Perry Mason Returns (1985) Script

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(crickets chirping)


Della, what are you still doing here?

Waiting for these quotes, and they just came in over the telex from Brussels.

Anyone ever tell you that you're too efficient?

Certainly not you.

It's late. Go home.

I will. Good night.

Oh, uh, happy birthday...

...whether you like it or not.

See you Monday.

Bye.

Night, Mr. Gordon. Night.

(engine starts)

(engine starts)


(loud rock music plays)


(music fades out)

(horn beeping)

(tires squealing)

(thunder crashes)

(beeps)

(thunder crashes)

(beeping)

(thunder crashes)

(discordant chords play on the piano)

(thunder crashes)

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Surprise! -Surprise! Happy birthday.

Giving me a heart attack for my birthday?

(clock chimes)

Happy birthday, Mr. Gordon.

Thank you, Mrs. Jeffries.

Will there be anything else?

I hope not.

Bravo.

Did you make a wish?

No.

Father, here's to your next 60 years.

Don't be so pessimistic, David.

I was being sincere.

So was I.

Well, my heart certainly belongs to Daddy.

Thank you, my dear.

Mine, too.

Thank you.

Cheers.

Thank you. Hear, hear.

Thank you, all of you.

Well, now I would like to propose a toast.

I'd like to propose a toast to all of us.

This is a toast... to change.

What sort of change?

Profound change.

I'm cutting you all out of my will.

You're joking.

The papers are being drawn.

All you ever gave us was your money.

You can't do this to us now.

I should have done it long ago.

Now, whatever you have left in your trusts, that's all you get from me.

Now, children, you'll, you'll learn to take care of yourselves.

The money you would have inherited

-will go into my foundation. So that she can manage it?

No, I'm, uh, I'm removing Paula as head of the foundation.

Why?

My foundation was never designed to be an extension of your social life.

And with the infusion of new money, I'll need someone who's actually capable.

Della Street will be the new administrator.

Is this her idea?

It's getting late.

I have a few overseas calls to make.

It was very nice of you all to drop by.

Appreciate the thought.

Good night.

This is some surprise party, all right.

Afraid you're gonna lose your free ride?

Why don't you...?!

Chris! David, will you stop it?

DAVID: Don't worry, Laura.

He won't divorce you till he's spent the last of your money.

PAULA: Control yourself, David.

After all, it isn't Chris's fault.

He hasn't had as many chances to fail as you have.

And why did you marry our father, for his sense of humor?

Absolutely.

Joke's on us, isn't it?

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going to go home and see if I can balance my checkbook.

(plays "The Funeral March")

Time to go.

You're telling me.

(beeping)

(beeping)


I'm relying on you to get a job done, not to give me excuses!

No, I-l don't want to hear that.

Phil, listen, I've got Defense Department auditors all over me.

Now, if I don't get those transponders by Tuesday, the deal is off.

Right. Call me.

(floorboard creaks)

Surprise.

Who are you?

What is this?

Murder.

If you get past me, you're home free.

(groans)

(groans)


MRS. JEFFRIES: Yes, sir?

Mr. Gordon?

Mr. Gordon, are you all right?


(gasps)

(indistinct radio transmission)

WOMAN: Arthur Gordon, founder and president of Arthur Gordon Industries, one of the West Coast's largest and most successful computer science companies, was found stabbed to death in the study of his Pacific Palisades mansion late last night.

-(horn honking) Members of the family have been arriving at the estate since early this morning.

Police have not been forthcoming with any details regarding the murder, except to say that no arrests have been made.

We will be bringing you further details on this story throughout the day.

Mrs. Gordon, I'm Lieutenant Cooper.

This is Sergeant Stratton.

I'm sorry about your husband.

Thank you.

We do have to ask you some questions.

Mrs. Gordon wants to cooperate.

I'm Ken Braddock, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon's attorney.

Hmm, this way, please.

Um...

The rest of the family is giving their statements in there.

Uh, please.

So, uh, what can I tell you?

Evidently the assailant knew the security code to the house as well as the electronic gate.

And so? So we have to ask everyone who had access their whereabouts last night.

Where were you?

You don't have to answer that.

Eh, perfectly all right.

I was, uh, staying in an apartment we own in Century City.

COOPER: Were you alone?

Totally.

Any particular reason why you were there and not here?

I often stay there.

You're not the mother of these children.

Is that correct?

Fortunately, they are his by his first marriage.

Mrs. Gordon's first wife passed away some time ago, Lieutenant.

COOPER: Did you and Mr. Gordon have any children?

None.

Do you recognize this earring? No.

Should I?

It was found in Mr. Gordon's hand.

Apparently it come off during the struggle.

Apart from yourself, Mrs. Gordon, and the housekeeper, and, uh, the children, of course... did anyone else know the security code?

Yes, Mr. Gordon's executive assistant Della Street.

(phone ringing)

Hello.

Yes, this is she.

No.

Oh, my...

Yes, yeah, I'm still here.

Uh, of course.

I'll be right there.

(engine starts)

(cries)

Laura.

Oh, I'm so sorry, dear.

I'm so sorry.

I just can't believe it.

No...

Maybe your luck is changing.

Oh, Paula, I...

Della.

Paula's taking it very hard.

(indistinct radio transmission)

Where would you like to go?

Somewhere nice for lunch.

And just how long had you worked for Mr. Gordon?

About eight years.

In what capacity?

I originally worked for Mr. Gordon as his personal secretary.

And then about four years ago, he made me his executive assistant.

You got along?

Yes.

Why?

Oh, I understand he was a difficult man?

