Perry Mason (1957–1966)
5 user

The Case of the Crooked Candle 

Martha and Rita show up at a beauty salon answering to the same name "Mrs. Bradford." Their husband Joe turns up dead on his boat, Martha is charged with his murder, and a candle on the table is leaning about twenty degrees.



(based on the novel by), (teleplay)

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview:
Martha Bradford
Larry Sands - Surveyor
Rita Wasselle Bradford
Jack Harper
Capt. Noble
George Nikolides
Bruce Cowling ...
Joe Bradford
Helene Santley ...
Hal Taggart ...
Court Clerk


At a beauty shop two women answer to the same name for an appointment. Both have the married name Mrs. Joe Bradford plus they have identical keys to the same home. Martha Bradford who lives there now tries to contact her husband but he refuses to talk to her as he has a habit of miss treating her. That night the other woman Rita enters the house scaring Martha who finds Rita's wet footprints. The next day Martha contacts Perry for help in finding her husband to learn the truth. Joe's second in command Jack Harper sends them on a wild goose chase where they meet Larry Sands and a sheepherder who have little good to say about Joe. When confronted, Harper tells them Joe is on his boat in the harbor. Perry and Della visit the boat only to find Joe Bradford dead and a crooked candle in a hurricane lantern that has burned evenly. Martha's fingerprints are on the candle even though she swears to Perry she was never on the boat. Why was the candle crooked and how it fits into the case is a ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

30 November 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The soundtrack with a string section during moments of imminent danger was later to be reused noticeably on the Twilight Zone several times starting two years later. See more »


Martha Bradford and Jack Harper both handle some candles found at the murder scene, but Martha's fingerprints are the only ones recovered by the police. See more »


[first lines]
Receptionist: [answering phone] Clayton Beauty Salon. Oh, yes, Mrs. Gale. Hair set and manicure? Well, uh, Laura will be free at 1:30. Good. I'll put you down. Thank you.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Too far-fetched for even me to believe
17 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode opens at a beauty salon as the clerk calls for the next appointment, "Mrs. Bradford". Two women come forward and they realize that they have the same last name. The women, Martha Bradford (Nancy Gates) and Rita Bradford (Doris Singleton), begin talking. From each other we learn that both are married to the same person Joe Bradford (Bruce Cowling) and both have keys to the very same house. (Man that is odd)

Martha leaves the place in tears and calls her husband. But he is leaving for San Diego aboard his boat named 'Mary Belle'. So Martha goes home for a night sleep.

During the night she hears someone open the front door. When she goes downstairs she sees footprints from a muddy woman's shoe. She leaves the house and the next day goes talk with Perry.

Perry and Della, with the help of Captain Noble, go out to the 'Mary Belle' and find Joe Bradford murdered. And it seems that the police find Martha's fingerprints on a candle that had been placed in a lantern at an odd angle.

So with this evidence, plus others that Hamilton Burger will present, the case goes to trial with Martha being charged with the murder of her husband, Joe.

As with any Perry episode we learn that at times we have to believe, for TV sake, some incredible set of circumstances. But this episode takes the cake. here are just a few--

-Rita Bradford was actually married to Joe. But wait to you hear the most ridiculous story she tells about her life. She claims that she has no memory of her life for the last two years. Does not know where she lived, worked or talked with for two whole years. How the writers think the viewers would believe something so stupid is beyond me.

-When the two women meet in the salon, one has an appointment. The other just walks by and says to herself, I need my hair fixed.

-When Martha is awaken by an unknown person in her house and sees muddy foot prints, instead of calling the police or running, she gets dressed up like she is going to church before leaving the house. She even takes time to look in the mirror to make sure everything looks nice before leaving.

-After the body is discovered, we learn that nearly the entire cast of the show had been on that small boat sometime that evening. However no person saw another person during the course of a few hours. These are some of the things that the writer, of this episode, feel like we will accept without question.

I liked the mystery but please have more faith in the viewers than to write mounds of unbelievable events in just one show. When the episode was over, I felt used. And not in the good way.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: