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<< Restless Redhead | Episodes | Nervous Accomplice >>

#2: The Case of the
Sleepwalker's Niece
Original Airdate: 09/28/57

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
In this episode Perry must defend a man with a motive. Peter Cole walks in his sleep and has been found more than once roaming the house, unaware of his actions. One night, he was even found standing over someone’s bed holding a knife. Now he's been accused of stabbing a man who was attempting to extort money from him and block the progression of his divorce. Cole hires Perry to handle his difficult defense.

Perry needs all the encouragement he can get. Thanks to Della, he gets it in the famous shoulder-rubbing scene.

PMESG

Credits Edit

Random actor from episode. Click for page of all available.

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner's The Case of The Sleepwalker's Niece
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins

Trailing

Directed by William D. Russell
Teleplay by Laurence Marks, Gene Wang
Ben Brady | Producer
Produced by CBS Television in association with Paisano Productions
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Sam White | Associate Producer

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg

Cast

John McNamara as Peter Cole
Hillary Brooke as Doris Cole
John Archer as Frank Maddox
Nancy Hadley as Edna Hammar
Darryl Hickman as Steve Harris
Helen Mowery as Lucille Mays
Thomas B. Henry as Ralph Duncan
Harry Hickox as Phillip Kendall
Kenneth MacDonald as Judge
Tony Michaels as Jackson
Clark Howat as Policeman
Fred Graham as Sheriff
Joey Ray as Detective
Jack Harris as Court Clerk

Uncredited Actors

Don Anderson as { Juror
Courtroom Spectator

Lee Miller as Courtroom Spectator

Crew

Gene Wang | Story Editor
Production Supervisor … J. Paul Popkin
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lyle Wheeler, Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Maxwell Henry
Editorial Supervisor … Art Seid, A.C.E.
Makeup … Mel Berns
Wardrobe Supervision … Dick James
Set Decorations … Walter M. Scott, Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Recorded by … Alfred Bruzlin
Rerecording Mixer … Harry M. Leonard
Script Supervisor … Cosmo Genovese

Trivia Edit

CARS: 1957 Ford Skyliner retractable, black (Mason), 1957 Plymouth convertible. From The Cars by Greg Cockerill.
CORRECTION. The above entry is in error; it appears to be the "CARS" entry for Ep#3. As previously noted by billp four paras below, in this ep#2 Perry drives a spiffy white 1957 Buick Special Convertible, shown in this screenshot (recent photos here). Like Perry's later Caddys, the Buick Special is a GM car. I agree with billp's belief that "this episode marks a transition between early (Ford) and middle (1957 Cadillac) episodes." The only other cast-car in this episode is a two-tone '56 Chev Bel Air hardtop (driver Steve Harris or Perry's assistant Jackson), seen briefly on a winding road coming back from Santa Barbara to LA. Incidental vehicles seen at LA airport near the end of the episode are two Flxible Clipper busses and a '55 Ford Country Sedan, all shown in this IMCDb screenshot. Submitted by Gary Woloski, 13 Mar 2012.

Darryl Hickman makes his only Perry appearance here playing Steve Harris. Darryl Hickman was a prolific child actor appearing in among others, Grapes of Wrath, The Human Comedy, and Leave Her to Heaven. Upon entering adulthood, however, his star was surpassed by his little brother Dewayne Hickman, staring as Dobie Gillis. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 25 August 2009.

The (shooting?) script for this episode is dated 27 June 1957. Scripts for at least 9 episodes are dated earlier. So, while it was aired 2nd, I believe this episode was no earlier than the 10th filmed. There was about a 3 month lag between filming and air date. Submitted by billp, 3 November 2009.

Fred Graham (Sheriff) played a detective in Rear Window, where Raymond Burr has his most famous film role. Graham is also in “TCOT Credulous Quarry” where he plays a fire chief. Submitted by billp, 15 November 2009.

