Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Lucky Loser 

Ted Balfour is convicted of vehicular manslaughter and given a suspended sentence through a plea bargain. When the police discover the victim actually died of a gunshot wound to the head, Ted is charged with first degree murder.


William D. Russell


Erle Stanley Gardner (creator), Erle Stanley Gardner (story) | 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 (credit only)
Patricia Medina ... Harriet Balfour
Bruce Bennett ... Lawrence Balfour
Heather Angel ... Florence Ingle
Douglas Kennedy ... Steven Boles
Tyler MacDuff ... Ted Balfour
Richard Hale ... Addison Balfour
Woody Chambliss Woody Chambliss ... Fred Haley (as Woodrow Chambliss)
John Eldredge ... Thurston - Butler (as John Eldrege)
Morris Ankrum ... Judge Cadwell
Guy Rennie Guy Rennie ... Deputy D.A. Roger Faris


When Lawrence Balfour thinks his wife is having an affair, he follows her to a remote cabin. When she leaves, he attempts to confront her lover but in the darkness, his gun goes off and the man falls to the ground. In a panic he returns homes and calls the family's fixer, Steven Boles, who collects the body and makes it look like a road accident. The next day, Lawrence Balfour's nephew Ted is arrested and eventually convicted of manslaughter. Ted has no recollection whatsoever of the night in question when a man was run over with his car and accepted a plea bargain. Perry Mason is hired by the patriarch of the Balfour family, the elderly Addison Balfour, to find a way to have that conviction overturned. After Perry makes it clear he will not cooperate with Boles after Boles tells Perry the true facts, Perry is discharged by the family. When the police realize that the victim wasn't run over but was in fact shot, Ted is charged with murder and decides he still wants Perry to represent ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

27 September 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bruce Bennett, who plays one of the murder suspects, had been a Warner Brothers contract player in the 1940s, and appeared in dozens of films, including Treasure of the Sierra Madre. This is one of five Perry Mason episodes in which he was cast. He is probably best-remembered for playing Joan Crawford's ever loyal first husband in Mildred Pierce. See more »


The character posing as "George Egan" is eventually disclosed not to have died in the cabin where he was supposedly shot. However, Mrs. Balfour, who had arrived at the cabin by cab, drives away in the car leased to "George Egan", and Lawrence Balfour drives away in his own car - both returning to their own house. How then, does the character posing as "George Egan" return to his own apartment to receive the phone calls he is later revealed to have received? See more »


[first lines]
Harriet Balfour: I do wish I were going with you to Mexico instead of staying here in Los Angeles.
Lawrence Balfour: Well, this trip's gonna be too dangerous, Harriet. It's in the most rugged territory in the Sierra Madre Mountains. It's no place for a woman, especially my wife.
See more »


References The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

Quite the fixer
23 October 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Somebody ought to have fired the LA Medical Examiner. Young Tyler MacDuff the youngest of the wealthy Balfour clan is tried and convicted of vehicular manslaughter of a man who'd been seeing Uncle Bruce Bennett's wife on the side. But later he's found to have been shot.

A legal dilemma greets Hamilton Burger. If MacDuff was tried for the wrong offense and now clearly not guilty if MacDuff is freed on the Habeas Corpus writ that his family wants, can he be tried for the second more serious offense without double jeopardy?

Usually the judges in Perry Mason stories have minimal dialog. In this one Morris Ankrum gets a bit more as he decides that this decision is above his pay grade. Raymond Burr who's been retained by the Balfours who are like a west coast Kennedy clan also is a truth seeker.

Douglas Kennedy has a strong part in this as the Balfour family fixer. He and Raymond Burr have a great scene together as he tries to tell Perry Mason how to run the case and take the loophole option. Big mistake, no one tells Perry Mason how he conducts his trial.

I guarantee you won't figure this one out. I will say that Douglas Kennedy is quite the fixer.

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