Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Lucky Loser 

Ted Balfour is convicted of vehicular manslaughter and given a suspended sentence through a plea bargain. When the police discover the victim actually died of a gunshot wound to the head, Ted is charged with first degree murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Perry Mason
... Della Street
... Paul Drake
... Hamilton Burger
... Lt Tragg (credit only)
... Harriet Balfour
... Lawrence Balfour
... Florence Ingle
... Steven Boles
... Ted Balfour
Richard Hale ... Addison Balfour
Woody Chambliss ... Fred Haley (as Woodrow Chambliss)
... Thurston - Butler (as John Eldrege)
... Judge Cadwell
Guy Rennie ... Deputy D.A. Roger Faris


When Lawrence Balfour thinks his wife is having an affair, he follows her to a remote cabin. When she leaves, he attempts to confront her lover but in the darkness, his gun goes off and the man falls to the ground. In a panic he returns homes and calls the family's fixer, Steven Boles, who collects the body and makes it look like a road accident. The next day, Lawrence Balfour's nephew Ted is arrested and eventually convicted of manslaughter. Ted has no recollection whatsoever of the night in question when a man was run over with his car and accepted a plea bargain. Perry Mason is hired by the patriarch of the Balfour family, the elderly Addison Balfour, to find a way to have that conviction overturned. After Perry makes it clear he will not cooperate with Boles after Boles tells Perry the true facts, Perry is discharged by the family. When the police realize that the victim wasn't run over but was in fact shot, Ted is charged with murder and decides he still wants Perry to represent ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery






Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bruce Bennett, who plays one of the murder suspects, had been a Warner Brothers contract player in the 1940s, and appeared in dozens of films, including Treasure of the Sierra Madre. This is one of five Perry Mason episodes in which he was cast. He is probably best-remembered for playing Joan Crawford's ever loyal first husband in Mildred Pierce. See more »


Why did the DA suddenly decide to exhume the body? The trial was over. Apparently even though hit and run is a crime. There was no autopsy. The DA can't just decide to exhume a body. He has to prove to a judge there is a solid reason to. And then he has to get permission from the family. It's hard to imagine a case so badly bungled as the first trial. On both sides. See more »


[first lines]
Harriet Balfour: I do wish I were going with you to Mexico instead of staying here in Los Angeles.
Lawrence Balfour: Well, this trip's gonna be too dangerous, Harriet. It's in the most rugged territory in the Sierra Madre Mountains. It's no place for a woman, especially my wife.
See more »


References The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

If you think you know the facts- keep watching till the end
12 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

This is a different kind of episode than we are accustom since we know the facts early in the show instead of a who-done-it kind of mystery. But we know that the wrong person has been accused of the crime and Perry has been brought in to defend the lad.

To give you some background without giving away the crime, the story involves a powerful family with the named of Balfour's. Ted Balfour was first convicted of hit-and-run manslaughter charge into the killing of George Egan. Hamilton Burger has questions about the death and revisits the body to find a gunshot wound to the head. Now Hamilton Burger issues a murder warrant on Ted Balfour.

Now we, as viewers, know the circumstance of the murder, this is when Perry will enter the picture. When the murder trial begins, Perry will move for dropping the charges on the grounds of double jeopardy. Ted has already been convicted of the death and cannot be retried. The Judge makes a ruling to go ahead with the trail and a higher court would rule on the double jeopardy request. So the court hearing will continue.

During the trail we hear some strange testimony from the witnesses. Since we know the details of the incident we know most are committing perjury. But Perry, with much help form Paul Drake Detective Agency, will have to fight off all the lies in order to get his client cleared of not only the murder charge but also cleared of the manslaughter case. But before the end of the episode there is a bizarre twist that will have each viewer flabbergasted by the evidence and event of the murder.

At first I thought knowing the details of the murder early in the show would diminish the value of the show. However I was proved wrong as this episode was strangely interesting. And one person that could have had perjury charges against them will be facing much worse. And we, the viewer, will be entertained to the fullest.

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