Two-time Academy Award®-winner Sally Field (1984, Actress in a Leading Role, Places in the Heart), flies in and out of trouble as Sister Bertrille in this classic and timeless series. Always with benevolent aims, Sister Bertrille gets into all kinds of hysterical situations and manages to get in trouble with Sister Jaqueline (Marge Redmond), with the Reverend Mother Superior (Madeleine Sherwood) and with a local clubowner, Carlos Ramirez (Alejandro Rey). From being mistaken for enemy aircraft to having a pelican fall in love with her to disrupting a meeting of mobsters, Sister Bertrille constantly manages to find herself in precarious and hilarious situations.
Sally Field parlayed her winsome TV personality honed in Gidget
into the unlikely hit The Flying Nun
from 1967 to 1970. Field plays Sister Bertrille, a 90-pound novice nun assigned to a crumbling convent in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the gusty winds and her order's seagull-shaped headgear combine to give her the ability to zoom around the Caribbean helping her fellow sisters and the kids attending their school. While most of us remember the flying part--and what a great fantasy for kid viewers, especially--the gist of the series focused more about Sister Bertrille's naiveté and of her youthful determination to make changes in her stuffy convent. Sister Bertrille provides a lot of fish-out-of-water appeal, and the supporting cast is extremely likable, including the narrator, Sister Jacqueline (the great character actress Marge Redmond), and a young Shelley Morrison, who plays the American-slang-mangler Sister Sixto ("She's sharp as a tick!"), and who would go on to play poker-faced Rosario on Will & Grace
. Sister Bertrille's character also owes more than a nod to Maria von Trapp; she even gets the orphan students out of their scratchy uniforms and into comfier duds, though admittedly not made of Austrian drapes. The scrapes Sister Bertrille gets into are pretty standard '60s sitcom fare, but Field's sweet earnestness gives the show appeal beyond the sum of its pieces. --A.T. Hurley