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Shades of Marilyn Munster (The Munsters CBS 1964-1966) with Anne Whitfield as the "Ugly Duckling". jfh 20Jan2017.
Kudos to the writers for this one. Many episodes of Perry Mason are misogynous. But this one stands out as really understanding the predicament young women find themselves in: having to live up to so many expectations and being denied a chance for self-determination, having their self-esteem undermined because they can’t fit into rigid expectations of how they should look, dress, act, even think or feel. Perry Mason is wonderful defending poor Alice to her uncle—pointing out the cruelty of expecting a girl to marry—anyone—to prove her maturity and responsibility and keeping a doll on the market that reminds her of every way she failed to meet her father’s approval. Very astutely Perry observes how the uncle’s real concern is not Alice’s happiness but his desire for power. Perry is truly a white knight here. Submitted by gracenote, 3/24/2011.
+ “I'm taking care of the Alice thing, too,” says the uncle. The Alice thing? Oh my… Submitted by gracenote, 3/24/2011.
++Misogyny still abounds: a young woman, willful and secure in her own mind, meets a man who says she's pretty and, right away, the young woman re-styles her hair, begins wearing makeup, and dons a conventional dress and spangly jewelry. Ain't love grand? jfh 20Jqn2017.
+++ In the first scene at the dingy bar, I first thought the bartender's mention of Alice working out at the YMCA was a nice touch. But we never learn whether she actually does so, and it was probably meant instead as a slight and criticism of her inattention to 1960s girliness. She'd be right at home spinning or kickboxing in the gym today. JohnK 26 January 2018
++ According to Perry, while talking to Harry Trilling (starting around 6:30 of the 2012 Paramount DVD), "There is doubtful wisdom behind the stipulation in his will that says, 'Unless my daughter can prove herself responsible before her next birthday, either by marrying or by otherwise showing that she's settled down...'." Good luck in legally and inexpensively proving whether someone has "settled down". And how much of a paraphrase of the actual will was that? At the least, the will could have "she is" or "she has" rather than "she's". lowercase masonite, 4/4/16.
Anne Whitfield is terrific as the confused young woman. This may be the most consistently touching episode of the entire series.
Just why is the scuba diver listed as “Scuba Fella” in the credits? Is this a joke on the part of the writers or producers? Submitted by gracenote, 3/24/2011.
+ There's a scuba diver in the next episode also, also played by Richard Geary, but he's listed as "Scuba Diver." Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 12/16/2016.
This episode has a nice directorial touch of the type not seen too often in "Perry." At the start of the first courtroom scene, the view pans down slowly from an overhead view. And then at the very end, the camera pans back up to the overhead view. It makes for nice bookends to the trial. Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 12/7/11.
About summary editing: The original plot summary describes Alice as "ugly as sin, and she's the first one to say so." She is not, of course, but the point is that she considers herself ugly. Kelleher and Merrill, the authors of the book, certainly come up short in their episode summaries from time to time, but as they are copyrighted material, they are not ours to change, regardless of the "edit" option supplied, which I believe is an oversight. There is plenty of room down here to note any mistakes or descriptions that you just don't like. Submitted by francis, 10/06/14.
+The Summary is incorrect stating, "Alice confronts her uncle and pushes his wheelchair, toppling it.". Alice does not push rhe wheelchair, rather, she strikes her uncle. jfh 20Jan2017.
There were no similarities, other than both stories had a talking doll, but this show made me think of The Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll". The TZ episode had its first showing about six months before this story was originally broadcast. Submitted by H. Mason 4/3/15
+ I'm not so sure "there were no similarities": to me, at least, the voices of the two sound identical; well known vocalist June Foray performed the role in TZ, and (though apparently uncredited) it's not unreasonable to think she did here, as well. (If that's the case, then Ms. Foray, who is approaching centenarian status, is also in the running for oldest surviving PM alum) Speculated by Notcom, 050117.
+ + I would not bet money on it, but i too thought that that the Angie doll had June Foray's voice. Foray was the voice of Chatty Cathy, Mattel's hugely popular talking doll that inspired both PM's Angie and TZ's Talky Tina, which she also voiced. Submitted by catyron, June 13th, 2018
Clients: In the last scene Anthony Usher said Perry was going to defend him in the perjury case. Perry seemed to have conceded that Usher would be found guilt. He said Usher would be spending time in jail. Could that be because he stole and damaged Alice's car. If that were true then wouldn't it be a conflict of interest for him to represent Usher. Submitted by H. Mason 4/3/15
That Singing Spaceship must be the most annoying toy ever made! I do believe his is our first murder by doll. The idea that a young woman would be thought plain or unattractive when she so obviously is not reminds me of the movie "Marty". DOD 1/25/18
Usher's first sketch of Alice has a distinct Margaret Keane influence. DOD 1/25/18
+ I agree with that, 100%. Submitted by catyron, June 13th, 2018
I cannot get over how people tell poor Alice that she is ugly. I wouldn’t even call her plain. And then of course, she shows that she has matured by starting to wear makeup and donning a more chic hairdo. She’s a swan now. Oh well, the episode started out daring, but I guess they just couldn’t see it through without relying on Hollywood conventions. On the other hand, at least it doesn’t end with a wedding and the two living happily ever after (the boy’s in jail)! (Not that I don’t like happy endings, just not ones.) Submitted by gracenote, 3/24/2011.
I must agree with gracenote. It's odd of Hollywood that they could'nt find some character actress who would be really ugly (yes, I know the old story) but this young lady is nowhere near that - even without 'makeup' (ha), she's cute. I'd chase her! Submitted by MikeReese, 3/21/2014.
I also like this episode because of the angle involving the artist and Alice ... how hard it was to admit that he had feelings for her, at first. Considering how he initially came to meet her, I see the logic - but it's so plain from the time he's introduced in the story, no one could miss it! It reminded me of something in my life as well ... and being told by an acquaintance that it was obvious how I and another person felt about each other! Oh, well... Submitted by MikeReese, 4/28/2017.