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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.



(based on the novel by), (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John McNamara ...
Peter Cole
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 ...
Tony Michaels ...


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


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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Did You Know?


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

Season 1 Episode 2 = a good time for viewers
25 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After watching episodes from the later years, I reverted and watched this episode from the first season. This episode was number two in the entire 'Perry Mason' series.

There is a big difference in this early show than in the later shows. Raymond Burr's performance as Perry is highly energetic with high emotions. (something lacking in the final two seasons) The viewer is caught up in this lawyer's world of trying to find the facts with full involvement of the Perry character. And his exchanges with other characters, especially Lt Tragg, is some of the best work of the entire series.

This episode begins with a man that sleep-walks during times of high stress. In the opening seasons Peter Cole (John MacNamara) comes walking into the bedroom holding the larges letter opener (the largest I have ever seen) and walks up to where his wife Doris Cole (Hillary Brooke) is sleeping. She awakes screaming when Edna, the niece, come running into the bedroom and arouses Peter. Needless to say Ms Cole files for divorce.

Right when the divorce will become final, a business partner of Peter Coles has a scheme to make Peter pay millions for his part of the business and hold the divorce over his head until the money is paid. However before the papers are signed Peter's brother-in-law is found dead and in come Perry to defend Peter for murder.

The viewer is now all aboard for the ride that will produce Perry in some of his best on-camera situations. I found this episode quite entertaining as we see Perry conduct the investigation that will lead his client to freedom. Along the way we meet characters that the viewer finds interesting and wants to follow throughout the entire episode.

Some of the acting seems, at times, slow. Perhaps the series did not yet command respect from CBS and retaking a scene was not of prime importance. But even with some questionable acting this episode delivers what made Perry Mason a favorite for many years.

Note- During the scene where Lt Tragg is talking to Steve Harris at the police station- Look at Lt Tragg's belt. Forget the fact it is pulled up to above the stomach- look at the buckle- perhaps they wore it like that in the late 50's.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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