|Index||4 reviews in total|
Perhaps I was expecting too much from this storyline. With the great
Otto Kruger playing, August Dalgran, an aging CEO of a company that has
began behaving like he may be having mental problems- I though this was
a great concept. The writers went as far to show August signing his
name as Santa Claus, telling his co-workers that it is Christmas time
in May and then throwing money out the office building to the street
below. Then the writers seemed scared to expand the interesting
character any further. The mental situation became a red-herring and we
resorted back to a regular mystery. And when August became upset at his
nephew and said 'I'll Kill him'- we all knew where this show was going.
Sure enough the nephew, Kenneth Dalgran ends up dead and the body just happens to be found in the back of a car that August (Uncle Gus) was driving. And we are back to a normal mystery for a 'Perry Mason' show.
Not to say that the mystery was poor, but the writers had so much material that would have sent the show into many different directions. However, they chose the safe path and we are provided with much less interesting plot than they could have produced.
With that said, the acting was top-notched and episode was entertaining. We also get to see a rare event when Perry lets the defendant testify during the preliminary hearing. Good show that could have been great.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
An okay mystery helped out a great deal by the guest cast. This time
Perry is representing an elderly client named August Dalgren (Otto
Kruger in the second of his four appearances) who is judged to be
incompetent after tossing money out the window of his Hollywood (you
can see the walk of the stars below) office building. But then he
escapes from the institution threatening to kill his nephew. When the
nephew turns up dead, Perry has a murder case on his hands.
Kruger is terrific as Dalgren and shows a lot of levels to the character. I remember him as the assistant DA in "Another Thin Man" and frankly, this guy can be fun to watch. Connie Hines is familiar to many as Wilber Post's wife on "Mr. Ed". Here she gets to play a bit against type as the cheating wife who cares nothing for her husband, but again there's more to her character than that. And Burt Reynolds turns in a solid performance in a small role as Chuck Blair, a loyal worker and friend to Dalgren. This is back when Burt actually cared and it shows. When he wanted to, he could be a really good actor. Rounding out the cast was Jeannette Nolan as Burt's mom, Dalgren's loyal secretary and William Woodson as Dr. Jackman the psychiatrist. While you've seen Nolan everywhere, Woodson is also very familiar...if you close your eyes and listen. He did a lot of narration in his career, particularly in cartoons. It's nice to finally put a face to the voice.
Otto Kruger is one of three partners and head of a company and his
company can't move without all three in agreement. When he shows signs
of mental aberration nephew Don Dubbins moves in to have him committed
and inherit his vote and control. Dubbins has a big deal cooking and
he's using some forged documents to do it. Kruger escapes from an
asylum he's locked up in and Dubbins winds up dead. He has to turn to
his old family attorney and you know who that is.
Dubbins is pulling a few doublecrosses and one by his wife Connie Hines of Mister Ed is being pulled on him with one of the other partners. Hines is just another one of many suspects who could have done the deed.
I'm an agreement with another reviewer who said the insanity angle wasn't developed enough. But it probably would have taken a Perry Mason Mystery two hour format to have accomplished that.
Look for Burt Reynolds as the son of Kruger's secretary Jeanette Nolan. Forgery is the key to solving this mystery.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Robert Leslie Bellam takes a turn on this script. Otto Kruger & Burt
Reynolds head a major guest cast in this one.
Uncle Gus is crazy, or is faking it, in order to arrange for his nephew to take over his company. At least it is that way until the nephew pulls the old double cross & tries to take the uncle for a swindle. Gus breaks out of the sanitarium saying he is going to kill the nephew.
As we go along the nephews wife, & the company's other partners get involved with being suspects. Reynolds role is minor in trying to help Gus. Gus doesn't help himself when he shows up for the police to arrest him in a car with his dead nephew in the back of it. Fortunately, Mason is there to sort it out & frustrate Burger again.
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