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Crane vs. Crane is the 19th episode of Season 3 of Frasier.

Synopsis

EMMY WINNER AND SCREEN LEGEND DONALD O'CONNOR GUEST-STARS – Donald O'Connor ("Singin' In The Rain") guest-stars as Harlow Safford, an elderly, wealthy eccentric whom Niles looks forward to testifying against as an expert witness. Niles believes Safford is incompetent and looks forward to the publicity of the televised case. However, after Frasier reluctantly allows the opposing side to have him meet with Safford, he and Niles soon find themselves pitted against each other in court with differing opinions on Safford's sanity.

Plot

Niles is set to testify in a legal case against millionaire Harlow Safford, whose son is trying to have him declared mentally incompetent. Having performed a psychological evaluation of Safford, Niles will present his findings in court, something he, despite his claims to the contrary, looks forward to becauseof the case's publicity. However, Frasier is approached by the elder Safford's own lawyer, who wants Frasier to meet with Safford himself and is confident that Frasier will disagree with Niles' conclusions. Frasier is apprehensive about going up against Niles, but spends an afternoon with Safford. He is quite taken with his amicability and charm and makes the assessment that he is an adventurous, eccentric, but sane man who is just making the most of his twilight years.

Frasier shares his findings with Niles, who is outraged that Frasier is going against him. Their dispute only makes Frasier even more determined to testify in Safford's favor. When the big court date arrives, for which Niles has prepared an elegant, colorful speech, Frasier starts giving his testimony. Unfortunately, as he goes on, Safford's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre, culminating in him putting on a conductor's hat and thinking he is a conductor on a train. Frasier quickly concedes that his assessment of Safford was wrong. After everything is done, Frasier and Niles meet in the empty courtroom. Niles admits that he was enjoying the publicity of the proceedings and that he is disappointed that he wasn't allowed to give the speech he prepared. Frasier is disappointed with himself that he misjudged Safford, who, according to Niles, can be lucid for long periods of time, despite his mental state; Niles himself caught on to it during their interview when Safford lapsed and tried to put his pants on a cat. He chalks up Frasier's failure to look past his charms to the fact that Frasier wants to look forward to old age the way Safford lives his; as a time when you can live out your dreams and not as an inevitable time of decay and eventual death. The episode ends as Frasier sits down in the judge's seat and allows Niles to give his big speech.

CREDITS SCENE Niles, who is clearly worn out, flustered and exhausted, finishes his speech - not to Frasier, but to some blue collar employee of the courthouse whom he apparently paid to listen to him.

Starring

Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
and John Mahoney as Martin Crane

Special Guest Star

Donald O'Connor as Harlow Safford

Guest starring

James Winker as Mr. Giroux

Co-Starring

Neil Vipond as Judge
Baron Kelly as Baliff

Guest caller

Mrs. Fields as Beth
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