|Index||4 reviews in total|
In a unique episode, the viewer will be treated to many aspects that
are rare in 'Perry Mason' regular shows. Instead of a preliminary
hearing this case will be heard in front of a jury. Perry rest the
defensive side of the hearing without presenting any evidence. And we
get to hear closing arguments present to the jury. This is unusual in
most regular episodes from the series.
When a homely secretary, Janice Wainwright, becomes suspicious about her boss, Morley Theilman, being blackmailed she goes to see Perry for advice. Seems that she is to leave a suitcase filled with money in the a Union Station locker and mail the key to an person only known by a general address.
When her boss, Theilman, disappears she becomes even more suspicious when the police visit her apartment asking about his whereabouts. Seems even his wife of four years believes that that her husband may be having an affair with his secretary, Ms Wainwright.
Perry becomes suspicious of Ms Wainwrights actions when she quickly takes a train to Las Vegas. When the train arrives in Vegas, Perry is waiting on the platform (having taken a plane) and instead of meeting the homely Ms Wainwright- she is now stunning with a new make-over. And not only that, she is meeting her bosses ex-wife in Vegas.
It is not long before Morley Theilman's body is discovered at a vacant house owned by his company. And through circumstantial evidence the entire murder points to the lovely Ms Wainwright. But Perry does not lose faith and will defend her in court against Hamilton Burger's claims of murder for money. Perry will have to gamble in the courtroom as he does his best to defend Ms Wainwright on the mounds of evidence presented.
A very good story with an interesting mystery. Perry is at the top on his game in this episode.
Although the naiveté of Elaine Devry's character was a bit much to
swallow and Perry Mason goes to great lengths to keep her off the stand
this episode this episode is historic for one reason. Poor Hamilton
Burger is left sputtering over the Mason trickery more than usual.
Devry comes to Raymond Burr with a suitcase that her boss gave her to deliver to some party. And she also has a blackmail note retrieved from her boss's trash. Afterward however boss George Neisse is murdered and the cops are looking at her.
There's a good collection of alternative suspects as Neisse was involved in a proxy fight to retain control of his company. But in the end William Talman is forced to call a witness that Burr wanted on the stand. This was after Talman was led into blurting out evidence not introduced in a summation and Burr motions for a mistrial.
The sight of a sputtering William Talman makes this episode memorable. Although Burr could easily have just called that witness for a defense he didn't present. But it wouldn't have been any fun.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Perry Mason fans usually select their favorite episode from either of
the first two seasons, but I submit there is no episode better than
"The Case of the Shapely Shadow" from the fifth season. A realtor is
murdered and his secretary is accused. There is a mountain of physical
and circumstantial evidence connecting her with the crime, as well as
one eyewitness account, and the young lady is too terrified to defend
herself on the witness stand. But Perry tricks Hamilton Burger into
allowing new testimony--after arguments to the jury!--that establishes
the guilt of someone who was never accused.
Everything works in this episode: a marvelously sinuous script from the Gardner novel, first-rate scoring, excellent acting (you have never seen Burger so flustered) and pitch-perfect direction by Christian Nyby. Best of all, "Shapely Shadow" has the transparency of an Ellery Queen mystery. The viewer is presented with all of the evidence necessary to guess the identity of the murderer...but it is doubtful that many viewers actually will.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode proves that the strongest shows come from using Erle's
scripts as this one is one of his. The story is strong, the young
secretary gets Mason involved with a set up of her boss who is trying
to avoid a power struggle for his company involving his ex-wife. He
uses his second wife & the secretary as pawns in his plot until the
boss is found dead.
The real strength of this episode besides the plot is the great court sequence which has Burger & Perry playing off each other well. Mason does a rare pitch to a jury & yet there is still more. This is an episode no to be missed as Talman's Burger gets really involved in heated exchanges with Mason.
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