At a script read-through of a new play by Ernest Royce, the last act has been stolen. Royce has words with the producer, John Gifford, and the publicist, Jim West, who think the new play is dreadful. None of the Royce written plays produced by Gifford have had good revues or produced a profit. The new play may even be a roman a clef that could be hurtful to the real people characterized. Royce threatens Gifford with exposure if the play is not produced. Meanwhile, Royce is having an affair with Faith Foster, the ingenue of the play. Tough guy Frank Brooks who has a mob related background has $75K, and his girlfriend Faith, invested in the play, and he wants his assets back. Brooks rather rough request for his money back to Royce is recorded on Royce's Dictaphone. Royce is murdered, and Brooks consults with Perry Mason, who is concerned the New York City mob may be involved. Written by
Did You Know?
Jerome Cowan, who portrays playwright Ernest Royce, had a long and varied career as a character actor, with 220 titles in his Imdb filmography. They included the classic The Maltese Falcon, in which he played Miles Archer, the partner of Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart). Cowan's role was arguably a cameo, since Archer gets bumped off within the first few minutes of the film. See more
When Perry is questioning the publicity man (Richard Erdman) Jim West on the stand, Perry brings up photocopies of newspaper West has written. Perry asks the court that the copies be entered in evidence, yet after asking the court, the clerk does not come up to do so, nor does Perry wait for the court clerk, he turns back around to continue his questioning of the witness ; as happens when Perry enters another photocopied newspaper into evidence. See more
Steve says, "I know my people. I know the two faces of them. The faces they wear for the public, and the secret faces they show only to each other." Gilbert says, "Perhaps. We'll see. When do I get the last act." And Steve says, "I starting it as soon as you leave. If I live to finish it." Steve opens the door for them, and they exit. Steve grins, sits at his desk, switches on the Dictaphone and begins to dictate. Third act. It's a few minutes after midnight as the curtain rises, ...