Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Ugly Duckling 

Alice Trilling can inherit her father's toy company empire only if she marries by her next birthday. Her uncle who runs the firm, has tried to introduce her to many men. He is found dead after an argument with Alice after his latest plan.



(characters created by), (as Richard Landau)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Della Street
Paul Drake
Hamilton Burger
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Lt. Andy Anderson
Anne Whitfield ...
Natalie Graham
Albert Charity
Adam Lazarre ...
Anthony Usher (as Adam LaZarre)
Miss Jefferson


Prospective heiress Alice Trilling has very low self-esteem, seeing herself as ugly and unable to live up to her late father's expectations. Her father's perverse will requires her to marry before her next birthday or the family company, Trilling Toys, will be sold off. The business is being run by her uncle, Harry Trilling, who's been doing his best to get her to settle down but to no avail. Alice's emotions are best summed up by the the Angie doll, the company's best selling product which was created for Alice but exemplified a level of perfection she could never hope to achieve. Talbot Sparr is the company executive who actually made the doll and feels Harry Trilling is unsuitable to head the company, having blocked many of his ideas for new products. When Alice learns that Uncle Harry paid her new boyfriend to romance her, she confronts him. When Harry Trilling is found dead, Alice is arrested and Perry Mason defends her. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

21 May 1964 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode, about the Trilling Toy company, aired in May 1964, just a few months after Steve Trilling, a longtime Warner Bros. television executive, was fired and committed suicide. See more »


[first lines]
[Harry Trilling gets out of a car, unsteadily, and tries to open the back door]
Talbot Sparr: [rushing out to help] Mr. Trilling! What are you doing here?
Harry Trilling: I'm all right, Talbot. I can handle my own wheelchair, thank you.
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User Reviews

A washing machine salesman with big ideas
21 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

I think a psychiatrist would have a field day with most of the involved people in this Perry Mason episode. I also suspect a few issues among those who dreamed this one up.

Anne Whitfield, best remembered as Dean Jagger's granddaughter in White Christmas is the subject of one of those insane wills thought up by really screwed up parents. If she's not married by the age of 21 and she is the sole heir, her father's toy company will be sold. But her legal guardian is uncle Ford Rainey who likes being head of a big business, because as he's reminded often he was washing machine salesman before this windfall he'd like to keep going.

What Rainey does is hire an itinerant artist to play up to Whitfield and maybe marry her. Not easy as the young lady has self esteem issues and is never sure men aren't interested in her bank account. When Whitfield, Rainey gets dead. Of course she didn't do it, but she looks mighty good for it.

Adam Lazarre the artist is a truly unbelievable character, especially when he has a change of art. A plot gambit used in hundreds of films and TV shows, but not convincing here at all.

This was one Perry Mason episode I couldn't buy into.

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