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on April 30, 2006
"The Flying Nun", which premiered in late 1967 has always been a great favourite of mine and really was one of the last of the fantasy comedies which had their heyday in the 1960's. Following on from such legendary shows as the classic "Bewitched", "I Dream of Jeannie", and "The Munsters", this situation comedy about a young novice nun who could fly benefited from not only a totally charming premise but boasted a cast lineup that was second to none. Despite having a popular success with the short lived "Gidget" television series the previous year it was "The Flying Nun", beginning in 1967 that really brought stardom to a very young Sally Field in the role of the perky and often trouble plagued Sister Bertrille. Despite her own misgivings about her involvement in the series Sally Field was perfect casting in the lead role of the air borne nun and with her spunky energetic playing she charmed an entire generation of television watchers, myself included. Ably supported by Madeleine Sherwood as the stern but caring Mother Superior, the delightful Marge Redmond as Sister Jacqueline; Sister Bertrille's accomplice in many crazy schemes, and Shelley Morrison as the English mangling Sister Sixto; these women managed to present comical yet dignified interpretations of women working in the service of God that where above all else extremely likeable. "The Flying Nun", also managed to combine with its broad sitcom humour many moments of great warmth and emotion and really succeeded in humanizing much of the great work carried out by nuns.

The "Complete First Season" of "The Flying Nun", contains all 29 episodes of the 1967-1968 season plus the original pilot which introduces all the characters and the locales that we grew to know so well over the three seasons that the show ran. I believe that all of the episodes maintain a high standard thanks to the talented cast and there definitely some standouts that help illustrate the great charm that this series held for viewers in the late 1960's. Some of my favourites are "Ah Love, Could You And I Conspire", a very funny story about the nuns taking a gangster's girlfriend under their protection with hilarious results. "The Dig In", where Sister Bertrille matches wits with a cynical escaped prisoner, the beautiful "Wailing in a Winter Wonderland", which is a touching Christmas story where Sister Bertrille goes to great lengths to make an elderly Nun's last wish come true, and "The Sister and the Old Salt", where Sister Bertrille becomes the inspiration to an old man who has a very big dream he wants to fulfill. One episode "The Reconversion of Sister Shapiro", which tells of a young jewish girl who wants to be just like Sister Bertrille even contains some clips from Sally Field's previous series "Gidget", in a showing of "old home movies", where Sister Bertrille tries to point out to the young girl the need to live a bit and have some fun before making serious plans about what to do with your life. These and other episodes all contain nice little morals in among their humour which often surprisingly make them quite timely even for today's audiences. In the accompanying interview with Sally Field which is the only extra on the DVD Sally Field talks of her difficulty in working on the series at a time when the world was changing so quickly and certainly this series along with possibly "The Brady Bunch", was really the last of the "cute" series to be produced near the end of the 1960's decade before more harder edged programs such as "MASH", and "All in the family", took television off in a totally different direction. For nostalgia buffs like myself however these fantasy series of the 1960's will always hold special places in our hearts and I never tire of the escapades of the bubbly Sister Bertrille and the Nuns of the Convent San Tanco.

A popular target for those strange books by even stranger authors highlighting supposedly the worst television shows of all time "The Flying Nun", generally makes their "lists", on a regular basis. Often joined by the likes of "My Mother the Car" and "Gilligan's Island", I've often wondered about these people's lack of ability to look beyond the wild premise of the show to see all the great work that went on in the creation of shows like "The Flying Nun". Considering the poor standards on present day television viewers could do alot worse than the harmless antics of Sister Bertrille and her fellow sisters at the Convent San Tanco. For a journey back to a far more innocent time on television "The Flying Nun", makes essential viewing and never fails to leave a big smile on my face at the end of each episode. Hopefully Seasons Two and Three will follow this first season release soon onto DVD so that we can enjoy in full the funny antics of Sally Field and her friends in properly restored prints of this special little series. Enjoy!
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HALL OF FAMEon March 12, 2006
Part of the exclusive Screen Gems stable at ABC, THE FLYING NUN completed a triptych of female fantasy shows that had been developed at the network. "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie" were still big ratings winners when THE FLYING NUN joined the line-up in 1967.

