|Index||3 reviews in total|
After watching the last few "Perry Mason" episodes, it seemed the
stories were getting old. Afterall nearly all scenarios had been
written about and performed on the series. However, I found this
particular episode to be a good surprise.
It centered around a fatherless young man named Barry Davis (Carl Reindel) who was working at his uncle's Mort Lynch (Ted de Corsia) junkyard. Mort was the only family that Barry had left and it becomes clear that Mort is riding the young man hard.
Mort is also running for mayor of a small southwest California town and is trying to beat the newspaper owner Dell Harper (Malcolm Atterbury). So Dell Harper is trying to dig up some dirt on ole Mort before the election.
Anyway we learn that Barry's uncle worked for Mort and that the uncle had been in jail for a number of crimes which included counterfeiting. And when Barry finds a copper counterfeit plate the story takes off.
Mort ends up dead and a bloody pipe-wrench is found in Barry's trunk. And Barry is seen by a neighbor leaving Mort's apartment before the murder. And that is when we meet Perry. Here is when we come to the conclusion that Mort was actually protecting Barry because he had retained Perry before his death.
With the character's listed we are introduced to a few more people with some type of motive for murder. From the newspaper owner's brother to the spinster women that worked at the junkyard. We also get to see Neil Hamilton, that plays a friend of Mort's, he later will become Commissioner Gordon on the 'Batman' series.
We end up with Perry defending Barry with the usual flare that is accustom to any "Perry Mason' show.
This episode was better than most. A strange turn of event after you believe that the murderer is known. So I rate this as a better episode than most from the same period in 1964.
One odd thing in the show. Barry and Mort get into a little push fight and Barry knocks the older man to the ground. This happened in the junkyard and at night. The next day the newspaper owner has a picture of the event and looks like it was taken during the day under the best light conditions.
Innocent though he is of murder, I couldn't really work up too much
sympathy for Carl Reindel as a Perry Mason client. What this young man
is doing is spying on his uncle's former partner, trying to get dirt on
him because Ted DeCorsia is planning to run for mayor and it's the
current mayor and newspaper publisher Malcolm Atterbury who wants the
DeCorsia became rich after World War II in the junk business and he had a partner who was Reindel's uncle who died years ago. Reindel is predisposed to think that there must have been some kind of shady business. There was as Paul Drake discovers the uncle was a crook and did time.
Through William Hopper, Raymond Burr inherits this client and naturally gets him off. Turns out the uncle had more than one partner.
One of the more run of the mill stories from Perry Mason.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** It was actor Ted de Corsia as the town's friendly
junk-man Mort Lynch who's running for mayor of Harper's Junction that
single handedly saved this typical over plotted confusing and almost
incomprehensible Perry Mason, Raymond Burr, episode. Who can forget Ted
in the Film Nior classic "The Naked City" where he stole the show or
movie in his portrayal of professional wrestler and armature harmonica
player as well as on the run murderer Willie Garzah. It was Ted's heart
dropping scene, as he dropped over 300 feet, off the Manhattan's side
tower of the Williamsburg Bridge that has since become movie folklore.
It's Mort that had kept this secret for 15 years about his partner in the junk business Jay Davis who mysteriously died and left him the sole beneficiary of his $40,000.00 insurances policy. Giving the late Jay Davis' nephew Barry, Carl Reindel, a job hauling junk for him out of gratitude for what he did for him was getting Barry hot under the collar. In that Barry was not having any kind of future advances in Mort's Junk-yard business as long as Mort was running it. this was Mort's way of giving Barry a sense of responsibility as well as work ethic. Finally having all he could take from Mort's style of tough love Barry belted him and took off for L.A to get himself good and drunk as well as cool off. Later coming back to apologize to Mort for what he did Barry finds him dead with his skull crushed in with a monkey wrench!
Arrested in Morth's murder Barry is defended by Mort's good friend and personal lawyer Perry Mason who soon discovers that both Morth & his junk yard partner Jay Davis were involved in a money counterfeit ring back in the 1940's that may well have lead to both their being murdered. And the person behind it was determined that Mort never gets elected mayor of Harper's Junction! In that he'll end up having both the goods as well as the power as the town major to bring him to justice!
***SPOILERS*** After Mort left the scene the episode quickly disintegrated into a mindless mess with all kinds of sub-plots thrown in that just confused the story even more then it already was. Like the mysterious photo of Mort being slugged by Barry that seemed more staged then real. Even the killer seemed fake in just how he was implicated by Perry in now both Mort as well as Jay Davis' murders. Instead of him breaking down and convincingly admitting his crime he looked as if he was trying to keep a straight face and not crack up laughing! Laughing in just how ridicules this whole over plotted and under written Perry Mason episode really was.
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