Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 2

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

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 125 users  
Reviews: 6 user

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)

The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece (28 Sep 1957) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Talman ...
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


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

Plot Keywords:

courtroom spectator


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

28 September 1957 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A solid and entertaining episode
12 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Peter Cole, a lifelong sleepwalker, is charged with murdering his stepbrother, Philip Kendal. Peter and Philip's partner, in cahoots with Peter's almost ex-wife, tries to extort money from them by grossly inflating his share of the partnership. He would sell his share of the partnership but only at his price. If Peter and Philip didn't agree, there would be no final divorce decree for Peter. But instead of the corrupt partner ending up dead, it's Philip who's murdered. There is a scene where Perry returns to the office later one evening, Della is still at work and seeing how tired Perry is, massages his shoulders. Such an overt gesture of affection does not occur again in the series, to my recollection. Also in this episode, Perry has an assistant named Jackson who does not appear in succeeding episodes. Another good idea as it allowed Paul Drake to do the legal errands for Perry. The acting highlight is Darryl Hickman as the boyfriend of Peter's niece. Hickman was a well known and respected child actor whose fame, however, was overshadowed but his brother Dwayne who portrayed the enormously popular Dobie Gillis.

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