Based on the writings of Tere Rios, the show told the story of a young Bostonian novice nun called Elsie Ethrington (Sally Field), aka Sister Bertrille, who travels to the Puerto Rican island of San Juan for her first posting at the Convent San Tanco. Sister Bertrille discovers on the windswept island that she has the uncanny ability to fly, thanks to her light physique and the aerodynamic qualities of her cornette. Sister Bertrille attempts to keep her airborne activities under control but the sparky novice always has a nose for trouble, as San Juan's most eligible playboy Carlos Ramirez (Alejandro Rey), the Reverend Mother Plaseato (Madeleine Sherwood), Sister Jacqueline (Marge Redmond) and Sister Sixto (Shelley Morrison) will all soon discover!

Following the premature folding of the ABC-Screen Gems "Gidget" sitcom (also now available in it's entirety on DVD), producers quickly cast Sally Field as the charming Sister Bertrille, cementing her place as one of the most promising young actresses of her generation. Her performance as San Tanco's effervescent and airborne nun earned Field legions of fans. THE FLYING NUN would run for 3 seasons earning great acclaim for Field, the cast and writers who managed to keep a dignified and reverent tone to the series while still remaining true to the sitcom mode which the show was presented in. During most of it's original run on ABC, THE FLYING NUN was featured in a line-up with "Bewitched" and "That Girl".

The first season sets up the characters and scenarios which would blossom and grow in the seasons ahead. The hour-length pilot episode also spawned a hit single, a folk style song Bertrille and the orphan children sing called "Felecidad". Other choice episodes include "Ah Love, Could You and I Conspire?" where Sister Bertrille and the nuns attempt to hide a ditzy moll called Bobbye Starr (Maureen Arthur) from the clutches of her gangster boyfriend; "The Fatal Hibiscus" where Sister Bertrille's future at San Tanco comes under question from the Reverend Mother; and "With Love from Irving" where Sister Bertrille attracts the unwanted affections from a lovelorn pelican. In "The Patron of Santa Thomasina", Sister Bertrille and Sister Jacqueline must use their powers of charm to soothe the angry feud between two neighbouring villages; and the moving "Tonio's Mother" where Sister Bertrille heals the rift between a young boy and his prospective new stepmother.


"The Flying Nun" (Pilot) - Sister Bertrille arrives on the island of San Juan and quickly sets about changing the convent's structured lifestyle.

"The Convert" - Disobeying orders, Sister Bertrille flies for the good of the convent.

"Old Cars for New" - Sister Bertrille and Carlos turn the tables on a used car-dealer.

"A Bell for San Tanco" - Sister Bertrille and Carlos salvage a sunken bell for the convent.

"The Fatal Hibiscus" - The nuns learn that Sister Bertrille is leaving and they think she is dying.

"Flight of the Dodo Bird" - Despite training in psychology, a young priest can't cope with the problems of San Tanco.

"Polly Wants a Crack in the Head" - Sister Bertrille tries to find a home for Junior, a salty-tongued parrot.

"Ah Love, Could You and I Conspire?" - A gangster's girlfriend takes refuge in the convent.

"Days of Nuns and Roses" - The Sisters try to raise money by bottling sea grape juice.

"With Love from Irving" - A lovesick pelican causes difficulty between Mother Superior and Sister Bertrille.

"It's an Ill Wind" - Flying important papers to Mother Superior, Sister Bertrille interrupts a mobsters' meeting.

"Young Man with a Cornette" - A little orphan feels he can fly if he wears Sister Bertrille's cornette.

