The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Episode Guide - The Fourth Season

March 18, 1961 [115] "The Case of the Barefaced Witness"

Director--Laslo Benedek
Teleplay--Robert C. Dennis

This offbeat episode should be a delight for hard-core Perry-watchers. The fact that Paul is arrested early on for the crime of "not wearing a beard" is just one of the oddities in the show. There is almost a faint hint of "The Twilight Zone" in the mood and setting of the story, a small town somewhere in California where, at least for a few days, all males must wear beards.

The plot itself is routinely complicated. The town's former bank president returns from prison after being convicted of embezzling $33,750, money that was never found. A former client of Paul's asks him for the second time to try and locate the loot. Perry becomes involved and later, after Paul finally does find the money--and a body--the lawyer travels to the town to help his detective friend straighten the whole thing out.

The flavor of the 1950s is everywhere in this episode. When one character sits down to eat in a restaurant, the menu features steaks for .95; fish and chips for $1.00, and jumbo shrimp for a whopping $1.25.

Also, blooper fans will spot a strange black band that appears at the top of their television screens during the opening shots of the episode. As the scenes look like on-location shots and involve characters entering and leaving stores, possibly the blackout was put there at the last minute by the producers not wanting to give actual store owners a plug on TV. The show stars Adam West, who went on to play Batman.

Prosecutor Johathan Hale--Paul Fix
Alfred Needham--Malcom Atterbury
Dan Southern--Adam West
Iris McKay--Enid Janes (defendant)
Fred S. Swan--Russ Conway (victim)
Judge--Lewis Martin

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The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.