Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma 

Perry Mason finds himself defending his private investigator Paul Drake against a charge of murder. It all began when Frank Thatcher hit a pedestrian walking on the side of the road and kills him. He hires Paul to payoff the widow.


William D. Russell


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jackson Gillis (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Vanessa Brown ... Donna Kress
Basil Ruysdael ... Henry W. Dameron
Bruce Gordon ... Frank Thatcher
Dean Harens ... Tad Dameron
Simon Scott Simon Scott ... Charles Dameron
Jennifer Howard ... Judith Thatcher
Sheila Bromley ... Mrs. Colin
Robert P. Lieb Robert P. Lieb ... Joe Marsden (as Robert Lieb)
Robert Cornthwaite ... Anders
Kenneth MacDonald ... Judge


Donna Kress and Frank Thatcher have a spat. He will not divorce his wife. Driving home that night, Frank runs over and kills a pedestrian, Alexander Collins, in the road. Under direction of old Henry Dameron, Frank's father-in-law, Tad Dameron, Frank's brother-in-law, takes care of the body. Frank, as "Danko" hires Paul Drake to deliver $25,000 to Collins' widow, but Paul finds out the gift is a payoff after learning her husband was killed in an accident due to typo on his drivers license causing "Danko" to give Paul erroneous information. Paul contacts "Danko" and meets him at "Danko's" girlfriend's apartment. Paul fights with "Danko" and is knocked out. When Paul revives after the clerk and police enter the apartment, he finds Thatcher/Danko is dead, shot with Paul's gun. Paul calls Perry Mason and is charged with murder. He is further accused of blackmailing Thatcher with the hit-and-run incident. Perry fights Dameron money and influence in defending Drake. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

14 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Though he is not named and is credited as "Ballistics Expert", Norman Leavitt plays a role substantially like that of Mr. Redfield, the ballistics expert who appeared in two first-season episodes. See more »


When the police enter the apartment and find Paul Drake and the dead body, there is a record playing on the "steereo" as it was pronounced in the early days. As the phonograph arm reached the end of the record, it resets itself and plays the record again. However, the balancing arm of a record changer would normally only do this if the arm was raised and moved all the way to the right. In the position the balancing arm is in, the changer would have stopped at the end of the record and shut the player off. See more »


Paul Drake: Mr. Danko, in my business, a client's case is supposed to remain confidential. But yours won't. You've told a few too many lies. And I don't like being chosen either to pay conscience money, or to help cover up a felony.
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User Reviews

One of the Best Shows of the Entire Series ~
20 October 2016 | by cranvillesquareSee all my reviews

Yes, I rated this 10 of 10. I rarely do that. This episode is as worthy of the honor as are only a handful of other episodes from the entire nine-season run. Paul Drake is a victim of soicumstance, as Jerome Howard would have said (nyuk, nyuk!) and even the authorities seem apologetic for having to do their duty. It's up to Mason to unravel this Gordian knot of intrigue, and after having done so - Mason does what he rarely does, which is to tell a third party just exactly what he thinks of him.

One can see, in this show about three years into the series run, Mason's gradual evolution from an attorney who works on the edge of the law to that of greater respectability and acceptance by his fellow court officers. No more film noir, merely film grise. By Season Seven, he'd be wearing the white hat in full force. While I liked the first two seasons the best, Season Three still was full of shows worthy of the time to watch.

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