Highway to Heaven

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (43)

  • Mark: If I can't have music I want to eat!

  • [Marc learns that the man threatening to kill himself was a famous actor from his youth] Mark Gordon: This is probably a bad time to ask, but can I have your autograph? [Everyone laughs]

  • Mark: It's hotter than hell out here. (The car overheats and the hood pops open.) Come on, I didn't mean anything by that, it's just an expression! Jonathon: It's too late.

  • Mark: The hell you say!

  • Deke Larson: I want My legs back can you help me with that? Jonathan: No I cant.

  • Jonathan: People hate what they don't know.

  • Mark: You can't buy friendship, Eddie. You can only rent lies.

  • Jonathan: (to Marsh) Well, you've got a child but no husband. So long as you're giving your child love, where's the sin?

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Notes (73)

  • This is the only TV series that starred Michael Landon and Victor French that doesn't involve a Western that dated the 19th Century.  The other two series that they starred in involved a Western that dated the 19th Century. 

  • NBC was origionally going to cast a handsome actor to play Mark Gordon, but it was Michael Landon's idea to cast Victor French for the role of Mark Gordon.

  • According to information on the wiki page for this series, exteriors were often done in Los Angeles, Simi Valley, Stanislaus National Forest and Tuolumne County, California. The pilot episode was partially filmed in Tucson, Arizona; namely, the beginning sequence where Mark picks Jonathan up along the road.

  • Stars Michael Landon and Victor French worked together on several television series. Their professional association began in 1962 when French guest-starred on Bonanza where Landon played one of the lead roles (French would turn up in five episodes of the durable western between 1962 and 1971). After the series ended, Landon selected him to play Mr. Edwards in Little House on the Prairie, a role that lasted, on and off, from 1974 to 1984 (French also directed several episodes). In the early 1980s, Landon even hired French to direct an episode of Father Murphy. But their greatest collaboration occurred with Highway to Heaven where French played an all-too-human sidekick to Landon's angelic lead character for five years (again, French would take on extra duties as an occasional director, helming a handful of episodes).

  • This series came about because of a car accident that Michael Landon's daughter Cheryl Landon Wilson had. He promised that if she lived he would make a show that helped people.

  • We find out why Mark Gordon was fired from the police force.

  • The car that Mark and Jonathan drive throughout the series is a mid to late 1970s gray Ford Sedan.

  • Highway to Heaven was the third series Michael Landon did at NBC. His affiliation with the network began in 1959 when he was cast on Bonanza. It continued for over thirty years, until 1990 when Landon produced the made-for-TV movie Where Pigeons Go To Die.

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Trivia (100)

  • The show's casting director, Susan McCray, worked for many years with Michael Landon. She cast all the roles on Little House on the Prairie, Father Murphy and Highway to Heaven. She married Kent McCray. He executive produced this series as well as Landon's other ones. He and Landon began their association back on Bonanza.

  • Eddie Quillan was a leading man in Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. When lead parts dried up, he became a character actor and found later success on television. He was a close personal friend of Michael Landon, and Landon wrote him into episodes of almost every season of 'Little House on the Prairie.' It is not surprising that Landon put him in this first episode of 'Highway to Heaven.'

  • On a TVLand interview that featured Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie), she stated that the reason Landon blew up the town at the end of that series was because he no longer wished to use standing sets in his television programs (most of the sets, furniture and clothes are reused from episode to episode and show to show). This seems correct, because during the run of Highway to Heaven, Jonathan and Mark are constantly on the road and the sets on this show are not usually repeated. Much of the action is filmed on location (usually in the Los Angeles area, with southern California substituting as other places).

  • Ronee Blakley is billed as a special guest. Prior to her appearance on this series, she had been Oscar-nominated for her work as a country singer in the 1975 film NASHVILLE.

  • The opening credits say 'and introducing James Troesh as Scotty' which indicates Landon's intention of using him in a recurring role. He would be featured in several more episodes during the first few seasons of Highway to Heaven.

  • Helen Kleeb appeared in a season 9 episode of Little House entitled Marvin's Garden

  • Daniel Davis is best known as "Niles," the wisecracking butler on Fran Drescher's hit TV series The Nanny.

  • Goof: It seems very strange given how close they were in the pilot that Mark doesn't invite (or at least mention she was invited but couldn't make it) his sister Leslie to his wedding.

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Allusions (22)

  • The character of Deadwood Dick is taken directly from a Columbia movie serial that was produced in 1940. The lead character was played by Don Douglas who died in 1945.

  • The name of Lash Lathem comes from a popular B-movie hero of the 1940s and 1950s named Lash LaRue (which was also the actor's name). He appeared in a series of western films. The Indiana Jones character (and the whip he uses) is based on Lash.

  • The character of Roland Rinaldo appears to be based on Zorro (played by many men over the years) from the look of his outfit and the fact that he ripped a lot of shirts in the old days (Zorro was known to slash the letter 'Z' on the shirts of outlaws).

  • The character of Redfeather, The Masked Rider's sidekick is similar to The Lone Ranger's sidekick Tonto.

  • The character of The Masked Rider is clearly based on The Lone Ranger. Even the "real-life" name of the actor who played him is based on the real actor (The Lone Ranger was played on television by Clayton Moore and The Masked Rider was "played" by Morton Clay). Finally, the end of the episode was a take-off of the end of many episodes of The Lone Ranger.

  • This episode draws inspiration from Charles Dickens' classic story 'A Christmas Carol.'

  • Police Officer: Yeah and i'm Johnny Carson. Johnny Carson hosted The tonight show for 30 years.

  • The title is the name of the main character of this episode, itself a variation of the classic 'Cinderella' fairy tale.

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