He could be.

Where were you between 11:00 p.m. last night and this morning?

Home.

Alone.

Recognize this?

Yes.

I believe it's mine.

When was the last time you wore it?

Maybe two weeks ago.

I have a habit of taking my left earring off when I use the telephone, and as a result, I sometimes lose it.

Where did you find it?

In this room.

You don't own a dress made of this material by any chance?

Yes, uh... as a matter of fact, I do.

Miss Street, we'd like to look around your house.

Of course, we don't have a search warrant, but I can get one if necessary.

It-it won't be.

I have nothing to hide.

I don't understand this.

I-I brought that dress back from the cleaners just yesterday.

I found these in the other closet.

There's mud on them.

MAN: Lieutenant?

You'll excuse us?

Come on.

Lieutenant, someone has obviously...

My men just found this in your trash can.

It can't be mine.

Miss Street, I'm afraid you're gonna have to come with us.

I hope you have a good attorney.

You have the right to remain silent.

If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to speak with an attorney...


MASON: Since you called this morning, I've been trying to think who should represent you.

The best man I can think of...

...IS me.

DELLA: Since when are appellate court judges permitted to represent defendants?

They're not.

You'd have to step down.

I signed my resignation.

Della.

Let's say...

I got tired of writing opinions.

(Della crying)

Perry.

Oh.

Every signature can make... last time, all right?

Okay. That's very important.

You hang on to that draft.

Look, get Carl off the Singer case.

If you any-- in a moment-- any problems, get back to me on that, will you?

Okay. Okay, thanks...

Thought I'd come straight to the prosecutor.

Good to see you, Perry.

Sorry about Della.

If you're here to talk bail, I'll have to include the deputy who's going to prosecute.

Better call him. It's not a him, it's a her.

Times change.

Barbara, will you come in here, please?

You surprised a lot of people when you stepped down from the appellate court.

I suppose I did.

Barbara. Barbara Scott, this is Perry Mason.

So it is.

How do you do?

I do pretty well.

And we all know how well you've done.

I'd like to have Miss Street released on bail.

Really?

I assumed you were here to cop a plea to a lesser charge, say... murder two.

I came here as a professional courtesy to ask your concurrence on setting bail.

We concur.

Thank you, thank you.

By the way, you may have some potentially damaging circumstantial evidence, but you're missing something very important.

You don't have a motive.

Until the hearing.

I'll be there, Counselor.

Good seeing you again.

Good-bye, Perry.

Miss Scott.

This is going to be fun.

Colorful.

Granted, it would be a little more satisfying if he were still at the top of his game, but he's still Perry Mason, rusty or not.

You're that confident?

Jack, this is a dead-bang winner.

You know how many times Hamilton Burger said that?

Miss Street, how do you feel about having Mr. Mason as your attorney?

MASON: Excuse me, excuse me.

Mr. Mason, can you comment on the prosecution's case against Miss Street?

When do you expect to go to trial?

(reporters clamoring)

WOMAN: Do you really think she's innocent?

Answer to your questions.

No comment, no comment, no comment.

But you can quote me.

Hello.

Yeah, it's me.

Yeah, I got a good reason for calling you.

You never told me that Perry Mason was gonna be her attorney.

You knew all about her.

Who did you think she was gonna get-- Nixon?

I'm saying that you should've told me, okay?

I'm keeping an eye on him, that's all.

I see how someone could've gotten in.

How's that?

This window was painted shut.

Looks like someone used your gardening trowel to force it open.

You'd think the police would've noticed.

They're not looking to prove that someone entered your house and replaced your shoes and dress with ones worn during the murder.

Whoever it was... had my earring, knew what dress and shoes to buy.

It's eerie.

How often was the security code to Gordon's house changed?

Every two weeks.

Tell me about Gordon's relationship to his family.

It wasn't exactly a Norman Rockwell portrait.

Mr. Gordon's first wife committed suicide.

And his three children were either terrified, resentful, or both.

What about his current wife-- Paula, isn't it?

Mm-hmm. They've been married ten years, but they weren't getting along.

Mr. Gordon, about a year ago, banished her to his penthouse apartment in town.

She didn't like me.

Felt threatened by you?

I suppose so.

I'm curious, Della.

How did you get along with a man like Gordon?

It wasn't always easy.

He was-he was tough.

But if he liked you, respected you, he was fair, very loyal, even generous.

He was the best at what he did.

But, uh, I guess I was used to that.

You spoiled me.

As always, this is terrible.

(chuckles)

As always, you flatter me.

I don't have to tell you that we've very little to go on.

I know.

We're gonna need a private investigator right away.

Paul Drake?

I haven't seen him since...

Fourth of July. You both came up to San Francisco that weekend.

How is he?

Oh, he's fine. Just wonderful.

(lively jazz playing)


I

(band plays flourish)

(low crowd chatter)

I

Hello, Paul. How are you?

Good. Yourself? Good, good.

I talked to Della.

She seems to be doing okay.

I already talked to a contact of mine downtown, and I think I can get into the property and sneak a look at the evidence.

Might take a little finagling, but I think I can do it.

You play here often?

Well, I sit in with these guys now and then and, uh, let off a little steam. Make 'em sound good.

Do we have a date for the preliminary hearing yet?

Not yet.

How is the Drake Detective Agency these days?

A little bit more my style than my father's, but, uh, I'm doing fine.

How many operatives do you have?

One.

One beside yourself?

No, just one. Me.

What happened to the others?

I decided to reduce the overhead.

Last time I saw you, you were working on a novel.

How's it coming?

