Perry Mason: Season 4, Episode 1

The Case of the Treacherous Toupee (17 Sep. 1960)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 76 users  
Reviews: 5 user

After a two-year absence, Hartley Bassett returns to reclaim his company. His wife Sybil is at a stockholders' meeting to vote with company president Peter Dawson to restructure the business after charges that her husband embezzled funds.



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Title: The Case of the Treacherous Toupee (17 Sep 1960)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peggy Converse ...
Sybil Basset
Peter Dawson
Ken Woodman
Cynthia Chenault ...
Teddi Hart (as Cindy Robbins)
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Hartley Basset (as Thomas B. Henry)
Dick Hart
Nelson Olmsted ...
Arthur Colemar
Dee Arlen ...
Lorna Grant
Jonathan Hole ...
Stanley Roderick


After a two year absence, Hartley Bassett returns to Los Angeles just as his wife is about to use his proxy to dissolve the company he founded and create a new firm with Peter Dawson, who has taken over the presidency of the firm in his absence. Bassett is told that the others assume he stole $6,000 from the firm when he left which is a surprise to him. Bassett fires Dawson and when Perry Mason contacts him on Dawson's behalf, he suggests that his client has stolen funds from the firm. He asks to meet with Mason that night after he has finished going over the books. When Hartley Bassett is found dead that very evening by Mason - with what proves to be a piece of Dawson's toupee in his hand - Perry's client is charged with his murder. In Perry's eyes however, there are several suspects including the dead man's wife Sybil, his son Dick and Dick's new wife Teddi who has now vanished who says she can identify the man came out of Bassett's office and can identify him. Perry risks censure ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

17 September 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is an adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardner's novel "The Case of the Counterfeit Eye." However, a glass eye would've been too gruesome for 1950s television, and so a toupee was substituted. See more »

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User Reviews

Good show- with a dash of trickery
12 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Season four begins as we get a nice little mystery involving murder and theft. But this time Perry uses some possible unethical conduct to save his client from the gas chamber. And from this information we know that this must be a good show to watch.

It begins as we see Hartley Basset, the owner of Basset Tool and Die, emerging from the airport. For some reason that was not may clear, Mr Basset has been away from the company and his wife for two years. In the mean time his wife, Sybil Basset, has taken his name off the company and promoted Peter Dawson as the president.

Right before a shareholders meeting that is to give Peter Dawson nearly all control of the company, Mr Basset comes rushing in to put a halt to the meeting and to retake his place as the president and owner. And one of the first thing he does is to fire Peter Dawson.

Perry, after being contacted by Mr Dawson, is suppose to have a meeting with Mr Basset over theft of money from the company. Upon arriving at the company find that Mr Basset has been murdered. Dick Hart, Basset's step-son, and his new wife, Teddi Hart, were also at the company when the murdered occurred. Teddi is knocked to the floor but gets a clear look at the shooter. Thus making her a key witness for the police.

But before the police can question her, Teddi goes missing and Lt Tragg believes Perry had something to do with the disappearance. Since all the evidence, including hair from a toupee, points to Peter Dawson as the murderer, Perry will have a difficult time defending him in court.

But with some trickery, Perry will find his way around the mounds of evidence to produce the real killer and the real motive for the murder. And the trickery will produce some criminal claims by Hamilton Burger.

Seems like there was a lot of needless information provided in this show to confuse the viewer and stretch the show out to the normal 52 minutes. But at the end it played well with the viewer. Maybe not the most exciting show but one that produces a good mystery for all viewers.

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

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