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This first episode doesn’t paint a particularly flattering portrait of Hollywood: the actress wannabe cheated out of her savings by the “talent scout,” the behavior of Helene Chaney and, at least initially, of Aldritch. A seedy Hollywood inhabited by mostly less than honorable characters seems to be a common theme in the Mason series. Besides the instant episode, episodes like “Vagabond Vixen” and “Promoter’s Pillbox” come to mind. Even the final episode, “Final Fade-out,” rounds out the series on this same note. Submited by billp, 12/26/2008.
In the courtroom scenes, observe the attractive young lady who plays the matron. She is seated behind the defence table. Now consider the actress (Nancy Hadley) who plays Edna Hammar in “Sleepwalker's Niece.” Nancy Hadley may play both roles. Anyone agree? If not Hadley, there’s someone else in the series who plays the matron. I’ve seen her before. Submitted by billp, 12/26/2008.
Lee Miller who appears in this episode as a spectator also was seen in Ironside. I suspect fairly often, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a substantial number of episodes. However, I recall seeing one episode on TV a couple years ago where he was playing a policeman on the show. He was dressed just like Sgt. Brice—black suit, white shirt, dark thin tie and a somewhat rakish, dark pork-pie hat. Physically, he looked pretty much the same as he did on Mason. Particularly interesting was that Det. Sgt. Ed Brown addressed him as “Lee.” Submitted by billp, 12/26/2008.
The $1500 Evelyn Bagby got taken for in approximately 1957 would be about $11,048.42 in 2007 dollars. The $10,000 blackmail money stolen by Boles would be worth about $73,656.13 in 2007. I guess that’s how much Harry Merrill’s life was worth to Boles. Submitted by billp, 12/26/2008.
We see a bit of Perry’s apartment when he takes calls from his answering service. We also see, I think, Paul Drake’s apartment/house when he gets a call from Perry to check the serial number of the gun Evelyn found. Submitted by billp, 12/28/2008.
This show is based on a Erle Stanley Gardner novel of the same name. In the novel, in Chapter 1, the trial of Evelyn Bagby for theft, in the city of Riverside is written of. This show starts after the trial and barely references the trial. This causes some confusion as to why the man in the hood is after Evelyn, and why Perry needs to confront Helene Chaney. Not a good beginning for Perry. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 2/9/2009.
I have noticed that the entire first season of Perry (with the exception of shows # 17 and 25) is now available for viewing online at IMDb.com. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 5/14/2009.
The rotund Raymond Burr of the later episodes, and of "Ironside," could never have run the 10 yards he did in the initial office scene here. cgraul 1.30.12
The (shooting?) script for this episode is dated 22 March 1957. I believe this episode is no earlier than the third of the series filmed. (The actual call sheets would likely be useful here). “Moth Eaten Mink” was first and “Fan Dancer’s Horse“ was probably filmed before “Redhead”—or less probably, right after “Redhead.” “Fan Dancer’s Horse” wasn’t aired until about mid-season. However, its look-and-feel obviously place it as a very early episode. For “Redhead,” there was about a 6-month lag between filming and air date. Submitted by billp, 3 November 2009.
BILLBOARD Review. For your amusement, here is the review of Episode #1 by Leon Morse, published in the BILLBOARD issue of 30 Sep, 1957, page 12:
To see original, go to BILLBOARD archives here, enter "1957" into Search Box, click on Sep 30, 1957 issue (1957-09-30) and scroll to page 12. Submitted by Gary Woloski, 26 May 2012.
+ New York Times Review. To get a second opinion, I searched the microfilm files of my public library and found Jack Gould's review of Episode #1 published in the NYTimes late edition for Monday 23 Sep 1957, page 50. I especially like Mr Gould's opening: "Perry Mason . . . began one of his more formidable assignments Saturday evening: to catch Perry Como in the popularity ratings." You should be able to track it down at your library, or you can read this unattributed reprint of Gould's review in Popular Culture (The Great Contemporary Issues), page 290 (publisher The New York Times Company). Submitted by Gary Woloski, 28 May 2012.
The MeTV showing of this episode omits Perry's visit to the Eucalyptus Grove motel, which should follow just after he remarks to Miss Chaney, "Very interesting place, Riverside." This is an unfortunate omission, since two key characters and several key clues are not seen until just before the solution is revealed, and makes the whole thing seem like an unfair surprise for the audience. Net result, two and three-quarters more minutes for advertising. Whether that is true for the original syndication print or is specific to MeTV, I wouldn't know. Submitted by alan_sings, 1/30/2012
+ The current syndication version goes from the scene with Paul outside the building to the scene with Miss Chaney with only a minor edit between, followed by the scene with Perry filing a notch on the gun. The version shown by Hallmark skipped the scene with Miss Chaney and jumps from the scene with Paul to the scene with Perry filing the gun. The motel scene is not shown in either version. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 6/30/12.
Perry doesn't demonstrate good firearm safety when he points the revolver at Lt. Tragg. Submitted by billp, 2 August 2012.