Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 2

The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (28 Sep. 1957)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 148 users  
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A man's wife is divorcing him after he is caught sleep walking with a knife near her bed. When his stepbrother is found dead stabbed with the knife, he is charged with murder and is accused of using his sleepwalking as a cover-up.

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Title: The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (28 Sep 1957)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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John McNamara ...
Peter Cole
Hillary Brooke ...
Doris Cole
John Archer ...
Frank Maddox
Nancy Hadley ...
Edna Hammar
...
Steve Harris
Helen Mowery ...
Lucille Mays
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Ralph Duncan (as Thomas B. Henry)
Harry Hickox ...
Phillip Kendall
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Judge
Tony Michaels ...
Jackson
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Storyline

During an unhappy marriage, Peter Cole is found near his wife Doris' bed with a knife in his hand sleep walking. Doris accusing him of trying to kill her decides to divorce him. A year later one day before the divorce is to be finalized, Peter's business partner Frank Maddox visits Doris asking her to hold off on the divorce offering her $100,000. Maddox and his attorney Ralph Duncan visit Peter and his step-brother Phillip Kendall. Maddox wants $500,000 for his share of their company which is about the worth of the whole company or Doris will not grant the divorce. Peter's niece and secretary Edna Hammar calls Perry Mason to help her uncle who is engaged to remarry. Perry intervenes suggesting Maddox and Duncan stay at Phillips home that night. Phillip is found stabbed to death the next morning after he and Maddox had traded rooms. Peter is arrested for the murder with the belief he stabbed Phillip expecting Maddox to be in the bed. Edna's boyfriend Steve helps Perry by delivering ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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courtroom spectator | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

28 September 1957 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Jackson, a clerk and process server who appears in several Perry Mason novels, appears in just this one episode of the Perry Mason television series. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sterling Cross Examination
22 May 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Raymond Burr is brought in by stepbrothers Harry Hickox and John McNamara to untangle a fine legal mess. Hickox and McNamara are business partners in whom a third partner is blackmailing them to buy him out of the business. Partner John Archer and his bottom feeding attorney Tom Browne Henry have entangled the affairs of their company in with the fact that Archer has been having an affair with Hillary Brooke who is McNamara's wife.

When Hickox is stabbed to death and McNamara is arrested that's when Perry Mason's real courtroom skills are needed.

There are two key scenes in the film, one a real battle of wits between Hillary Brooke and Raymond Burr. He cleverly brings her around to help with her estranged husband by explaining her rational self interest.

The second though when under a sterling cross examination he traps the real perpetrator into admitting guilt. This is setting up the Perry Mason paradigm in the best possible way.

That last scene is worth the hour watching this episode.


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