I'm about halfway through, give or take a chapter.

That's what you said last time I saw you.

Why am I getting a third degree here?

'Cause we're talking about Della's life.

I need an experienced investigator.

Check, please.

I'll get it.

I am an experienced investigator.

Paul, I worked with your father many years.

I've known you all your life.

I know you're smart and I'm sure you're good, but I don't know if you're ready for this one.

Sorry to be so blunt, but it's the way I feel.

I'll talk to you soon.

Perry! Hey, come on.

I like to play the sax now and then.

Sherlock Holmes had a violin.

I like to write, so did Dashiell Hammett.

All I'm saying is I run my life and my business to suit me.

But I am quite capable.

Now, my lifestyle might not click with you, but Della means too much to me.

I'm not taking no for an answer. I'm working this case.

Meet me tomorrow...

11:00 a.m., your office.

-(engine starts) Be on time.

(engine starts)

(tires squealing)

Hey, watch it!

(tires squealing)


(rustling)

What are you doing?

I thought I'd get here before Perry showed up and tidy up a bit.

What's the problem?

Seems I recall your father keeping this place somewhat neater.

Oh. -(Della chuckles)

How you doing?

Couldn't be in better hands.

Perry's got me on a short ticket, you know that.

Don't let him get you down.

No, he doesn't get me down.

Perry's kind of like my Vince Lombardi.

He motivates me to complete the 80-yard pass of life.

You handling this as well as you're coming across?

I'll let you know.

What is all this?

That? Mm-hmm.

It's my work.

This, what you have in your hand, the Steiger case, Kaplan v. Kaplan, Ricky Steinmetz v. The Casa De Campo Apartments.

Not exactly crimes of the century, but they pay the bills.

And, uh, what's this?

This is the shutoff notice from the phone company.

(door opens)

Good morning.

Give me a couple of hours, and you won't recognize this place.

I don't recognize it now.

The preliminary hearing's set for next week.

We don't have much time.

I'm available. Good, let me fill you in.

Oh, went downtown this morning... went over the police report. Here's a copy for you.

Also spoke to a friend of mine on the force who was on the investigation, and I did manage to get him to give me a look at the physical evidence.

Here's an itemized copy of everything they're holding in Property.

So, unless something new has broken in the last 20 or 30 minutes, I'm up to date.

Fine.

Now, the dress that was found at Della's house, we need to know who bought it.

Let's see. I found the charge slip right here.

It has the sale's number and the design.

Okay. You have the receipt for the shoes by any chance?

It's in here someplace.

Need some help in there, dear?

No, thank you.

Here.

All right, I'm off.

Thanks.

(door closes)

Hope I'm doing the right thing with him.

I'm the one who should be concerned, and I'm not.

You'll see.

Well, I have to get the cleaning crew in here and order some more supplies.

Della, you do recall that you are the client?

Perry, for the first time I know what it's like to be the accused.

So I'd like to stay busy.

In that case, I need detailed information on all members of the family, in particular their finances, and whatever you can get on the housekeeper.

Mm-hmm.

That should hold me for a while.

I don't know if I've mentioned it, but... it's nice seeing you again.

SALESWOMAN: Ma'am, everything we have is out here.

WOMAN: My sister lives...

Will she be able to return it later?

Ma'am, this is a sale.

I'll look around. Okay.

Hi. Hi. Can I help you?

I'm trying to find out how many of this dress in this size was...

Wait. Who are you?

Private investigator.

This is very important.

Look, I really don't have time right now.

I have a lot of customers.

Uh, like me. You know what? I'll take this.

You actually want this?

Can't resist a sale.

Would you do me a favor?

Would you just take a look at this receipt, tell me when the dress was available?

Okay.

Uh, first two weeks of this month.

That's great.

Why great? -'Cause it won't take you long to go back through your receipts and tell me how many in this...

Look, I don't have time.

Oh, it doesn't have to be right now.

As long as it's soon.

This afternoon is soon enough.

People do this kind of thing for you often?

All the time. Don't even have to buy anything.

And you're really gonna take this?

That depends.

Ah.

It's me. Listen, we gotta talk.

They're getting close.

Well, I don't like it.

I'm staying on this guy's case.

No, you listen to me!

I want to get very lost, and that means I want more.

And soon. Got it?

Call you later.

I'm here to see Mr. Braddock.

Mr. Mason? Yes.

He's expecting you.

Mr. Mason is here.

Just be a moment.

(vehicle approaching)

(birds chirping)

Is he in?

He's with Mrs. Gordon.

Tell him I'm here.

David Gordon is on his way in.

Sorry to interrupt like this, Ken, but since Paula won't return my phone calls, I had to do something.

What is it you want?

Putting our personal feelings about each other aside for a moment, we have to talk about Gordon Industries.

Really?

Father ran it pretty much as a one-man operation.

And there's no one in the company ready to step into his position.

Besides you, evidently.

I think it's important for the profile of the company that we demonstrate quickly a continuity of leadership.

David, your record as an entrepreneur is dismal.

And Arthur never had anything but contempt for your judgment.

There's just no way in hell you're going to take over the company.

You'd better talk to her, Ken.

Kathryn, Laura and I jointly own 50% of this company.

And a fight for control could hurt everyone.

PAULA: Which is exactly why you won't do it.

Now, don't try to bluff me, David.

You haven't got the style.

Talk to her.

(clock chiming)

(intercom buzzing)

Yes? -(door closes)

Yes, sir.

You can go in now.

Thank you.

Hello, Ken.

Nice seeing you again. Nice to see you, Perry.

Perry Mason, Paula Gordon.

