Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 30

The Case of the Screaming Woman (26 Apr. 1958)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 129 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

An elderly nurse visits Perry for advice but leaves not listening. Later, she arrives at the police station to confess to killing a columnist who is using a book she stole from a doctor to blackmail him into giving her a baby of her own.



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Title: The Case of the Screaming Woman (26 Apr 1958)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Connie Cooper
Berry Kroeger ...
Eugene Jarech
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Leona Walsh
Arthur Shields ...
Dr. George Barnes
Mary K. Davis
Ralph Davis
Karin Booth ...
Susan Marshall
Don Gardner ...
Bob Shroeder
Morris Ankrum ...
Judge Cameron
Phil Arnold ...
Apartment Manager


Influential columnist Mary K. Davis desperately wants a baby in order to keep her diplomat husband, Ralph Davis, from leaving her for another woman. She enters the office of Dr. George Barnes and nurse Leona Walsh to steal a book of the doctor's adoption records. She will return the book if Dr. Barnes will provide her a baby which she has told her husband she is expecting in order to keep him. After visiting Davis at her home to plead for the book, Leona consults with Perry Mason for advice. Dr. Barnes runs a hospital where single women who are pregnant enter under the alias of the woman who is going to adopt the baby. Dr. Barnes then generates false birth certificates under the false names. The book contains all the records on such births. Mary's secretary visit's Mary's lawyer, Eugene Jarech, who then visits Perry hoping to share the information in the book, illegally. When Mary K. is murdered, Leona confesses to the crime, and Perry must cut a Gordian knot of intrigue to get at the... Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

26 April 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Philip Ober who plays Ralph Davis, and Josephine Hutchinson who plays Leona Walsh were both in North by Northwest shot the same year, he playing the real Lester Townsend, and she playing the phony Mrs. Townsend See more »


A large envelope with a book inside has been put into a fireplace and is shown catching fire around the edges of the envelope. In the next shot, a couple of seconds later, book and envelope have already been reduced to black ash. See more »

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User Reviews

Great Epilogue
10 May 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

It's true.

Viewers will want screaming Mary K. Davis, a scandalous, newspaper gossip columnist to die, in Perry Mason's, "The Case of The Screaming Woman".

And she does! Blackmailers almost always do on this series.

Mary K needs to have a baby to preserve her failing marriage. She believes that is the only thing to prevent her husband from divorcing her, and possibly ruining her career. She decides to upset the best intentions of Dr. Barnes illegitimate adoption process of finding suitable parents for illegitimate children, by blackmailing him with exposure of the unwed mothers who used his service, unless he reconsiders not giving her a child. If only Dr. Barnes hadn't kept a written record of the whole process, Mary K wouldn't have gotten her hands on it.

The other reviews here are adequate. The only thing I wish to add is that this episode of Perry Mason has one of the best epilogues : Deadpan Lt. Tragg and his envelope of shattered dictating cylinders provides the perfect comic relief at the end of this most severe, melodramatic and perhaps best episode of Perry Mason's nine-season run.

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