16 March 2006 | rcj5365
The Flying Nun-Starring Sally Field
Based on the series of popular children's books by Tere Rios,the television series "The Flying Nun",ran for three seasons on ABC-TV from 1967 until 1970,producing 83 episodes all in color,which was part of the Screen Gems/Columbia Pictures Television entourage of family oriented/special effects shows that were under the supervision of executive producers Harry Ackerman,Bernard Slade,and William Sackheim, and created by Bernard Slade(one of the co-creators for another family oriented/special effects show,"Bewitched",which was on the same network but starred Elizabeth Montgomery). The series starred Sally Field,whom began this show after her debut television series "Gidget" was cancelled after one season.
"The Flying Nun" constituted the troika of sitcoms that truly represented the 1960's that used special effects and sometimes comedical humor. "Bewitched","I Dream Of Jeannie",were colorful and pushing the limits of its viewers. Other shows of that period included "My Favorite Martian","The Beverly Hillbillies","Gilligan's Island", "Batman","Get Smart",are examples of sitcoms that pushed the limits to the maximum potential for its viewers. "The Flying Nun" tells the story of Sister Bertille(Sally Field). Sister Bertille comes from the United States who after joining San Tanco Convent in Puerto Rico discovers that she can fly because of her lightweight and because of the aerodynamics that she wears on her cornette. She basically spends most of her time in the air but is always under the watchful eye of Mother Superior(Madeline Sherwood). Sometimes Sister Bertille's amazing abilities usually lends people who are in dire need of help or sometimes get into trouble,but is always there to lend a helping hand. Most of the time she always depends on a casino-playboy Carlos Ramirez (Alejandro Rey)to get her out of a tight situation,but still remain good friends. But sometimes Ramirez is always nervous every time Sister Bertille is around because you'll never know what she may do next. And that was just the case with the show. It may have been outlandishly childish with the special effects and all,but in heart it was a show with a inspiration for the soul and sometimes morally uplifting in some of the episodes.
The first season(the 1967-1968 season one)and second season(1968-1969 season two)constituted some excellent guest stars not to mention guest regulars that remain throughout the show's three year run. One episode featured the well respected Celia Lovsky,whom in Science Fiction circles is famous for performance of T'Pau in the classic episode of "Amok Time" from Star Trek. And then there was Elinor Donahue who was in two episodes,and this actress was a familiar face to television playing the oldest daughter Betty Anderson opposite Robert Young on the television series "Father Knows Best",and also was Elie Walker in the first season of "The Andy Griffith Show". Donahue portrayed Sister Bertille's older physician sister Janet in several episodes. Also to point out others including Paul Petersen of "The Donna Reed Show",and the other episode that featured Manuel Padilla,Jr. as one of Sister Bertille's helpers. Manuel Padilla,Jr. was also a familiar face on television as well playing Ron Ely's sidekick of the jungle Jai on the action-adventure series "Tarzan" and a child actor in several television shows of the period. Others included veteran actor Vito Scotti,and also familiar to television viewers Shelley Morrison(of "Will and Grace" fame later on).
The show itself does however depict a realistic portrayal of Latin America even though the show was filmed on the backlot of Columbia Pictures Studios in Hollywood,but uses Latin America locations as the backdrop scenery which was brilliantly photographed,since it was the ONLY show that did not stereotype Latinos in any way nor did it talk down to them neither. Its amazing that they spoke magnificent English and were living in good conditions. After "The Flying Nun" went off the air in the spring of 1970, Sally Field went on to bigger and better things in her career including becoming an Oscar winning actress!