Perry Mason (1957–1966)
4 user 1 critic

The Case of the Hesitant Hostess 

Fred Archer is blackmailed by Kim Lane, who winds up dead. Albert Sanders, Perry's derelict client, is charged with the murder. Perry depends on Kim's friend, Inez Kaylor, to assist in the defense, but she double-crosses him at every turn.


Christian Nyby


Erle Stanley Gardner (novel), Al C. Ward (teleplay)


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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
Karen Sharpe ... Inez Kaylor
Fred Sherman Fred Sherman ... Albert Sanders
June Vincent ... Martha Rayburn
Les Tremayne ... Frederic Archer III
Ned Wever Ned Wever ... Joe Gibbs
Betty Utey Betty Utey ... Kim Lane
Robin Raymond ... Marge - Secretary
Gil Frye Gil Frye ... Det. Ralph Faulkner
Jacqueline Holt Jacqueline Holt ... Christine
Mike Mason Mike Mason ... Larry Coles (as Michael Mason)


Frederic Archer III exits a dance club to meet with dancer Kim Lane outside in a car to confirm a payoff. That night a drunk Kim tells her roommate how she will enjoy her new life based on her new found knowledge. The next day Inez asks their boss Martha Rayburn at work if she has seen Archer as Kim is missing. As she leaves Archer enters in a panic asking for help. Later, the police arrest Albert Sanders for robbing Archer. Perry decides to pick up the derelict's case pro bono knowing his history. However, when Kim Lane is found dead, the charge is upgraded to murder. Rayburn says she was with Archer during the robbery but Paul finds the hostess Inez who says she was fired by Rayburn at the club at the same she was with Archer. Inez agrees to return from Las Vegas to testify but disappears outside the courtroom. Paul tracks her down but she escapes so Perry and Della trail her to her apartment in Las Vegas. There Joe Gibbs takes a postcard to Kim from Universal Models at gunpoint. ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

5 April 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?


Lee Miller, Raymond Burr's body double and the future Sgt. Brice, has uncredited roles here as both a police detective and a courtroom spectator. See more »


The supposedly dead body of the murder victim can be seen breathing. See more »


[first lines]
Larry Coles: I'm warning you, Sanders. I catch you hanging around here again, I'll call the cops.
See more »

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User Reviews

Della breaks this case open- all because of a purse
18 March 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

This episode begins at the Danceland Ballroom where a regular drunk named Albert Sanders is being thrown out. This was a small scene but will prove to be significant as the story progresses.

In a rather complex set of facts we find out that Mr Fredrick Archer, Ms Martha Rayburn along with a rough named Joe Gibbs- are running this International Model Agency that sends young women across the globe for work. Unbeknownst to the young girls, they are actually being used to smuggle drugs into the country through a secret compartment in a purse that is given to them by the agency.

It just so happens that one of the girls named Kim Lane has found out about the little scheme and decides to blackmail the agency. Knowing that she could put them out of business, the three people running the agency decided to rid themselves of Ms Lane. So they set up a patsy in the name of Albert Sander, our local drunk, to take the fall.

Perry gets involved as a court-appointed-attorney for the Sanders when his client gets charged with robbery and then murder. It is not long before Perry knows something in amiss in the dealings with the ballroom and the agency. He will have to drag out the courtroom proceedings and introduce some unsavory evidence before the scheme comes falling down.

Unlike most of the shows from the first season, this is one that the viewer really has to pay attention during the witness stand testimony. There was a lot of great stuff in this episode and then there was some slow moments where even the Judge seemed bored. There are some good moments as when Della goes in for a meeting at the modeling agency and gets looked over- plus we also get to see someone pull a gun on Perry and force him against the wall. It was an episode with two faces, at times full of action and at other times slow as molasses. Overall still a nice watch.

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