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This is without a doubt the most convoluted episode of all the Perry Mason shows. To think a wealthy man would try to come up with a cadaver, then burn down his own mansion with all of his relative's possessions contained within only to test his heir's fidelity defies belief. How about trusting your own judgment? Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 7/24/2008.
+ Perry does say: "It's incredible that anyone could conceive a plan so incredible." Mike Bedard 6.21.16 MeTV viewing. //
Both “Caretaker’s Cat” and the previous episode “Jaded Joker” open with a piano tune. In “Jaded Joker,” Bobby Troup seems to be improvising a tune. In “Caretaker’s Cat,” Judy Lewis is playing a finished composition. I may have a tin ear, but it seems to me both these tunes are very similar. Perhaps, they are different parts of the same tune? Submitted by billp, 2/22/2009.
+ At the end of episode #57, Bobby Troup is credited with composing and performing the “Jaded Joker Theme.” It could well be the same tune played in the next episode, but there is no mention of it in the credits for episode #58. Submitted by gracep, 8/22/2010.
At two points during his examination of Nurse Devoe, Perry refers to an earlier conversation he had with her. This seems to have been edited out of the TV print I saw, though. I often wonder whether key clues have been edited out! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 2/26/2011.
+ Indeed! I compared the DVD version of this show with one taped off the Hallmark Channel and found that the entire 1 minute 55 second scene where Perry talks with Ms. Devoe in her room is missing! I didn’t watch enough of the episode to know if there were any key clues, but there was a lot of talking. Submitted by daveb, 2/27/2011.
The burning of the house interposed with a cut of the burning of the newspaper announcing the millionaire’s is very dramatic and effective and well done. Submitted by gracenote, 4/18/2011.
During his cross-examination of Dr. Keene, one of Mason's lines, regarding the findings of the autopsy surgeon, is dubbed in. Besides acoustical difference, one can tell, even when Mason's head is mostly turned away, that he's saying something other than what we're hearing. Submitted by francis, 2/11/12.
+In fact, every time Burger or Mason mention "volatile spirits," the lines are clearly dubbed over. I found the explanation on the IMDb Website: "...whenever the name of the accelerant ... is mentioned, the phrase "volatile spirits" is repeatedly - and obviously - dubbed in by the original actors. A check of the script ... shows the accelerant was originally "mineral spirits", a paint thinner. Apparently, CBS censors objected to on-air mention of an actual substance that could be used to start fires, hence the dubbing-in of the more generic-sounding "volatile spirits". Submitted by scarter, 7-21-14
CBS is known for alternating opening credits on its programs. In addition to the change of opening in this episode, during the 195-episode syndication run of Perry Mason in the 1970's, more than half of the first season had the second season theme dubbed over the opening and closing credits although in many episodes the opening and closing themes didn't match. The themes have since been restored. For The Twilight Zone, again about half of the first season episodes had the opening replaced by the second season version. These continue to be seen in syndication, cable and VHS. I don't know if the original openings have been restored for the DVDs and Blu-Rays. The only reason for this would seem to be to fool the viewer into thinking the episode is not as old as it is. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 6/15/12.