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 »


A twelve-year-old murder is committed with a Smith and Wesson Chiefs Special, a revolver not yet invented at that time. 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, ...
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User Reviews

A written play is becoming true life in this entertaining mystery
9 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode begins at a reading of a play written by the known playwright Ernest Royce. As Royce is reading this play concerning a murder it is being listen to by a group of people that includes the producer, the lead actress, a reporter and a company manager. When Royce gets to the final Act of the murder, he finds out that someone has replaced his written words with blank pages. The last Act that includes the murderer's name is missing.

Royce then sets out to rewrite the last Act of the play. While using a tape-recorder to help in the writing, an ex-gangster and now money backer Frank Brooks barges in the office wanting his money back that he invested in the play. He goes as far as saying that Royce could get hurt if the money is not returned and all his conversation is captured on tape. When Royce is later shot the tape recording will be used to issue a murder warrant on the ex-con Brooks.

Perry will defend Frank Brooks on the charge as we learn that the written play is following the exact situation of Royce's murder. If the last Act is found then perhaps the murderer will be revealed and also the reason for some strange happenings with other characters in the show.

This is an excellent mystery. A written play that is following an actual murder will have any person intrigued. With such a interesting story the mystery ended in a rather confusing manner. The confusion does not involve the suspects or characters but the murder weapon. The murder weapon is pulled out by a character while in the witness stand but how the person got the gun is hard to comprehend. It seemed it changed hands a number of times before nearly being used one last time in the LA courtroom. That was one situation that was hard to swallow. But with that said the story was strong enough to produce an entertaining and compelling watch for viewers.

NOTE- One scene is a great moment. When Lt Tragg serves the murder warrant on James Brooks, it is a moment that is classic Ray Collins.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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