In this episode, Perry drives a 1957 Buick. In early episodes he drives a 1957 Ford. I hypothesize that in later episodes he first drives a 1957 and then 1958 Cadillac. He winds up the season in a 1958 Ford. So 1957 Ford marks early, 1957 Cadillac marks middle episodes, 1958 Cadillac marks late episodes, and 1958 Fords is the last show or so of the season. Although an early script, it’s not particularly early. I believe this episode marks a transition between early (Ford) and middle (1957 Cadillac) episodes. No earlier than the 12th filmed. But more likely no earlier than the 15th filmed. Submitted by billp, 29 November 2009.

Continuity: The Sleepwalking Jury: This episode involves a jury trial (a relative rarity), the first jury trial in broadcast sequence. But magically, these jurors seem to be in two places at once. During Mason's cross examination of Frank Maddox (John Archer), we can clearly see 10 of the 12 jurors. A few story minutes later during his cross of Frank Duncan (Thomas B. Henry), Mason sends Paul out on an errand. During Paul’s exit, 9 of the 10 jurors we saw earlier are also recognizable in the gallery as he passes. (Are they trying to see the case from all angles? Or have they been sleepwalking?) Slow motion, quick pauses, and DVD clarity help considerably in spotting them. In other shots, some of the jurors are more clearly seen, but their seating arrangement is not always consistent. Presumably there were 12 jurors all doubling as spectators, but only “sleepwalking jurors” out 10 are confirmed. And presumably this double-duty was to observe economy in the casting budget. Greater economy was usually observed by having Mason win his case at the preliminary hearing so that the producers wouldn’t have to hire a jury at all. Submitted by alan_sings, 9/27/2010. Some photographic evidence here.

Sightings / Uncredited Actors: Two of the jurors are familiar faces. Juror #7 (back row left end) is frequent uncredited actor Don Anderson, who also sits in the front row of the gallery behind the defense table near the window. Juror #9 (two seats to the right of Anderson) is Distinguished Gentleman #1, described on the Who Is That? page. He can also be seen in the back row of the gallery seated with some of the other “sleepwalking” jurors. Submitted by alan_sings, 9/27/2010.
+ At the airport, the aforementioned Gentleman also appears as an extra just as Mr. Cole is arrested. A bit earlier in the scene, another man walks by who might be Burr’s stand-in, Lee Miller. Submitted by gracenote, 8/23/2011.
+ Back in the courtroom, Distinguished Gentleman #2 sits in the back of the gallery. (He also appears as a juror. See Sleepwalking Jury item, above). Submitted by gracenote, 8/23/2011.
+ Room for one more: Distinguished Lady #4 is a juror, too. You can view her clearly in the Sleepwalking Jury pix (see above). Submitted by gracenote, 9/6/2011.

Syndication cuts: Conversation between Paul and Della at Gertie's desk; conversation between Paul and Perry as Mason's lighter doesn't light including Paul's report about Maddox's involvement in a scandal and Duncan getting him off five to ten years; Mason flying out to a Las Vegas Airport; Della rubbing Perry's shoulders and informing him Doris wants to see him; entire scene between Steve and Tragg in the lieutenant's office; Burger giving his opening statement. Additional Hallmark cuts: entire scene of phone call between Doris and Maddox at 11:10 pm; entire scene of Maddox, Duncan and policeman as Maddox tries to leave to phone Doris again at 10:45 am; 29 seconds where Duncan signals to Burger to object to Mason's questions about lawyer ethics and Burger refuses; Perry whispers to Paul and Drake leaves the court. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/03/12.

Cast Note: Hillary Brooke, a New York girl who crafted a cultured accent, appears in this episode in one of her last TV roles. Besides her film work, including three Sherlock Holmes films for Universal, she'd done scores of TV roles in the '50s, especially light comedy, including one season on The Abbott & Costello Show, and three seasons on My Little Margie. After retiring in 1960 she enjoyed another 40 years in private life. Submitted by francis, 5/13/14.

