Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma 

Perry Mason finds himself defending his private investigator Paul Drake against a charge of murder. It all began when Frank Thatcher hit a pedestrian walking on the side of the road and kills him. He hires Paul to payoff the widow.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Donna Kress
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Henry W. Dameron
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Frank Thatcher
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Tad Dameron
Simon Scott ...
Charles Dameron
Jennifer Howard ...
Judith Thatcher
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Mrs. Colin
Robert P. Lieb ...
Joe Marsden (as Robert Lieb)
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Anders
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Storyline

Donna Kress and Frank Thatcher have a spat. He will not divorce his wife. Driving home that night, Frank runs over and kills a pedestrian, Alexander Collins, in the road. Under direction of old Henry Dameron, Frank's father-in-law, Tad Dameron, Frank's brother-in-law, takes care of the body. Frank, as "Danko" hires Paul Drake to deliver $25,000 to Collins' widow, but Paul finds out the gift is a payoff after learning her husband was killed in an accident due to typo on his drivers license causing "Danko" to give Paul erroneous information. Paul contacts "Danko" and meets him at "Danko's" girlfriend's apartment. Paul fights with "Danko" and is knocked out. When Paul revives after the clerk and police enter the apartment, he finds Thatcher/Danko is dead, shot with Paul's gun. Paul calls Perry Mason and is charged with murder. He is further accused of blackmailing Thatcher with the hit-and-run incident. Perry fights Dameron money and influence in defending Drake. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

14 November 1959 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though he is not named and is credited as "Ballistics Expert", Norman Leavitt plays a role substantially like that of Mr. Redfield, the ballistics expert who appeared in two first-season episodes. See more »

Goofs

In the early scene where Frank Thatcher is driving his 59 Lincoln and is nodding off just before he runs down the pedestrian you can see that the gear shift for the automatic transmission is way up in view over the dashboard because the car is still in park even though he is supposedly driving down the road. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Perry Mason: You know, when I leave here, I'm meeting Paul Drake at a restaurant. He'll pick up the check for dinner. That'll be the fee for my services. He's just a friend, but I never once doubted his innocence.
Henry W. Dameron: What do you mean by that?
Perry Mason: Mr. Dameron... I've never before met a person so far removed from humanity that he believed every on of his own children capable of committing a murder.
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User Reviews

 
Perry defends Paul for murder charges.
14 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode turns out to be a refreshing change of pace from the regular 'Perry Mason' mystery. The writers came up with a new way for Perry to defend a client who is accused of murder, even if the client is his old friend, Paul Drake.

The episode centers around a middle-aged wealthy man named Frank Thatcher. He has been having an affair with a saucy singer named Donna Kress. On a way back from one of their rendezvous, he kills a pedestrian and flees the scene.

He then hires Paul Drake, under false pretenses, to delivery money, under the disguise of winnings, to the widow of the dead man. It is not long until Paul realizes that he is being played and goes to confront Mr Thatcher.

A fight breaks out between the two men and Paul is knocked unconscious. When he awakes the police are at the door and Mr Thatcher has been shot. To make matters worse, the murder weapon was a gun that belonged to Paul.

From the jail house Paul calls Perry to defend him for charges brought by Hamilton Burger's office. So Paul is now the middle man in court sitting beside Paul and Della. Only bad thing is that he is charged with the murder.

The key to the case comes in a different situation from other Perry shows. It becomes a refreshing change from the other rehashed tales from other stories. The writers find another way to bring the case to an end while maintaining the series classic courtroom confession. -- A good episode to watch and enjoy. A good show from season three.

PS- make sure you watch the ending of this episode. After the trial Perry has some strong words for one character of the cast.


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