"The Patron of Santa Thomasina" - Sister Bertrille, caught between rival villages, is mistaken for a saint.

"If You Want to Fly, Keep Your Cornette Dry" - Sister Bertrille and her first-graders get lost in a storm while on a picnic.

"The Dig-In" - Sister Bertrille is trapped in a mine with an escaped prisoner.

"Wailing in a Winter Wonderland" - An aged nun longs for a white Christmas and Sister Bertrille is determined to grant her wish.

"With a Friend Like Him" - Sister Bertrille helps accident-prone Brother Paul fix up the convent library.

"Tonio's Mother" - A little boy believes Sister Bertrille is his mother returning from heaven.

"A Fish Story" - Flying aloft, Sister Bertrille becomes a fish-spotter for an old fisherman.

"Hot Spell" - To save his casino from gangsters, Carlos turns it over to the convent.

"My Sister, the Sister" - Carlos falls for Sister Bertrille's sister.

"The Sister and the Old Salt" - Sister Bertrille saves an old landlubber when he sets out on a 1000-mile voyage.

"Cyrano de Bertrille" - Sister Bertrille makes a case for adult education, with an elderly grocer as her first pupil.

"The Reconversion of Sister Shapiro" - A little Jewish girl decides to become a nun just like Sister Bertrille...

"Where There's a Will" - The convent inherits a prizefighter who hates to fight.

"The Puce Alert" - Facing court-martial for high living during Marine Reserve manoueveres, Carlos is saved by Sister Bertrille.

"May the Wind Be Always At Your Back" - A homely teenager gets a crush on Carlos.

"Love Me, Love My Dog" - The convent children adopt a accomplished pickpocket.

"You Can't Get There from Here" - Sister Bertrille is beached on an island with Carlos and the girl who threw him off his yacht.

I'm so glad that Sony Pictures has issued the first season on DVD, and hope that the other two seasons will follow soon.
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on September 19, 2006
I thought The Flying Nun was largely forgotten, but given the amount of trashy and low-quality "entertainment" which is flying off the production lines, it warms my heart to see such quality shows like "The Flying Nun" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" being released on DVD. Even the kids enjoyed watching Sister Bertrille, Carlos and the gang. Buy it!
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on August 22, 2006
I'm a big fan of the 60's sitcoms, when innocence still dominated prime-time. The Flying Nun is a perfect example of how much fun television used to be. Sally Field was perfect for this role. She was bright, energetic, and funny. The rest of the cast took their roles very seriously, but still acted with much warmth and heart.

Although this show is very innocent by today's standards, there was some sexual innuendo throughout the show with Carlos and his "lady-friends". But you really had to read between the lines for that.

The special effects on the show are dated by today's standards, but were very much first rate for the 1960's. The sound on the episodes has been restored to original quality. The picture quality is fabulous. I just recently viewed an old videotape of the Flying Nun from when Screen Gems had "vintage episodes" tapes, and the difference is remarkable. It's like going from rabbit ears to cable.

This is a fun show for kids and kids at heart like myself. If you like fun fantasy and have never seen "The Flying Nun", check out the show that made Sally Field a household name.
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on January 25, 2006
A great classic 60s show Starring Sally Fields. All in an era of great fun fantasy sitcoms like Jeannie, Bewitched, Ghost and Mrs Muir, My Favorite Martian and Addams Family among many others. A wonderful gentle family show one can escape to and thoroughly enjoy, unlike all the garbage that todays TV puts out.
Nostalgia that everyone should own, If only to see how cute and spunky Sally Fields was at that age.
I really love this show and hope they bring out the next two seasons soon
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on March 30, 2006
While I am primarily an 80's junkie when it comes to TV shows, I also have a penchant for shows from the 60's and 70's. But none have captivated me so much as "The Flying Nun"! The show's expert blend of fantasy, humor, and compassion is a rarity in television.

