Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 24

The Case of the Deadly Double (1 Mar. 1958)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 105 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Perry defends the brother of a woman who returns with a purse containing his gun saying in her nightmare she saw her husband shot and found the gun there. Perry must prove the nightmare was not only real but her other personality.

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Title: The Case of the Deadly Double (01 Mar 1958)

The Case of the Deadly Double (01 Mar 1958) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Constance Ford ...
Helen Reed / Joyce Martel
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Robert Crane
Carole Mathews ...
Cora Dunbar
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Harry Vance
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John 'Johnny' Davis Hale
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Dr. Daniel Maitland
Louise Truax ...
Sarah
Carleton G. Young ...
David Reed
Pierre Watkin ...
Frank Jenks ...
Cab Driver
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Storyline

To protect his sister, Helen Reed, and her son Robert Crane threatens his brother-in-law, David Reed, with bodily harm. The next morning Helen awakens complaining about a bad nightmare in which she saw her husband Reed dead with a bullet hole in his head. They find she returned with a purse which is not hers which contains her brother's pistol. Helen suffers from continuing nightmares that involve memories she cannot explain so she agrees to return to Dr. Maitland. Helen and her brother visit Perry to retain him to defend them in case something happened to Reed. Perry starts by looking for Mr. Reed who seems to be missing. Using the purse, they find an apartment connected to a promiscuous woman named Joyce Martel, who is having an affair with Johnny Hale. Perry and Paul find David Reed murdered in Joyce Martel's apartment and that Joyce Martel and Helen Reed appear to be the same person. Crane is charged with the crime. It is up to Perry Mason and Dr. Maitland to unravel the mystery. Written by richardann

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courtroom spectator | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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1 March 1958 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Earliest episode not adapted from a novel or short story by Erle Stanley Gardner. See more »

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An Unusual Episode
16 October 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Most Mason episodes revolve around ensemble acting and a whodunit plot. This is one, if not the only one, that revolves around a single central performance-- Constance Ford in a dual role. In 1958, multiple personality disorders were only beginning to be known to the American public thanks to the popular film Three Faces of Eve, which treated the problem in a clinical manner unlike Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde which remains a popular literary stereotype.

Ford's role is more like Jekyll and Hyde. As Helen Reed, she's timid, demure, and plain-faced; as Joyce Martel, she's boisterous, beautiful and aggressive. Of course, this is a demanding part that few actresses of the day could manage. It's to Ford's great credit that she brings off the two persona's as well as she does. The transition on the witness stand is almost hair-raising. The whodunit is routine but supplements nicely Ford's outstanding performance, the entry's unusual centerpiece.


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