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#11: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 11/30/57
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
A double life and a double wife plagued Joe Bradford. Wife number 1, Martha Bradford, is surprised when she goes to get her hair done and discovers there is another Mrs. Bradford. Later, when Joe Bradford is found bludgeoned to death, Tragg arrests Martha Bradford. Perry has to figure out who killed the man: wife number 1 or wife number 2?
Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of Crooked Candle
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Christian Nyby
Teleplay by Robert Tallman
Ben Brady | Producer
Produced by CBS Television in association with Paisano Productions
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer Sam White | Associate Producer
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Nancy Gates as Martha Bradford
Whit Bissell as Larry Sands
Doris Singleton as Rita
Robert Clarke as Jack Harper
Francis McDonald as Capt. Noble
Henry Corden as Nikolides
Bruce Cowling as Joe Bradford
Frank Wilcox as Judge Newark
Helene Santley as Receptionist
Hal Taggart as Clerk
Gene Wang | Story Editor
Production Supervisor … J. Paul Popkin
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lyle Wheeler, Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Maxwell Henry
Editorial Supervisor … Art Seid, A.C.E.
Film Editor … Otto W. Meyer, A.C.E.
Makeup … Mel Berns
Wardrobe Supervision … Dick James
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Set Decorations … Walter M. Scott, Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Recorded by … Alfred Bruzlin
Rerecording Mixer … Harry M. Leonard
Script Supervisor … Cosmo Genovese
This has been a CBS Television Network Production
Filmed in Hollywood by TCF Television Productions, Inc.
CARS: 1957 Ford Skyliner retractable, black, top down (Mason), 1957 Mercury 4dr hardtop wagon, medium color & white 2-tone. From The Cars by Greg Cockerill.
In the final scene Paul is sporting a tuxedo, heading out on a date. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 30 July 2009.
+ Perry gives Paul $75 date money. The equivalent amount in 2014 would be about $600. Hard to believe. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 3-22-14.
+ More than dinner and a movie? Submitted by HamBurger, 8/6/2017
The script for this episode is dated 12 September 1957. The scripts for at least 15 episodes predate this. It may be this episode was the 16th filmed. Submitted by billp, 4 November 2009.
Sightings: Pencil Mustache Man appears to be assisting Hamilton Burger in this episode. He is sitting next to him in Court, at the prosecution table, shuffling papers. More about him and other recurring extras here. Submitted by evelyne, 15 February 2011.
+ Also assisting Burger is Little Old Lady #2, in her capacity as stenographer. She reappears as just another courtroom spectator (first in the back row and then in the front), along with several other familiar faces. These are Distinguished Lady #4 (back row, in a distinctive hat), Distinguished Gentleman #1 (in the back corner), and a mustached “Sasha Magaloff.” Now who are they again? Submitted by gracenote, 9/2/2011.
Character Names: We learn that Rita’s maiden name is Wassell. Nikolides’ first name is George. Submitted by gracenote, 9/2/2011.
Bad marriage: Second episode in a row featuring an affluent, childless, unhappily-married couple. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 3/22/2014.
Goof: I was watching MeTV and I have to agree with this episode's IMDB.com listing, as it pertains to when Perry and Della spend the night alone in the lower level of the boat. After it completely tilts and they are leaving, when Della climbs the ladder to the deck to leave the boat (with Perry still waiting to get on the ladder), you can clearly hear Della softly say "Excuse me" to someone unseen above her. Submitted by mesave31, 04/03/15.
This is the only PM appearance for prolific character and voice actor Henry Corden, who became the voice of Fred Flintstone when Alan Reed passed in 1977. Henry Corden was also the singing voice for Fred prior to 1977...MikeM. 7/23/2016
This is the only PM writing credit for Robert Tallman, who was given an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best Radio Drama of 1947...MikeM. 5/4/2018
Actresses Jean Arthur and Doris Singleton have something in common. They both played "the Ex- Mrs. Bradford," Arthur in the 1936 comedy-mystery movie of the same name and Singleton in this episode of PM. Submitted by BobH, 13 May 2018.
"What one lawyer gives, other lawyer can take away: Old Greek Proverb," Nikolides said. [See 1st photo.] Mike Bedard 4.3.15
The second appearance of the elaborate staircase set, first used in #5, "Sulky Girl". At some point it will be reconfigured to eliminate the curve and put in a landing. DOD 05/04/18
First of four appearances by the astonishingly prolific Whit Bissell. Hard to believe that candle holder wouldn't slide off the table. Also very bad form for Perry and Della to leave the boat with a candle burning. The plot point about the two Mrs. Bradfords turns out to be completely superfluous. The file cabinets that are sometimes behind Della's desk and sometimes behind Gertie's desk seem to be missing completely.
"Imagine (to quote Paul)" a person having their name and address engraved on their key. jfh 04May2018
Whit Bissell was indeed prolific. He even managed 2 appearances in the very short lived " The New Perry Mason" with Monte Markham in the early 1970's. Phil A 20July2018
Origins of the First Mrs. Bradford? The construction of this episode has always puzzled me -- in how the writers and producers developed the elaborate first scene at the beauty parlor, but then did not tie up the unusual circumstances of the first Mrs. Bradford's two years on the road. Maybe they just couldn't fit it into 51 minutes. Do any of our ESG experts know whether her disappearance, amnesia, alien abduction, whatever, got a more complete treatment in the original story? JohnK, 7 October 2018
+The differences between the episode and the novel are fairly substantial. There's only one Mrs. Bradford in the novel; her name is Daphne Milfield and her husband's name is Fred. She neither disappears for several years (as does the episode's first Mrs. Bradford) nor is she the defendant (as is the episode's second Mrs. Bradford). Interestingly, ESG populates the novel with a number of characters whose last names are locations in California: Fred and Daphne Milfield, Harry Van Nuys, T.L. Cameron, Frank Palermo, and Roger and Carol Burbank (the novel's father and daughter defendants). Coincidental? I suspect not. Submitted by BobH, 07 October 2018.