Reviews & Ratings for
"Perry Mason" The Case of the Dead Ringer (1966)

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18 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Dueling Burrs

Author: zsenorsock from Argentina
9 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When the producers of a long running show learn they are about to be canceled, sometimes they just phone it in. Other times, they free themselves to have fun. This may not be the best episode in the Mason canon, but it is fun.

The story involves a patent case Mason is trying in court for the lovely Barbara (Indus Arthur, who has haunting good looks). The case is in trouble and soon we see Perry smoking a cheap cigar handing instructions and $10,000 in an envelope to a key witness, Sandra Dunkel (Arlene Martel, memorable as Spock's bride T'Pring in "Amok Time" on "Star Trek"). Nervous and upset, Dunkel confesses she's lying on the stand and points to Perry as the man who tried to bribe her. Perry loses the case (though he immediately appeals) and his reputation is suspect. When the man who won the patent case is found dead, Barbara becomes the prime suspect and Perry has to defend her while clearing his own reputation.

Burr is wonderful as Grimes, the man hired to pretend he's Mason. He creates a very colorful and fun character, something that must have been much more fun to play than the proper Perry Mason. The split screen effect is very good as Burr cross examines himself on the stand, and the dialog between Mason and Grimes about playacting and they are the only two real men here is full of double meaning.

The mystery is pretty good too, but it really takes a back seat to this show by Burr.

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Was a surprising well acted show.

Author: kfo9494 from United States
8 February 2013

When I first saw that Raymond Burr was going to play two characters in this show, I thought that the writers had run out of scripts and was using anything off the floor. But this was actually a very fine episode and a nice mystery.

The episode begins with Perry in civil court representing Barbara Kramer in a patent suit against Otis Swanson. When one of the witnesses advise that Perry Mason had given her money and a list of answers to questions it appeared poor for Perry. In fact, there are witnesses that testify that they saw Perry give the witness an envelope inside a hotel lobby.

But what has happened is that people from the other side of the lawsuit have found an old sailor that looks much like Perry. They use make-up and hair-dye and sure enough the person named Grimes looks just like Perry Mason.

After Perry loses the civil case, Perry has to appeal. In the meantime, his client, Barbara, is found inside Otis Swanson's home next to his dead body. Now Perry will have to defend her in criminal court for a charge of murder. Perry will need a lot of help from Paul Drake's private detective team if he wants his client released of the charge.

I really have never like those two character episodes, especially when it involves the main character. Most of the time the show is just so unbelievable that it makes no sense. This show proved me wrong. Raymond Burr was believable as he separated both parts with fine acting. Instead of the stuffy lawyer type, he became a rough and salty sailor. The mystery was interesting and the characters interesting. Good watch.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The good name of Perry Mason

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
6 June 2014

Usually a show that has had a run as long as the Perry Mason series gets a bit stale by a 9th season. But I have a feeling that the idea of both Perry Mason losing a case and having Raymond Burr play a double role was something they must have saved until they knew the show was concluding its run.

Raymond Burr is bringing a civil lawsuit on behalf of Indus Arthur who accuses Oliver McGowan of stealing an intellectual property. Stewart Moss who is McGowan's nephew has a plan to discredit Perry Mason by having a lookalike British cockney sailor offer a bribe to key witness Arlene Martel in a most public place.

Witness tampering is serious business for any lawyer. Later on however in addition to defending his own reputation Burr has to defend Arthur when she's accused of murdering McGowan.

Burr looks like he's having a great old time playing the cockney sailor Grimes. It's the kind of part where he can overact outrageously and does. William Hopper and that Drake Detective Agency do yeoman service in clearing the good name of Perry Mason.

You don't think Perry Mason loses even a civil case without the other side cheating?

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Raymond Burr, Shakespearean

Author: madden-2 from United States
21 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


All right. A bad guy hires a look-alike seaman to impersonate Perry Mason and implicate him in a nefarious scheme. Perry unravels it. You don't have to know more about the plot.

Burr, of course, plays both roles. Since Perry is such a stiff, he lets loose with everything in his acting repertoire when playing the impostor. Who knew that Burr could let loose with such a dramatic "ARRRGHHH"?

For a minute toward the end, I thought that the writers were going to avoid the obvious culprit, but they quickly reverted to the one that 99.9% of the viewing audience picked in the first ten minutes of the episode.

While this was not the last episode broadcast in this last season of the series, I suspect that it was the last one filmed. Why? Because Burr left no scenery unchewed.

