Favorite TV Episodes: Route 66 "The Stone Guest"


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
ROUTE 66 11/8/63 “The Stone Guest”

Now they are in Colorado, where Tod has a job working behind the scenes in an opera house. He’s befriended a young boy whose father, (Lee Phillips), is the town brawler. He also happens to be an old Army buddy of Linc’s, who tries to get him on the straight and narrow. Phillips’ one sign of hope in life is an old gold mine he’s been working.

Tod explains the plot of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni to the young boy: Don Giovanni kills a beloved man in a duel and the statue his friends erected of him somehow comes alive and visits Don Giovanni’s house, demanding Don Giovanni repent or be sent to Hell. He doesn’t and he is. The young boy sees his father as Don Giovanni. (The animated statue provides the episode’s title.)

Meanwhile Phillips has picked up a lonely middle-aged woman, (Jo Van Fleet), in a bar and taken her to the mine to show her his work there. There’s a cave-in and they are trapped- far below the rest of the world, just as Don Giovanni wound up.

There’s also a poignant but basically unnecessary sub-plot about Phillip’s wife having a baby that Phillips didn’t want.

Again, we see an episode you are unlikely to see in any other series. Who else would connect the plot of a Mozart opera to a modern TV melodrama? And who else would eschew the happy ending and instead use the nihilistic one this episode finishes with?

IMDB: "Route 66" The Stone Guest (TV Episode 1963) - IMDb (99 cents on Amazon prime)

You-Tube: (for $1.99)
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