Thank you for meeting me, Mrs. Gordon.

I've explained to Mrs. Gordon that she's under no obligation to talk to you, Perry.

I'm not sure why I would want to speak with the lawyer who's representing my husband's murderer.

First of all, Mrs. Gordon, it has not been proven that Miss Street killed your husband.

Second, your cooperation will save you the inconvenience of a formal deposition.

She's not withdrawing her cooperation, Perry.

Let's just make it brief, shall we?

Yes.

You're the head of the Arthur Gordon Foundation.

Could you tell me what that entails?

The Arthur Gordon Foundation is basically a philanthropic endeavor, awarding grants and funding to various projects such as conservation research, aid to artists, that sort of thing.

The foundation operates out of my offices, Perry, using my staff under the direction of Mrs. Gordon.

Why was your husband going to remove you as director?

That's a private matter.

I'm sure it is, but I'd like to know.

Actually my husband didn't need a reason for behaving badly.

I understand that you and Mr. Gordon weren't living together.

That Mr. Gordon moved you to a Century City apartment.

"Moved me"?

Were those Della Street's very words?

Were you upset that she was replacing you as director of the foundation?

Upset?

Listen!

Della Street is obviously insane.

She has never done anything but try to manipulate Arthur.

She wanted him all to herself.

When it finally dawned on her that she was not gonna get what she wanted, she does this lunatic, obscene thing!

Perry, we can't go on with this.

It's too provocative.

Yes, perhaps it is.

Thank you, Mrs. Gordon.

Oh, Ken.

I saw David Gordon on my way in here.

What did he say to you?

Should he have said something?

No. Of course not.

He also seemed on edge.

But then, it's a trying time for all of us.

I'm sorry.

Paula.

I shouldn't have lost my temper like that.

If he puts you on the stand, and I suspect that he will, you'd better play down any expressions of jealousy.

I understand.


WOMAN (over speakers): Attention, shoppers.

We are now featuring a 30% discount on all our televisions in our electronics department.

(bell chimes)

(gentle music playing over speakers)

(bell chimes)

WOMAN (over speakers): Attention, all shoppers.

Please take advantage of our white sale savings now featured in our linen department.

Savings of up to 50%.


(engine starts)


I

(tires screeching)


(buzzer sounds nearby)


-(engine starts) -(tires screeching)

(tires screeching)

(tires screeching)

(sharp crack)

(grunts)


(hissing)


You so much as hint to the lieutenant I let you look at that evidence in Property, and I'll level you.

I can't figure out why I let you talk me into it.

Stuck up for you in school, let people know you were more than just a big, dumb jock.

Who said I was a dumb jock?

I'd rather not mention any names.

Don't-don't worry, I took care of it.

(laughs) I'm not sure I even liked you.

COOPER: Bullet hole in the temple.

Shot must've come from up there.

Explains why he lost control of the car.

Why was this guy following Drake?

We're not sure yet, but we think it has to do with Della Street.

Who was he?

According to his ID, his name was Robert Lynch.

We're running a make on him.

MASON: Paul free to go?

COOPER: You got everything you need from him?

Yep.

COOPER: Okay, you can go.

Thank you, Lieutenant.

(clears throat)

Thanks for coming down.

I think they would've held me all night.

Probably.

Now, I'm not looking for applause or anything, but this is a small break in the case, wouldn't you say?

You wouldn't.

It would've been if we had Lynch alive.

Don't look at me.

I didn't shoot him.

No, you followed him.

But he caught on to you.

Good night, Paul. But, uh...

Paul... your office, 10:00 a.m. sharp.

Stratton!

Now what do you want?

Oh, boy, you've had a tough day, I can tell.

Why don't you let me buy you a cup of coffee?

Old times' sake, huh?

Well, if you're buying.

DELLA: I wrote up the information you wanted on the members of the family.

Excellent, Miss Street.

Excellent.

He's late.

You are...

I realize I'm a bit late, but I don't think you'll mind when you take a look at that.

Right from the police lab.

Says here that the bullet that killed Lynch came from a .32 caliber pistol.

I couldn't exactly see who fired at him, but I did get a flash of the gun.

It was very shiny, like it was silver-plated or something.

Here's a full rundown on Robert-- he preferred "Bobby"-- Lynch.

How'd you get all this?

Sergeant Stratton is friend of mine.

He can't do enough for me.

As you can see by this report, Bobby was a very bad boy.

This is interesting.

The last time Lynch was in prison, he stabbed a prisoner while doing time for knifing a tavern owner.

But a woman stabbed Gordon.

We assumed it was a woman only because the housekeeper saw someone dressed like you running away in the dark.

What, are you suggesting that Robert killed Gordon in drag?

I'm saying it's possible.

Look at this. He was five-six, weighed 140 pounds.

He could have fit into that dress.

That's quite a theory.

Each member of this family had a lot to gain by Gordon's death.

One or more of them could have hired Lynch to commit their murder, then dispose of him when he became a liability.

I'd say we need to find out everything we can about this man Lynch.

Robert was staying at a hotel downtown.

Why don't I run over there and snoop around?

Why don't you? But, Paul...

Yes, I know, no breaking and entering.

First thing on my list.

We're seeing the family when?

Uh, they read the will at 11:00.

Nice work, Paul.

Thank you, Della.

-(door closes) You didn't think so?

Think what?

That it was nice work.

Oh, yes.

You didn't mention it.

He's still on the case, isn't he?

DELLA: Your father was a very dear friend to me.

I didn't kill him.

I believe you.

