After the death of her husband and partner, Joe Doyle, Constant Doyle takes on a case involving a young man who knew her husband. Constant asks for Perry's help and he suggests she hire the Paul Drake Detective agency to aid in the case.
When Cal Leonard gets into trouble, he tries to get in touch with a lawyer he once met, Joseph Doyle, but learns that the man has died. His wife and law partner, Constant Doyle, pays him a visit in jail but he's not keen on having her represent him. Constant, on a whim, does provide bail money for Cal. Cal was caught jumping the fence at the Otis Instrument Co, owned by Lawrence Otis, who once used Doyle and Doyle as a law firm. However, with the death of Joe, several clients have left the firm. It turns out that Cal's father once worked for Otis as an engineer but was an unreliable alcoholic. His cousin, Steve Arthur, still works there but is somehow making large deposits to his bank account. Cal is convinced that Otis has stolen some of his father's ideas on equipment miniaturization but when Steve Arthur is found dead, Cal is charged with murder. With Perry Mason in the hospital, Constant decides to represent him herself. Constant Doyle learns Cal has a special talent she uses in ... Written by
I feel obliged to add my two cents to all of these rave Bette Davis reviews. Personally, I thought she was awful. She played the part like an old cougar who was more interested in flirting with her young client than in defending him. Perhaps she was trying to appear motherly, but it didn't work in a grotesque way. I cringed every time she pawed her client. Furthermore, her timing was way off and even her punchline at the end sounded contrived and was delivered with lackluster. It would have been better if the camera hadn't frozen on her face for so long, but it's possible that Davis demanded that bit of melodrama. Whatever the case, it ultimately wrecked what might have been the only good the scene in the show.
Although I am a Bette Davis fan, I don't believe the role of Constant Doyle was suited for her style of acting, especially at that time in her life.
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