Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 1

The Case of the Restless Redhead (21 Sep. 1957)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 7 user

Perry's client is menaced by a car driven by a hooded man, whom she shoots at with a gun that was planted in her room. When the guy winds up dead from a bullet, Perry confuses matters by firing an identical gun later at the scene.

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(based on the novel by), (teleplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Case of the Restless Redhead (21 Sep 1957)

The Case of the Restless Redhead (21 Sep 1957) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Whitney Blake ...
Evelyn Bagby
Ralph Clanton ...
Mervyn Aldritch
...
Helene Chaney
...
Mr. Boles
Jane Buchanan ...
Mrs. Boles
Dick Rich ...
Grandon Rhodes ...
Judge Kippen
...
Mr. Redfield
Helen Mayon ...
Mary Thompson
Jack Gargan ...
Court Clerk
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Storyline

A nervous red headed Evelyn Bagby returns to her apartment at night after her shift as a waitress. She finds a snub nosed 38 Colt revolver in her cigarette case which is not hers. She calls Perry Mason whose answering service patches her through to him. She is calling due to a previous run-in with the police where she was accused of stealing jewelry but was acquitted. Perry has her go to a motel in Hollywood but on the way there a hooded man tries to force her off the road. She fires the gun toward the car but not at the man causing him to go off the road. She brings the gun to Perry who drives out to the scene of the accident only to find the man dead from a bullet wound and homicide there. The man killed had stolen $1500 from Evelyn when she first came to Hollywood. Paul Drake learns that two identical guns were bought by the prominent man Mervyn Aldritch for him and his fiancé, an actress. Perry decides to fire a second gun at the scene later to confuse the police to extract the ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

21 September 1957 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Sets the Pace
15 September 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

This first entry, a good one, shows how much the series changed over the nine years (1957-1966). Note how Mason (Burr) sports a loud jacket, smokes conspicuously, shakes his devious client, and generally acts in ways contrary to his later ultra-conservative demeanor. That's understandable, since at this point Mason's not yet the embodiment of the criminal justice system that he came to be with his button-down suits, professionally serious manner, and flawless manuevering. Also, the plots do not yet follow the later whodunit formula. Note in this initial 60 minutes how the guessing game concerns the murder gun more than who used it. Note too, how several of the interviews occur outdoors, probably on the studio lot, and not indoors on a sound stage. Later episodes tended to over-use the indoors (even the same staircase set), probably for cost-cutting reasons.

As one fan of the series, I do prefer these earlier entries since they're generally livelier, more colorful, and less predictable in format. Nonetheless, it's understandable that the Mason character would have to evolve in a conservative direction with the show's success. After all, as a defense attorney who never loses, he's showing up the prosecution week after week. On one hand, such positive outcomes prove that the system works-- the innocent are exonerated when the guilty confess. On the other hand, the prosecution puts innocent people on trial week after week who might otherwise be convicted without Mason's superb skills. The viewing public would never have tolerated a wise-guy in the Mason role for very long. And it's a tribute to Raymond Burr, the actor, that he manages the changes over the nine years as well as he does.

This first entry plays more like How-can-I-get-my-client-off than the trademark whodunit. Surprise, surprise, Mason's client is a shapely redhead (Blake). At one time or another, it seems Mason rescued about every starlet in Hollywood from Berger's well-intentioned clutches. This one sets that pace.


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