"The Flying Nun" and its lead actress, Sally Field, were the brunt of many jokes during its initial run. That is understandable, given the preposterous premise of the show: Field's character, Sister Bertrille, a new nun in Convento San Tanco in Puerto Rico, discovers that she is able to naturally fly under certain wind conditions - due to being only 90 pounds - and uses this ability to help others in need, as well as get her convent out of trouble, at times!

But isn't that one of the great things about TV - suspension of reality? And, besides the flying, the situations that the sisters of the Convento San Tanco find themselves in on a daily basis are also quite surreal. So, in effect, the show as a whole is meant to be viewed as a fantasy - not a reflection of reality. And it is done quite well!

What makes the show work - besides the sheer laughs you'll get out of seeing Field "flying" around various locales, is the warmth and enthusiasm that's conveyed by the writing, the cast, scenery, and production. It certainly is refreshing to see a sitcom with so many different settings, not limited to the usual two or three mainstays. It's one of the aspects that makes this a real "adventure" show, in addition to the storylines themselves. Whether Sister Bertrille is flying up to a tree to stop a depressed young boy from trying to fly himself, or flying alongside a ship and asking a mobster to "go easy" on her friend Carlos Ramirez and his business, or creating an artificial snow for an ailing, elderly nun who longs for snow --there is always some unique situation that is carried out and solved in the most interesting way!

The show's tone is quite light, though it does deal with the emotional crossroads that children, families, and the elderly can encounter. But it deals with them in such delicate, genuinely human, and positive ways that you can't help but be lured in. It never takes itself too seriously - almost expecting the viewer's disbelief and enchantment!

If you need a fix of hearty laughs and just plain old feeling really good, then don't you breeze by "The Flying Nun"!
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on May 1, 2006
I picked up the DVD and it was very well done! There is a nice interview with Sally Field where she shares her experience of doing the show that she didnt want to do in the begining. The cast is very diverse with dry humor and crazy slapstick humor. I hope they continue the DVD's to the end of the series. There was a great episode in season 3 where the Sisters are ordered to modifiy their habits and Sister Bertrille fears she will never fly again. The programs have a heart warming story line and its all ways based on service to others and having fun in the process. Sr. J(Marge Redmond) and Sr. Sixto (Shelly Morrison from Will & Grace- Rosario) where my favorites.
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on April 14, 2013
The Flying Nun(1967-1970) is a fun, squeaky clean TV show from the 1960's. Sally Field has no special feelings toward it. She claims it almost ruined her career. The show is based on a children's book called The 15th Pelican. Field plays Sister Bertrille, a 98 pound nun from the United States of America who is transfered to a crumbling church in Puerto Rico. Her clothing and the strong tropical winds give her the ability to fly. The Flying Nun was spoofed on The Simpsons with Bart waiting for Homer to pick him up from soccer practice. During a storm, Bart sees Sister Bertrille smash into a hill and explode into a fireball. The visual effects used to make Sally Field fly are quite good. Alejandro Rey plays a nightclub owner who befriends Sister Bertrille. The show's upbeat, whimsical music is good. The Flying Nun is a guilty pleasure from the past.
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on April 19, 2006
Granted that peoples' viewing taste change as they mature, but I was sooooooooooo thrilled to see this finally come out on dvd. I grew up watching this when I was a little kid, and like mostly everyone else who liked this show, I assumed I should be able to fly too (since I weighed only 70 pounds). The love/hate relationship Sister Betrille has with Carlos Ramirez (Alejandro Rey) as she tries to find new ways to make him help the convent is hilarious. Is it that the show is nostalgic that makes me like this show so much? reminds me of a time when the world was not quite so hectic, and yes...even a lil more innocent! But then again maybe that is just me! :o)
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on March 30, 2006
What fun! (Ooops, I said that already!) But it's true! The show is light and breezy, like the flying nun herself ... innocent and sweet, also like the aforementioned sister. I can't wait for the other seasons to come out!
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