Finally someone is listening! First the Fugitive and now Route 66! Television with meaning. I guess it was well worth the wait for the studios to get all the crap out of their system so they could start releasing the real quintessential jewels of American television.
This show was so innovative for its time - It was shot on location around the country. The entire cast and crew literally travelled from one spot to the next and filmed each episode. This would be so cost prohibitive today, and a show like this would probably be cancelled after one episode anyway with today's TV execs - especially that one at the CW!

Anyway, this is a legitimate, proper Season release (granted it is in two parts) of my all time absolute favorite television show ever!
It is released by the same people who did the 11 episodes disc, which had great video quality, kept all of the bumpers, commercials and previews for the next week intact. You couldn't ask for more. If they release all seasons of this great series, I swear I will never watch current television again. THIS SHOW IS WHERE IT'S AT CATS!
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Season 1, Volume 2 coming February 5, 2008
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