BRADDOCK: By the way, this is Perry Mason, Della Street's attorney.

Get her out of here.

Paula. I won't have it!

Della Street is a beneficiary under the terms of your late husband's will. She has a right to be present.

That is correct.

It's grotesque.

Exactly who are you trying to impress with your outrage, Paula?

You were as happy to see him gone as anyone else.

Kathryn, don't say that.

I think it's time to proceed.

KATHRYN: By all means, let's don't deal with it.

Let's get on with it, shall we?

If no one objects, I won't read the whole document now, but will specify the distribution of assets.

Naturally, you will each be given copies of the will later.

First, the shares in the company are to be divided as follows:

50% to Paula, the remaining 50% distributed equally between David, Kathryn and Laura.

This house, the Century City apartment, the lodge in Aspen, along with all their contents are left to Paula.

David is to receive all of Arthur's personal belongings, along with cash in the amount of $4 million.

Kathryn and Laura are to receive $4 million each.

And Della Street, $500,000.

Get out of my house.

Della didn't kill your husband.

I have good reason to believe he was killed by a man dressed to look like her.

What are you talking about?

What man?

I believe an ex-convict named Lynch was hired to Kill Mr. Gordon.

Hired by whom?

One of you.

Only one of you could have given Lynch the security code to this house.

Only one of you.

Now that is intriguing.

Personally, I suspect me.

Okay, let's wrap it up.

(door opens)

Saw the lights on, thought I'd come by and take a look.

You called the precinct and asked where I was.

Lieutenant Cooper was very helpful.

He speaks very highly of you, by the way. He does.

Drake, what are you doing here?

This is where Lynch was staying, huh?

You trying to get me suspended or something?

You know what I want to know, Stratton?

How could a guy like Lynch afford a hotel suite like this?

(distant siren wailing)

Where'd you find this?

Bedroom. Guess he was a little weird.

I want to show Mason this.

Hey, Drake, get out of here!

Hey! Now, I'm willing to live up to my end of the deal.

What deal?

I find something, you're the first to know.

My word on that.

This is an important piece of evidence.

Out of here or I bust you for obstructing justice.

You don't mean that.

Beat it now.

You mean it.

All right, I'm going, but I am very disappointed.

Okay, you guys, come on. Let's wrap it up. Let's go.

OFFICER: Okay, let's pack it up.

OFFICER 2: I'm ready. See you at the lab.


MAN (whispering): Are you sure the police are gone?

MAN 2: I'll take a look at the bedroom.

You check out the living room.

MAN 1: Nothing back there.

Hey, this what you looking for?

MAN 2: Give that to me. Come on. Let's go.

(door closes)

I

MASON: This is Miss Della Street.

We have the estate's permission to remove her personal belongings.

(door opens)

We didn't mean to startle you.

It's okay. I thought I'd left something in here.

Excuse me.

Laura...

That was odd enough.

What do you suppose she was looking for?

I should have a key.

Yeah, here it is.


What's that?

Seems as though Mr. Gordon was keeping a file on Laura's husband Chris.

He's been a very active young man.

He's a ranked tennis player.

This ranking isn't about tennis.

Still a little bit wet out on the courts.

So we're gonna go in for a drink.

Terrible weather.

I'm sure a ranking player like your husband must be disappointed.

Yes, I'm sure he is.

May I ask you a question?

I suppose so.

Why were you in your father's study?

I told you, I thought I forgot something in there.

Wouldn't happen to be a report, would it?

No. Why?

There's one in your father's desk from a private detective... on your husband's extramarital affairs.

I don't know anything about that.

It's hard to imagine your father wouldn't have mentioned it to you.

If you had removed that report, it might have appeared that you were trying to cover up.

One more reason why you might have had your father killed.

I think you'd better leave.

How's it gonna look when I put you on the stand and it comes out that you needed your inheritance to support him?

I did not kill my father!

I couldn't do that!

You or your husband could have hired someone to do it for you.

Leave me alone.

So what's going on?

Just talking about your game.

Good day. Good day.

Are you all right?

Take me home.

I got to take Janis back to her place.

Janis can take a cab. You're taking me home.

Since when do you give orders?

Since I inherited $4 million.

Go tell her.

Now.

Hey, what are we arguing about?

I'll get her a cab, and then we'll go home and relax, okay?

MASON: Did you get a good look at any of them?

No.

Could you recognize the voice if you heard it again?

No, but I won't forget those cowboy boots.

I can't subpoena a pair of cowboy boots.

Look, from where I was, I'm very lucky I didn't break my neck.

You've been close to important leads on two occasions, both times they've gotten away from you.

Come on, Perry!

I'll admit I haven't exactly saved the day, but I have not come up empty-handed either.

We do not have one concrete bit of evidence on Della's behalf!

I am just as concerned about Della as you are.

Perry, what would you like me to do?

Find a way to tie Lynch into whoever hired him.

Consider it done.

Paul.

It's the large amount of money Gordon left Della in his will.

It gives the prosecution one thing it did not have... a motive.

Hey, there, buddy!

Uh, listen, the police report said Lynch had a wife, but I can't find her.

I thought I was rid of you.

Come on, am I asking for much?

He had an ex-wife.

An ex-wife.

Well, no wonder I can't find her.

She was probably going by her maiden name.

Where is she?

Stratton!

(muffled music playing)

Stratton.

(whispering): Are they still in there?

Yeah.

Who's this?

P.I. friend of mine.

How you doing? -(whispers): Back off.

Police. Open up!

Freeze!

(music playing loudly)

Keep 'em covered.

Right.

Hands on the head!

Back in the room. Come on.

