The Law of Contact

The Panther's Claw (March 3, 1942)

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Byron Foulger in The Panther's Claw
 

Released on March 3, 1942: Byron Foulger is befuddled wig maker Everett P. Digberry, who is accused of blackmail and murder.

Produced by Lester Cutler

Directed by William Beaudine

The Actors: Byron Foulger (Everett P. Digberry, wig maker), Sidney Blackmer (Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt), Rick Vallin (Anthony 'Tony' Abbot), Herbert Rawlinson (District Attorney Bill Dougherty), Lynn Starr (Miss Spencer, apartment telephone switchboard operator), Barry Bernard (Captain Edgar Walters), Gerta Rozan (Nina Politza, opera Prima Donna), Thornton Edwards (Enrico Lombardi), John Ince (Captain Mike Flynn), Martin Ashe (Officer Murphy), Walter James (Captain Tom Henry), Frank Darien (Samuel Wilkins, wig maker), Joseph DeVillard (Antonio Spogucci), Jacques Vanaire (Guiseppe Bartarelli), Willy Castello (John Martin George), Harry Clark (Officer Lou Levinsky), Lew Leroy (apartment manager), Billy Mitchell (Nicodemus J. Brown, elevator operator), Florence O'Brien (Petunia), Harte Wayne (the coroner), Pat McKee (Joe Morgan), Casey MacGregor (Sergeant Flanagan), Billy Snyder (hotel manager), Dick Rush (Lombardi's Police escort)

 
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Digberry Flips his Wig

Many of my happiest television moments as a youngster were watching Don Knotts as the usually befuddled but good natured deputy sheriff with the understanding and wiser Sheriff Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show. Such a pair was unique, or so I thought until I watched this comic murder mystery.

Byron Foulger is an always-befuddled man who is not quite up to speed with the rest of the world. My first instinct is that he is one of those poor fools who tries to be smart and witty, but just never quite makes it. He inspires me to think that he is a good soul who needs to be helped a bit along the way, but a very harmless soul, and never capable of murder.

Sidney Blackmer is Police Commissioner Thatcher Colt, and he is the usually amused adult in the room who will watch over the meek and befuddled wig maker that everyone wants to accuse of blackmail, murder and more.

The burning question is this: While the meek and milquetoast wig maker seems to be a harmless fellow who doesn’t know what is happening around him, is he really so innocent, or is he actually a very clever killer?

I couldn’t decide for myself . . . Actually I did decide, and then changed my mind several times before the closing scene. I wonder if you will decide correctly as you watch the mystery unfold? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Barry Bernard and Gerta Rozan
Barry Bernard and Gerta Rozan
Barry Bernard and Sidney Blackmer
Barry Bernard and Sidney Blackmer
Barry Bernard
Barry Bernard
Billy Mitchell
Billy Mitchell
Billy Mitchell and Florence O'Brien
Billy Mitchell and Florence O'Brien
Billy Mitchell
Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder and Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder and Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder, Lynn Starr and Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder, Lynn Starr and Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder, Lynn Starr and Billy Mitchell
Billy Snyder, Lynn Starr and Billy Mitchell
Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger and Martin Ashe
Byron Foulger and Martin Ashe
Byron Foulger and Sidney Blackmer
Byron Foulger and Sidney Blackmer
Byron Foulger and Sidney Blackmer
Byron Foulger and Sidney Blackmer
Byron Foulger
Byron Foulger
Casey MacGregor and Byron Foulger
Casey MacGregor and Byron Foulger
Gerta Rozan and Barry Bernard
Gerta Rozan and Barry Bernard
Gerta Rozan, Byron Foulger and Barry Bernard
Gerta Rozan, Byron Foulger and Barry Bernard
Herbert Rawlinson and Sidney Blackmer
Herbert Rawlinson and Sidney Blackmer
John Ince and Byron Foulger
John Ince and Byron Foulger
John Ince
John Ince
Martin Ashe
Martin Ashe
Martin Ashe
Martin Ashe
Pat McKee
Pat McKee
Rick Vallin
Rick Vallin
Rick Vallin and Harte Wayne
Rick Vallin and Harte Wayne
Rick Vallin
Rick Vallin
Sidney Blackmer and Herbert Rawlinson
Sidney Blackmer and Herbert Rawlinson
Sidney Blackmer and John Ince
Sidney Blackmer and John Ince
Sidney Blackmer and Rick Vallin
Sidney Blackmer and Rick Vallin
Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer
Thornton Edwards and Byron Foulger
Thornton Edwards and Byron Foulger
Thornton Edwards and Gerta Rozan
Thornton Edwards and Gerta Rozan