Oh, heck. Why complain? It's utterly stupid and still great fun for fans.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The things a man will do when he sells his soul

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
13 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Perry Mason is personally besmirched and discredited in this "Perry Mason" episode when handling a civil case of patent fraud ends up with him not only losing it but in danger of being disbarred.That's when the person that Perry's client was suing Otis Swanson, Oliver McGowan, got a dead ringer off a boat from Liverpool "The Lady Liverpool" to impersonate him this drunken and unclothe Cockney mariner, the exact opposite of the well spoken and fine mannered Perry Mason, Sailor Grimes also played by Raymond Burr. Being cleaned up with a shave bath and new suite of clothes Grimes is instructed by Otis Swanson's nephew Danny, Stewart Moss, to go to the local Bobson Arms Hotel and be seen giving a payoff to star witness Sandra Dunkel, Ariene Martel, of $10,000.00 and note in how to answer questions in the case that Perry Mason is now handling! Grimes even goes so far as in showing what a big sport he is by buying a cheap & smelly, even back then in 1966,.25 cent cigar and leaving a big .75 cent tip! When this is made public in court by Miss Drunkel the entire case against Otis Swanson falls completely apart with a confused and not so happy Perry Mason standing there almost, figurative not literately, bear a** naked with nothing but egg on his face!

It's only later when Otis Swanson is founded murdered and Miss Barbara Kramer, Indus Arthur, who was suing him for patent infringement at the scene of the crime with both the victim's blood on her hands and clothes and the murder weapon a .45 revolver. That ironically has the licking his wounds Perry gets a second chance or shot to finally redeem himself. Not by not only getting Barbara off on the murder charge but by getting his double or dead ringer-Sailor Grimes- on the stand and thus exposing his attempt to impersonate Perry and cause him to lose the Kramer Vrs Swanson case! But first Perry has to prove who really murdered Otis Swanson and that's not going to be that easy for him. In that his client Barbara Kramer was caught red handed at the scene of the crime by Perry's own private investigator Paul Drake, William Hooper, who the prosecuting D.A Hamilton "Ham" Burger, William Talman, will very likely use as a hostile witness against her!

***MAJOR-Don't read unless you already known the ending-SPOILERS*** Worth watching just for the explosive court confrontation between Perry Mason and the once dead drunk and now somewhat sobered up merchant marine Grimes that just about brought the roof down. It was Grimes' greed that in fact did him in by not getting enough, $2,000.00, in impersonating Perry Mason and by feeling he needed much more payoff money that in the end tripped him up. And Grimes was so brainless and clueless in what he was doing that he in fact had the incriminating evidence right on him, in the court room no less, when Perry Mason exposed him for what he was as he tried to make a run for it only having to fall on his face.

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Author: darbski from omaha, ne
22 May 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

**SPOILERS** In the epilogue, Paul Drake is singing in a British accent? Also, Hamilton is having drinks with Drumm, Perry, and Paul. The actress Indus Arthur, who plays Barbara Cramer looks quite a bit like Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

When the dirtbag creeps were looking up Grimes in the dockside tavern "the Lagoon"? there was a beautiful woman sitting at the bar smoking a cigarette who looks a hell of a lot like Barbara Hale whoever she is, she's uncredited.

Also. Arlene Martel does a great job of playing a supposedly demure sexpot (she's anything BUT demure). She's played in other episodes, and always a pleasure to watch. There is one thing I'd like to point out, and if you get a chance to see this episode, watch for it. When Mason is interrogating Grimes on the stand, they either have an actor who has a remarkably close resemblance to Perry's facial profile, or (and I think this is the case) they've done an excellent job of film editing. It's only for a moment, but important. Check it out, if you get the chance.

Raymond Burr does a great job with this episode, and I recommend it to all. When I can I'll add it to my collection from Amazon

Yup. I finally was able to complete this collection, and I'm very happy with it. I'd still like to know if that was Barbara sitting at the bar, doing a smaller dual role, uncredited...

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This is the Droid We Were All Looking For!

Author: BigSkyMax from Bigtown, Montana USA
17 April 2016

This show is remarkable because it stars not only Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, but a controversial 'actor' who is the spitting image of Burr as Mason. The person playing 'Grimes,' the false Mason, is not listed on the program's 1966 credits.

There have been a number of popular yet groundless speculations, including by the IMDb, that Grimes is simply Burr in a dual role. But by 1966 Burr or his agents would have had enough 'star power' to demand double billing so why not take on-screen credit?

No, the more logical solution is that this unique role is actually essayed by an android, a half-man mechanical apparatus NASA was experimenting on the 1960s. This was just before the Moon landing was faked, so the American government's skill with electronic tomfoolery was well advanced. Just check out the opening of a show called "Mission Impossible" – it proves that by 1965 American technocrats had developed self-destructing tape recorders.

The android Grimes is programmed to speak in a growling voice that sounds vaguely British, like Popeye pretending to be a Beatle. He presents himself as a salty old sea dog looking for his white whale, but willing to settle for a snog with the Blue Nun instead. Grimes habituates seedy waterfront bars, the type where the T-shirted toughs from Batman might hang out. Soon he is shanghaied by villains out to frame Perry Mason over a patent fight. All sorts of hijinks happen after that I don't have to tell you.

In the end Mason proves his client is innocent, even though no one cares by then. It doesn't matter as the real star of this show is America's lead in the Space Race. You kids should go read up on that.

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