Hold it!

(gunshot, music stops)

Nice shot.

Ah...

You gonna tell me where the ex-wife is now?

At a country and western dump called the Quarterhorse Club.

Thanks.

Hey, what are friends for?

Have a nice day.

-(upbeat music plays) Stretch! Come on!

You can do it! That's it!

All right, one... and two.

Three... four...

Hold your stomachs in.

Sally, hold it in!

Stretch, get those arms up!

I want to see energy!

And one, and two, and three. Come on!

Five, and six, seven, eight, nine...

I... I need a couple of weeks.

I been two-weeked to death by you.

Look, I'm coming into big money, huh?

I'll double the interest, okay?

It's your last chance.

Sorry about your old man.

(lock spinning)

(lock clunks open)

What are you doing here?

You're very hard to reach on the phone.

What do you want?

Where were you Wednesday afternoon, around 5:00?

Why do you want to know?

Bobby Lynch, the ex-convict I think murdered your father, was killed about then, probably by whoever hired him.

Wait a minute.

You're saying I hired him?

I've an inventory of the loans you've taken out to fund your investment.

You're overextended to the point no bank will lend you money.

So what?

So, in spite of what you might have wanted people to think, you were virtually bankrupt.

Until your father was killed.

You've got a lot of nerve.

And nothing to back it up.

About Wednesday... can you prove where you were?

I don't have to.

There was a gentleman looking for you earlier.

Yes, I know.

Then he found you.

Good.

(country music playing)

♪ Now all that pain ♪

♪ I'm gonna leave behind ♪

♪ Don't be surprised ♪

♪ 'Cause I've gotten wise ♪

♪ A better love ♪

♪I know one day I'll find ♪

♪I realize♪

♪ You hate good-byes ♪

♪I realize ♪

♪ You hate good-byes. ♪

(man whooping)

(audience cheering, applauding)

(song ends)

Very nice. Thanks.

Oh, it seems like we've been rehearsing all afternoon.

I haven't seen any of Bobby's family since the divorce.

Large family?

Well, there's his mom and his dad and his two big brothers.

You never met them?

No, that's why I wanted to give them my condolences.

Oh.

I was going to drive out there this weekend and express my sympathy.

But I think it's better if you go.

I mean, you are fully ordained.

True.

Yeah.

Sometimes, with my new perspective on life, I like to look for redeeming things about Bobby Lynch, but I just can't think of any.

I can't imagine how you got him to go to your church.

Well, it was kind of touch and go.

Uh, w-where is his family?

Out near Acton. MAN: Luanne, we're ready.

-(country music playing) Oh, I gotta go.

Oh, just where is your ministry, anyway?

Um...

Everywhere.

Oh... that's wonderful.

(laughs)

(seagulls calling)

MASON: Beautiful place you have here, Miss Gordon.

There's no place like home.

And for what I've paid for it, there shouldn't be.

How did you get along with your father?

He thought I was a tramp.

I thought he was... a cold, remote tyrant who drove my mother to suicide.

We understood each other.

Are you always this candid?

13 years of analysis helps.

I assume you're here because you think I had something to do with his murder.

Where were you Wednesday afternoon?

Oh...

I can't recall that far back.

Can you recall who's in the next room?

What?

There was another drink on this table.

It's still wet.

Why don't I guess and say it's Ken Braddock?

BRADDOCK: Lucky guess, Perry?

Not altogether.

I noticed at the reading of the will you didn't light her cigarette but handed her your lighter.

A fairly intimate gesture.

(chuckles)

Very good.

He's cute.

Why the deception?

Al right.

Once this all quiets down, I'm filing for divorce.

Perry, I would hope my relationship with Kathryn would remain... confidential.

I can understand that.

Oh, and by the way, Kathryn was here, with me, Wednesday afternoon.

All afternoon.

My wife thinks I was in San Diego with a client.

Thank you both.

I'll see myself out.

(door opens)

(door closes)

You don't have to cover for me.

Huh?

Well, this is a serious matter, Kate.

I've been thinking.

I don't think we should see each other for a while.

Until you get around to divorcing your wife.

Oh, come on, now.

All I need is just a little more time.

I've been giving you that.

But, Kate...

I love you.

Doesn't everyone?

Wait.

I really do... love you.

Be patient.

I'm trying.

DRAKE: Della? Still here?

Mm-hmm.

Perry needed some background information on the foundation.

What are you doing?

I have to run out to Acton, talk to Lynch's family.

Acton?

I just read something about that.

Here. Here, look.

The Gordon Foundation has a solar power research project there.

Let me see that.

That's our tie-in.

The Foundation to Lynch.

To Paula.

What are you doing with that?

Taking out some insurance.

You better talk to Perry about that first.

Oh, don't worry about me, Della.

I'm not planning on using this, but if I have to, I know exactly what to do with it.

But...

See you in court.

Bullets.


(low indistinct chatter)

Good morning, David.

Paula.

Good morning.

Have you heard from Paul yet?

DELLA: No.

You aren't worried, are you?

Of course not.

You're taking notes?

Part of my job, isn't it?

Why, I suppose so.

Good morning, Counselor.

Yes, it is.

All please rise.

Division Six of the Municipal Court of Los Angeles County, State of California, is now in session.

Honorable Norman Whitewood presiding.

Please be seated and come to order.

Got any gas?

Business was so bad, the company took their pumps back.

How much further to Acton from here?

You're stepping in it.

Look, I'm from the, uh, State Solar Power Commission.

There's a project near here I'm supposed to inspect.

Could you direct me, please?

