Perry Mason: Season 7, Episode 19

The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman (20 Feb. 1964)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 45 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Phillipe Bertain has loaned $5000 to fellow Frenchwoman Ninette Rovel to get away from her abusive husband. However, when the money is not repaid, he tracks down her husband only to be ignored by him. The husband is then murdered.

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Title: The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman (20 Feb 1964)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Wesley Lau ...
...
Phillipe Bertain
...
Armand Rovel
Roxane Berard ...
Ninette Rovel
Janet Lake ...
Carole Ogilvie
...
Ron Litten
...
Linda Sutton
Don Collier ...
Peter Hayes
Arthur Franz ...
Ray Ogilvie
...
Mrs. Kransdorf
Gene O'Donnell ...
Prosecutor
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Storyline

Phillipe Bertain has been seeing a married woman, Ninette Rovel, while her husband Armand is away at the ski lodge he works at. Using his savings from his job at a bookstore, Phillipe loans Ninette $5000 so that she can obtain a divorce. He also learns that Armand has been beating Ninette. Phillipe consults with Perry about helping Ninette obtain the divorce but when they call her, she refuses to get a divorce telling Phillipe that Armand took the money. Phillipe heads to the ski lodge, where he attacks Armand after learning he has used the money to buy partial ownership of the lodge but is easily repelled by Armand. After becoming inebriated, Phillipe swipes Armand's coffee thermos to take it to him and confronts him again but is knocked out. When Armand is killed in a plane crash, it is discovered that he had barbiturates in his system. Phillipe is charged with the murder and Perry defends him. Perry begins to wonder if the murder of Armand is tied in with the death of the lodge's ... Written by rbecker28

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

20 February 1964 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The title refers to the 1927 song "Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong" by Willie Raskin, Billy Rose, and Fred Fisher. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Man from Bad A.C.C.E.N.T.S.
3 June 2008 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

A decent script is ruined by a slew of bad accents as Perry comes to the aide of young Frenchman Phillipe Bertain (David McCullum) who is accused of murdering ski instructor Jacques Bergerac (Armand Rovel, who 99 almost lost her heart to on "Get Smart") to protect the woman he loves and loaned money to, Bergerac's wife, Ninette.

The murder involves the drugging of a coffee thermos (an idea recycled in a "Columbo" episode), a plane crash and the murder of another man by Jacques Bergerac. The ski setting is a nice change as well, but the episode is ruined by the annoyingly theatrical accent of Roxanne Berard. She is so vaudevillian and over the top in her characterization that I think it embarrassed McCullum into really toning down his own French accent. In any case, he leaves far too much of the British showing.

Seeing how tiny McCullum is as the nerdy and clumsy Bertain also shows how really carefully they cast "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." to make him appear to be strong enough to handle threats from THRUSH agents. In this he looks like a strong wind would blow him down as Perry and Paul tower over him.

Rovel comes out okay in the battle of the accents and Jackie Coogan is mostly restrained (other than one outburst in court) as a bartender, but that's not saying much.

In summation, I can only repeat the murderer's final line on the stand "I wish I could have killed him ten times." That emotion should have been reserved for the show's dialect coach.


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