Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 2

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

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 138 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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John McNamara ...
Peter Cole
Hillary Brooke ...
Doris Cole
John Archer ...
Frank Maddox
Nancy Hadley ...
Edna Hammar - Secretary
...
Steve Harris
Helen Mowery ...
Lucille Mays Cole
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Attorney Ralph Duncan (as Thomas B. Henry)
Harry Hickox ...
Phillip Kendall
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Judge Carter
Tony Michaels ...
Jackson - Perry Mason's assistant
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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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(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
A Strong Second Entry
8 October 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

This second entry in the series is a strong one. In my little book, there are several reasons to catch up with it. Overall, the episode doesn't follow the formula that made later episodes less flexible and more predictable. For one, notice how much looser Mason appears in court and out. In fact, his scene with the regal Doris Cole (Hillary Brooke) is a little gem of verbal sparring and conflicting emotions, nicely scripted and expertly acted. Note that Mason is both attracted and challenged by the coyly aggressive Cole and in ways that would soon disappear from his no-nonsense character. Notice too, how glibly he resorts to tricks and deceptions to win his case. He's still a long way from the embodiment of legal virtue that his character would later become. The climax too is rather surprising given the conventions that would later take hold (I don't want to reveal the culprit). All in all, the entry shows a series feeling its way along and finding an audience, which it did brilliantly for the next ten years.


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