Never seen a solar project.

You ever hear of one?

(laughs)

Not around here.

Could you direct me to the Lynches' place?

That I can do.

Um, go up to the first crossroads, turn left, go down that for two miles, and then take your first right.

That'll get you there.

Thank you.

No big deal.

(engine starts)

(clanging)

Hello, Mr. Lynch?

Yeah, you wanted me to call if somebody asked about your project.

Hmm, well, somebody just did.

Yeah, he's a young guy.

He's on his way.

Al right.

Bye-bye.

Dr. Henderson, you are a medical examiner in the employ of the County of Los Angeles.

Is that correct?

Yes. -Did you do an autopsy on the deceased?

Yes.

And did you reach an opinion as to the cause of death?

The deceased died from a wound caused by the penetration of a sharp instrument through the solar plexus upward into his heart.

I show you People's Exhibit Three and ask you if you recognize this.

Yes, it has my mark on it.

SCOTT: I see.

Mm-hmm.

Now I show you People's Exhibit Four.

A dress.

Did you have an occasion to examine this?

Yes. And what were your findings?

Bloodstains on the material were the same as the blood type of the deceased, type O.

SCOTT: Thank you very much. Your witness.

Dr. Henderson?

How long have you been a medical examiner?

14 years.

In that time, have you seen other fatal injuries

-such as in this case? Yes.

How often have you seen wounds like this?

HENDERSON: I can't say exactly. Probably in excess of 200.

How much force would be necessary to inflict this type wound?

Oh, considerable.

Why is that?

Because of the tough muscle surrounding the heart and the protective placement of the rib cage.

With that in mind, would it be fair to say that the force necessary would be more than considerable?

I suppose so, yes.

Thank you, Dr. Henderson, that'll be all.

WHITEWOOD: You may step down.

(country music playing nearby)


(music grows louder)

Hello?!

(music playing loudly)

Hi.

Sorry to barge in on you like this.

Hello.

I'm sorry to barge in on you like this.

Is Mr. Lynch around?

No.

Will he be back soon?

No.

I need to talk to Mr. Lynch.

It's very important.

Try the side road.

Thanks.

I'll let myself out.

Please tell the court what you saw next.

I hurried to the top of the stairs, which looked down to the foyer.

I saw a woman run out of the house.

Could you identify her?

No, her back was to me.

I show you this dress marked People's Exhibit Four, and ask you if you recognize it.

The woman I saw was wearing a dress that looked exactly like that.

SCOTT: Prior to this occasion, have you ever seen a dress like this?

Yes.

Who was wearing it?

Miss Della Street.

(gallery murmuring)

Your witness.

Mrs. Jeffries, you testified that you were in bed when you were buzzed

-on the intercom. That's right.

Were you asleep?

Watching TV.

Do you wear glasses?

No. Have you ever?

No.

When was the last time you had an eye examination?

During my physical, two months ago.

Your eyesight was perfect?

Objection. Calls for expert testimony on the part of the witness.

Sustained.

Was your eyesight 20/20?

Yes, it was. It is.

How dark was the foyer that evening?

Not so dark that I couldn't see a woman in that dress, running away.

Oh, oh, no!

-(gavel banging) -(gallery murmuring)

Mrs. Jeffries, did you get a good look at the woman who just ran out?

Just from the back.

Could you describe what she was wearing?

MRS. JEFFRIES: A flowered print dress.

And she was carrying a beige handbag with a shoulder strap.

Mr. Jones, please ask the woman to come back inside.

I must congratulate you, Mrs. Jeffries.

The description of the dress and the bag were completely accurate.

You missed only one significant detail.

This is not a woman.

-(gallery murmuring) -(gavel banging)

WHITEWOOD: Order in the court.

Order in the court.

Quiet, please.

(gavel banging)

This gentleman is Robert Hunter.

A professional Hollywood stuntman, who has doubled for many top female television and motion picture stars.

I object on the grounds of relevance, Your Honor.

The days of these theatrics are long since gone.

Mr. Mason.

Have you any further questions for this witness?

No, Your Honor.

WHITEWOOD: You may step down, Mrs. Jeffries.

Counsel?

Your Honor, Mr. Mason is trying to compensate for his lack of any credible defense by turning this courtroom into a sideshow.

I'm trying to establish the plausibility that someone beside the defendant killed Mr. Gordon.

In this case, a man.

I still object to this kind of disruptive behavior.

This line of questioning is irrelevant and immaterial.

Your Honor, my client is on trial for murder.

I ask the court for the widest possible latitude.

Well, I concur, Mr. Mason.

So I'm overruling your objections.

But I am cautioning the defense to keep his performance within the bounds of acceptable court procedure.

I appreciate the court's indulgence.

He's allowing me to introduce the concept of Bobby Lynch.

Where is Paul?

Morning.

I'm looking for Mr. Lynch.

Who are you?

I'm from the insurance company.

You selling?

No, uh, we were carrying a policy on his son Robert.

I have a check for him.

He'll be pleased.

Hope so.

He's up ahead.

Thank you.

(engine starts)


♪♪

♪♪


Where'd he go? He's over in that gulley I bet!


All right, put 'em down real easy.

Ah! Don't turn around!

All right... now.

You the one that shot my son?

No, I'm not.

Who said I did?

Bailiff, will you show the witness People's Exhibit Four, please?

Do you recognize that dress?

Yes.

Your store sold that particular style and make of dress, is that correct?

Yes. We carried it the first two weeks of last month.

Thank you, Bailiff.

Do you recognize this man?

Yes.

Let the record show the witness has identified one Robert Lynch.

