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I consider this one of those “topical” Perry Mason episodes. It deals with “juvenile delinquency,” a hot topic back then—Blackboard Jungle, Young Savages, Rebel Without a Cause, etc. Since it is topical, the episode comes across more “dated” than is generally true for Perry Mason. Also, and this may be just me, I detect a bit of homoeroticism. Even so, it’s still a credible entry in the oeuvre.
It's a bit ironic that the link to the obit of the actor who portrayed 'Jimmy', Gerald Perreau-Saissine, (see below Spoiler Warning) mentions him being survived by two male partners. Odd, I didn't feel any sense of homoeroticism when watching ... then again, my wife says I can't even tell when a woman is flirting with me, so what do I know? Submitted by MikeReese, 10/11/2016.
+ What you are calling homoeroticism might just be paternalism, if you are referring to the interaction between wise, kindly Mason and young Jimmy. Submitted by gracep, 9/3/2010.
In retrospect, at least as far as juvenile delinquency goes, Eisenhower’s “America” really wasn't all that bad. Submitted by billp, 31 October 2009.
The brief interlude between the judge and Burger regarding the latter's laryngitis seems odd; it plays no part in the plot other than to explain Burger’s hoarse voice. Why didn’t they just postpone filming that scene for a day or two? Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 2/1/2010.
+ Ham Burger's hoarseness was probably related to William Talman's smoking, which would kill him within ten years. The tight shooting schedule, described in the Dan Jenkin's article linked in an earlier episode, prevented waiting for actor's health problems to clear up. Submitted by MikeM 7/27/2012
When leaving James Morrow, Sr.’s apartment, Mason leaves his card and Drake leaves a pack of cigarettes, presumably as an act of kindness. Submitted by gracep, 9/3/2010.
This is one of the few times the series used (what can be said to be obviously) a backlot set for a street scene - such sets being called, depending on the studio, names like "New York Street" or "Chicago Street" - and it's not clear why, since the act of walking up to the apartment forms no meaningful part of the show, and whatever advantage there may have been gained by showing a poor neighborhood was - IMHO - more than offset by showing what was obviously not an LA street. Critiqued by Notcom, 110117.
Gerald Perreau-Saissine (a.k.a Richard Miles/Peter Miles) turns in a decent performance as Jimmy, but seems to have dropped out of film/tv about this time. This makes Perry’s final comments about his character somewhat ironic. Since Perreau-Saissine seemed a credible actor and photogenic, his disappearance is curious. Whatever the explanation, he seems to have had an interesting life. (See his obit here and a retrospective here).
+According to Wikipedia, "As Richard Miles, he wrote novels, poetry, and two screenplays. In 1963, he entered his first novel, That Cold Day in the Park, in a Dell Publishing contest; it did not win, but was considered worthy of publication (in 1965); it was made into a film of the same name in 1969."
Jimmy’s dad mentions the real thief of Mrs. Runyan’s car—a Barney Kellogg (who never appears). Later, Drake tails the invisible Kellogg in his search for Jimmy. And Mason brings the non-appearing but oft-mentioned Kellogg up at least once when conferring with his client Jimmy. Submitted by gracep 9/2/2010.
+ Correction: It was Paul's operative Harry Kline that followed Barney Kellogg to Jimmy's hiding place. Submitted by H. Mason 10/21/14
Questions: What happened to the cross? Did Felix Karr keep it or was it returned to Mrs. Runyon? Submitted by H. Mason 10/21/14