"The Case of the Twice Told Twist" aired on February 27, 1966 during the ninth and final season of Perry Mason. CBS executives were mulling whether to renew the series and wanted to see what a color episode would look like. By the mid 1960s, the cost of color photography had decreased significantly and it was becoming standard practice to film in color.
|Victor Buono as the villain.|
The district attorney's office wants Perry to press charges against Lennie. However, Perry believes the teen can be rehabilitated. Two murders later, though, Perry finds himself defending Lennie of a much more serious charge: homicide.
"The Case of the Twice Told Twist" doesn't rank with the best Perry Mason outings. It'd be more interesting to let the audience discover the Oliver Twist theme on its own. Instead, Perry compares Huggins to Fagin and one of the characters is named Bill Sikes.
|Barbara Hale and William Hopper.|
If you're a fan of the show, I heartily recommend The Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition DVD set for the bonus features alone. They include screen tests of both William Hopper and Raymond Burr playing Perry (as well as Burr playing Hamilton Burger). There's an episode of a charades-like quiz called Stump the Stars with Burr, Hopper, Barbara Hale, and William Talman. And there's a potent anti-smoking public service announcement by Talman, which was filmed while he was dying from lung cancer at age 53. According to his family, Talman was the first actor in Hollywood to appear in an anti-smoking campaign.