It's for you, Mr. Mason: They were the good old days, before cell phones. For the first time in the series, someone tracks down Perry in the field. At the Cole Ranch house, it's his legal assistant Jackson calling from Santa Barbara. Submitted by francis, 5/25/14.

Temperance: Quite often in the series, Perry is offered a drink; he seldom accepts and rarely drinks it. This time he accepts a tall drink from Doris Cole but hands it back to her moments later. Submitted by francis, 5/25/14.

Closed-Caption Anomaly: On the CBS/Paramount DVD set, at 21:56 when Paul submits a monthly statement to Della for the Paul Drake Detective Agency the closed-captioning indicates the Fallgrade Detective Agency. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/31/14.

Although this is a full-length episode at 52:30 (although a few first-season episodes run longer) at two places the music stops so abruptly it seems a scene was cut out (as in syndicated episodes). First, at 9:22 after we see Perry Mason's door, followed by Mason already talking to Edna and Peter; and second at 26:36 after we see the McCarran Field sign. Perhaps the episode ran long and scenes were cut shortly before the original airdate. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/31/14.

Although we hear Gertie's voice saying "Yes, sir" on the intercom, it obviously isn't Connie Cezon's voice who hadn't yet appeared on the series at least in the aired order. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/31/14.

This was the first of 43 episodes where Paul called Della "beautiful". In some of the stories he did it more than once. Submitted by H. Mason 9/25/14

The case of the misplaced kiss:Twice in the first scenes where Maddox and Doris kiss, it looks like Hillary playing Doris kisses him both times on his upper lip rather than on lips. When you see it (thanks to a large TV), it looks odd but possibly because she turns her head so much during the kiss. Submitted by Perry Baby 9/25/14

Technical goof: Toward the end of the show when the camera is on Drake as he enters the courtroom and then the camera pans to Perry who is front of the judge's bench, you can easily here what sounds like a plastic cup hit the floor. No one seems to react but you can clearly hear it. Submitted by Perry baby 9/25/14

Comments Edit

The $100,000 Maddox offers to Doris Cole would be worth about $736,561.28 in 2007 dollars. She later accepts $25,000 ($184,140.32) to settle from Mason. That’s still an “ouch” in my book, especially when we consider what kind of lady she is. The $500,000 Maddox wants for his share of the company would $3,682,806.39. Submitted by billp, 12/26/2008.

billp added his notes about current value of money a long time ago and, while it is useful, i always chuckle at pasting the exact amount calculated including cents! A half million in 1957 would in 2008 money be $3.6million...and 39¢! submitted by DyNama, 7/1/2014

Novel Oddities: 1) In the novel the judge's name is given as Judge Markham. Actor Monte Markham portrayed Perry Mason in the 1973-74 CBS series. 2) In the novel, the defendant's name is Kent (changed to Cole for the episode). In my paperback copy [Pocket Books, 22nd printing, Oct 1973] there is an ad insert in the middle of the novel...for Kent cigarettes. 3) Either I'm confused or ESG was or the typesetter of this edition made a mistake. There were two mornings in question, the 13th (when the knife was found under Peter's pillow and returned to the drawer) and the 14th (where the bloody knife was found under his pillow after the murder). In Chapter 21, during Edna's examination by Burger, he says "it's similar to the knife you found under your uncle's pillow on the morning of the fourteenth and placed in the drawer." Shouldn't that be the thirteenth? In the next paragraph, he seems to get it right when he says "this knife...is the same knife which you found under the defendant's pillow on the morning of the thirteenth and placed in the sideboard drawer." But later during Mason's cross-examination he asks "How did you happen to discover the carving knife under your uncle's pillow on the morning of the fourteenth?" After she answers that she was worried about him, Mason asks "You had reason to believe he might have been walking in his sleep the night before?" The night before would have been the thirteenth not the fourteenth. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/31/14.

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