Did, uh, Lynch purchase that dress from you?

Yes. Now, you have a lot of customer's pass through your store.

How is it you remember him?

He was very specific about what he wanted.

Do you remember anything else about him?

Yes, he paid cash. Thank you.

Your witness.

(Scott clears throat)

Is there anyone else in this courtroom you recall having bought this dress?

Yes.

Could you point that person out, please?

That woman.

Let the record show that the witness identified the defendant.

(tires screech)

Hold it! What's the problem, Officer?

You can't park there. Excuse me. I have an emergency.

This is an illegal parking zone.

Excuse me, but I have to get in court this very...

There is a parking lot two blocks down.

Listen, this is a question of life or death.

Is there some kind of arrangement

-that you and I could make? What do you mean?

What's the worse you could hit me with here?

Well, illegal parking, blocking access to a public building, and probably some minor vehicle-condition infractions.

I'll take it. Just leave it on the windshield.

And please don't tow me, all right?

Mr. Williams, you are a parole officer employed by the State of California, is that correct?

It is.

How well did you know Robert Lynch?

He was a parolee, he reported to me.

And how long since he was released from the penitentiary?

About six months.

Why was Lynch in prison?

A manslaughter conviction; he stabbed a man to death.

Are you aware of the circumstances surrounding the death of Robert Lynch?

Just that he was shot and killed.

Objection, Your Honor, again on the grounds of relevancy.

The defense is attempting to show that Robert Lynch killed Arthur Gordon, and was in turn himself murdered by the person who hired him in order to guarantee his silence.

As I ruled earlier, the court is willing to grant a wide latitude, but when does defense expect to substantiate the relevance of all this?

Your Honor, we intend to do that now.

Overruled.

No questions at this time.

MASON: No further questions.

WHITEWOOD: You may step down, Mr. Williams.

Mr. Mason?

I call Paula Gordon to the stand.

You're head of the Arthur Gordon Foundation, are you not?

That's correct.

And you have personally approved all of the grants and projects that the foundation endows?

Yes.

Are you familiar with a certain solar power project located near Acton, California?

Yes.

Have you inspected the facility?

No.

But you did sign the checks

-for that project. Yes.

That's all.

But I don't under...

No further questions, Mrs. Gordon.

Miss Gordon, do you own a gun?

Yes.

Could you describe it for the court?

It's a silver-plated .32 caliber revolver with a pearl handle.

Pearl handle?

My father gave it to me as sort of a joke.

He thought I had very expensive tastes.

(chuckles) He was right.

Where do you keep that revolver?

At my home.

Is it there now?

Yes.

I must object to this line of questioning as totally irrelevant and immaterial.

The victim in this case was killed by a stabbing.

Mr. Mason?

Your Honor, I've only one more question of the witness.

Overruled.

How can you be sure the gun is still at your home?

It's in a drawer in my bedstand. I saw it there this morning.

No further questions.

Mr. Braddock, you are the attorney for the Arthur Gordon Foundation, is that correct?

Yes, sir, that's correct.

Naturally, you're familiar with the solar project at Acton?

Yes. I drew up all the documents for Mrs. Gordon.

Who received the money for the construction of the project?

That's rather difficult to answer, Mr. Mason.

I have an attorney-client relationship with Mrs. Gordon and the foundation.

That information is privileged.

But your activities are not privileged, counselor, and you're under oath.

I don't need you to explain that to me, Mr. Mason.

Mr. Braddock, are you aware there is no such project in existence?

No, I wasn't aware of that.

Isn't it true that you diverted that project money to yourself?

No.

Isn't it true that you needed the money to support your mistress...

Kathryn Gordon?

Absolutely not.

Would you like to reconsider your testimony?

No.

In that case, Mr. Braddock, would you like me to read to the court a sworn statement by one Frank Lynch describing how you not only used him to divert the funds to you, but paid him to protect your fraud, how you hired his son, Robert Lynch, to murder Arthur Gordon and frame Della Street?

Would you like me to read it, Mr. Braddock?

Isn't it true that if Della Street took over the directorship of the foundation, she'd have discovered your secret, so you had to get her and Gordon out of the way?

Isn't it true you killed Lynch with Kathryn's revolver, then tried to use her as an alibi for your whereabouts that day?

Isn't it true that murder was gonna be the solution to all your problems; you'd have the money, the girl, and no one would ever know?

Isn't it true, Mr. Braddock?!

I'm sorry, Kate.

Mr. Braddock.

Isn't it all true?

Yes.

(shocked murmuring)

(gavel banging)

Your Honor, I move for a dismissal.

Order! Order in the court!

Did you move for a dismissal, Mr. Mason?

I most certainly did, Your Honor.

Do the People object?

No objection, Your Honor.

Very well. Case dismissed.

This court is adjourned.

All rise!

Not bad, considering I didn't exactly get a sworn statement from Lynch.

What is that?

This is the cutoff notice from the phone company.

I didn't say I had a statement, just if he'd like me to read one.

Well, what do we do now?

We'll celebrate.

In that case, I'd like to buy you both lunch.

I'll be along in a moment.

Della...

I'm fine. Just fine.

Congratulations.

Could I take a look at that statement?

No. You can have it.

And I'd pick up that .32 pistol while Braddock's prints are still on it.

Oh, right. Thanks.

Until we meet again.

What?! Wait!

(reporters clamoring)

REPORTER: Are you happy for the outcome?!

I thought you said you had a car.

This is it. Hop in.

Uh, before I forget.

Nice work.

You, too.

(chuckles)

(laughs)

♪♪