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Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star (1986)

An actor rigs a fake on-air shooting with the connivance of his friend, the show's host, but the practical joke goes horribly wrong when the gun, which he'd loaded with blanks, turns out to contain a live round.

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(teleplay) (as Anne C. Collins), (story) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert McCay
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Eric Brenner
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Steve Carr
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Judge
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Alison Carr
Ross Petty ...
Peter Towne
Mary Kane ...
Kate Huntley
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Sharon Loring
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Ray Anderson
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Mr. Freeman
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Storyline

A comedian hatches a great joke: rig a fake killing live on TV. He takes a gun with blanks, and shoots his accomplice during a talk show. Happy that his joke has been successful, he walks away. His accomplice is really dead, however, and nearly a million viewers saw him pull the trigger. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

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Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

9 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Perry Mason - Assassinio in diretta  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last Perry Mason TV movie to have been shot in Canada, and also the second and last one to have been filmed in Toronto. See more »

Goofs

If someone else had exchanged the blank for a live round, the state would drop the homicide charge against the defendant in favor of a reduced charge of manslaughter, due to pointing a firearm at another and failing to verify a blank round was loaded. See more »

Connections

Followed by Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Gag Gone Way Bad
22 June 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star finds our defense attorney in New York defending a man who killed a friend in front of 40 million people. The victim Alan Thicke is a famous host of a late night talk show apparently modeled on Johnny Carson. Of course Thicke has credentials for that in his own right.

You'd think that it would be an insurmountable case for Raymond Burr, but Perry Mason fans know a lot better. Mason is asked to defend action film star Joe Penny who walked in on Thicke's live show and shot him while it was being broadcast by the studio which was producing Penny's latest film. The two of them had quarreled the day before, but they were old friends.

In fact this was a gag that went horribly wrong. Penny borrowed a prop gun from the film and the real murderer switched it to a live round. Who else might want Thicke dead?

This was one of the weaker of the Perry Mason series. I can't believe that Penny if in fact it was a gag would just casually walk off the TV set and go to his favorite restaurant and order dinner where the cops do grab him. I think he would have seen immediately this gag went all wrong the second Thicke started bleeding.

But what I'm still trying to figure out is how California District Attorney David Ogden Stiers wound up prosecuting in a New York homicide. Can't be because of his track record against Perry Mason.

Of course Perry got his client off, but it might have been easier to prove Penny didn't know he had a real round in the weapon. Even against a prosecutor borrowed from Los Angeles.


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