Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 26

The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife (15 Mar. 1958)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 91 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Perry Mason defends an old wartime buddy, Frank Lawton, who is framed for murder. He is a handy man accused of having an affair with the woman he works for and killing her husband. The evidence is piling up against him in mass.


(as Anton M. Leader)


(novel), (teleplay)
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Title: The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife (15 Mar 1958)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Hamilton Burger (credit only)
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Marion Shelby
Stewart Bradley ...
Frank Lawton
Barbara Lawrence ...
Ellen Waring
Det. Sgt. Phillip Dix
Jonathan Hole ...
Arthur Williams
Tom Palmer ...
Jason Johnson ...
Judge Ellsworth
Howard Petrie ...
Ben Parker
Howard Black
Paul E. Burns ...
Richy - Telegram Delivery Man


Scott Shelby is jealous of the attention he believes handy man Frank Lawton is paying to his wife Marion. Scott sneaks his shotgun out of the house in a golf bag after loading it being careful to put no fingerprints on the shells. At a location away from his home he fires one barrel of the double barrel gun and then returns it to the rack in his house. That night from the boat house he calls Frank for help and to get his shotgun as he cuts the phone line there. Frank hears a shot, dresses, and retrieves the shotgun. He runs to the boat house but finds no one until Marion arrives. Meanwhile, Perry receives a telegram from Frank saying his unlucky army buddy is about to be arrested for murder. Perry and Della leave to meet Frank only to find the sheriff's department there looking for the missing Scott Shelby. The telegram and Frank's writings force Det. Sgt. Phillip Dix to arrest Frank. Perry believes Shelby skipped town due to being in debt but when his body turns up, the burden of ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

courtroom spectator


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

15 March 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Perry mentions Frank Lawton was a Lieutenant in his company during D-Day, implying Perry was in the Army or Marines. However in other episodes, Perry refers to his service in the Navy. While there are lieutenants in the Navy, he wouldn't be in "his company", he's have been "on his ship". Raymond Burr was in the Navy during the war. See more »


Art Williams photographed a murder scene from a small boat. The camera angle shows the picture to have been taken from the shore. See more »

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User Reviews

Perry's army buddy
18 July 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Stewart Bradley is the Perry Mason client in this episode. He's a former army buddy of Raymond Burr's who calls up Burr long distance from some rural part of California. He works on an estate as a handyman for Tom Palmer and his wife Phyllis Avery. He thinks maybe he has a thing for Avery though he has never approached her.

Palmer disappears and the police in the person of Claude Akins believes it murder. Turns out to be murder when Palmer's body is found in a lake. Which gives Bradley a real need for a defense attorney and makes Perry Mason have to revise his own theory of the crime.

A hint of background is given for Perry Mason. We learn that Bradley was in the Army Air Corps during World War II and he was at Normandy as a pilot. I assume they served together as Bradley was a pilot and Perry could have been a paratrooper.

As is usually the case the deceased was not a nice person and had a lot of folks out there who would like to have seen him dead. The culprit was a bit of a surprise though.

Nice to get a bit of personal insight to Perry Mason.

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