An ex-gangster decides to pull out of a play the author is basing on a real life mob related killing. His threatening request is recorded so when the playwright is murdered, he is charged with the murder as Perry sorts out the actors.




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Episode cast overview:
Joanne Gilbert ...
Faith Foster
Katharine Bard ...
Helen Dwight
Ernest Royce
Frank Brooks
Jim West
John Gifford
Robert McQueeney ...
Michael Dwight
Richard Gaines ...
Connie Cezon ...
Court Clerk


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 richardann

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

21 March 1959 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The last of four episodes directed by Gerd Oswald. Reportedly, Oswald was fired by the producers because they considered his direction to be annoyingly arty. 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 »


[first lines]
Ernest Royce: 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, ...
See more »

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User Reviews

The Play's the Thing
10 August 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Jerome Cowan is a brilliant playwright, but one mean and cynical man. His latest work from which the third act has been stolen just before he presents to his producer David Lewis and his wife who is also the star Katharine Bard is full of hints and innuendo about a gangland murder a decade ago in which just about everyone he knew had some connection. That night someone puts a bullet to him as he's dictating another third act into a recorder.

Raymond Burr gets involved when one of the investors Stacy Harris has been known to threaten Cowan before and the same day of the murder over his girlfriend, the play's ingénue Faith Foster.

Defending Harris will also involve Perry Mason solving a cold case gangland murder. See how he does it.

As Hamlet said, "The Play's the thing".

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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