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#121: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 05/20/61
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
A weird family affair—featuring switched identities, extortion, and $2 million—leads to a murder that even has Perry confused.
Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s
The Case of THE DUPLICATE DAUGHTER
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Arthur Marks
Teleplay by Sam Newman
Arthur Marks | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Produced by The CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Jackson Gillis | Story Consultant
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
Don Dubbins as Hartley Elliott
Anne Helm as Glamis Barlow
Walter Kinsella as Carter Gilman
Kaye Elhardt as Muriell Gilman
Joyce MacKenzie as Nancy Gilman
Willis Bouchey as Judge
Dick Whittinghill as Glenn McCoy
Harlan Warde as Connors
Nelson Olmsted as Cartman Jasper
Michael Fox as Autopsy Surgeon
Don Harvey as Sheriff
George Selk as Maurice Fellows
Charles Stroud as Court Clerk
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice (spotted by gracep 11/17/2010)
Don Anderson as a Courtroom spectator.
Production Supervisor … Dewey Starkey
Director of Photography … Robert G. Hager, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon Webb
Film Editor … Richard H. Cahoon, A.C.E.
Casting … Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Irving Pringle
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Ed McDermott, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Charles Q. Vassar
Sound Effects Editor … Gene Eliot, M.P.S.E.
Music Editor … Gene Feldman
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … M.E.M. Gibsone
Sound … Glen Glenn Sound Co.
Titles and Opticals … Pacific Title
Perry Mason \ A Film Presentation
A CBS Television Network Production
Sightings: A few favorite frequent faces show up in the courtroom gallery today: “Miss Carmody,” back row, prosecutor’s side; Little Old Lady #1, far corner, prosecutor's side; Distinguished Gentleman #1 near the Lady; and Quiet Old Man #1, in front of “Carmody” and near the Gentleman. The Little Old Lady has on a different hat today, too—much darker than usual. Read more about them all here. Submitted by gracep, 11/17/2010.
Uncredited Actors: Don Anderson joins our court as a spectator as Glamis is called to the stand. Bill767, 1/6/16.
Anomaly: Although only listed as “Autopsy Surgeon,” Michael Fox is, once again, Dr. Hoxie. Even Burger addresses him as such. Submitted by gracep, 11/17/2010.
+ When Perry's visiting Carter Gillman in jail, Perry has a lighted cigarette in his hand. The camera then moves to show a view of the back of Perry's head and right shoulder. In this view, Perry apparently blows cigarette smoke which rises above his head, but when the camera moves again in front of Perry, the cigarette is in his hand resting on the table. jfh 04Oct2018.
The Curious Coffee Set makes two appearances in this episode. First in the opening scene and later in Perry’s office. Submitted via email from Evelyn, posted by daveb, 7/24/2011.
A '61 TBird was Pace Car at the Golden Anniversary Indy 500 (30 May 1961), ten days after this episode aired. Added by Gary Woloski, 11/23/12.
Served: For the third time Perry was given a subpoena. It also happened in episodes 17 and 30. Submitted by H. Mason 11/10/14
+ And, once again, Ham Burger disrupts the proceeding with his usual bad-mouthing of Perry while demanding his motion takes precedence over everything else. How does this guy keep his job as the DA? Submitted by Arisia, 03/18/18
FAULT Fun though it is to squeeze Tragg into a scene, it makes little sense that he would be serving a subpoena: Courts - at least at the level we see in PM - are a county function...the logical server would be someone from the sheriff's office. Nitpicked by Notcom, 122616.
+ Tragg commented that he wasn't just there making a courtesy call. So, maybe he decided to serve Perry personally since, unlike Burger, Tragg is a friendly adversary. Perry and Tragg have a mutual respect for one another. Burger respects no one. Submitted by by Arisia, 03/18/18
Case Closed!: Just as in episode 87, TCOT Singing Skirt, Perry solved the murder just before he was to be seated on the witness stand. Submitted by H. Mason 11/10/14
+ I'm sure he was STILL called after the fact, at least in chambers. Burger never lets ANYTHING slide by him; ESPECIALLY a chance to have Perry disbarred or charged with misconduct ;-) . Submitted by Arisia, 03/18/18
This is the only PM appearance for Anne Helm, who was born in Canada and just celebrated her 78th birthday on 12 Sep 2016...MikeM. 9/16/2016
This is the first of three PM appearances for Dick Whittinghill, who was a well-known radio personality in Los Angeles for several decades...MikeM. 12/23/2016
This is the first of seven PM appearances for Don Dubbins, the last three of which would be as Deputy District Attorney Vincent...MikeM. 9/22/2017
This is one bizarre episode in that we never see the victim, nor do we meet one of the prime suspects. Posted by Kenmore, 12/14/2009.
+Also in episode #1, TCOT Restless Redhead, murder victim Harry Merrill aka Lester Gladden was never shown. Added by H. Mason 11/10/14
Fans of early TV will recognize Walter Kinsella as Happy McMann, proprietor of the tobacco shop frequented by Martin Kane, Private Eye. Submitted by francis, 4/19/12.
Although he's frequently offered or handed beverages, this is one of the very few times Mason is seen actually drinking one; in this episode he enjoys a highball with Della. Submitted by francis, 4/19/12.
+ Ditto for Perry smoking cigarettes: we sometimes see Perry lighting or stubbing out a cigarette, and often holding one, but we actually see him smoking in this episode (although, see Anomaly). jfh 04Oct2018.
Glamis' JAGUAR. Identifying where in the JAGUAR family Glamis' car lies is a lot easier than figuring out the family connections in this PM episode! Some visible Identification Points that distinguish her XK140 (1954-57) from an XK120 (1948-54) or an XK150 (1957-61) are: 140 has split two-piece windshield (like 120 but unlike 150); 140 has one-piece front bumper with two large over-riders (like 150 but unlike 120); front JAGUAR badge is integral with grill (120's is separate and above grill); 140 has a deep “crouch” in the body side sculpting, forward of rear wheel (like 120 but unlike 150); and exterior door handle position. Note the increasingly modern appearance from XK120 to XK140 to XK150, culminating with a leap into the Space Age with the E-Type or XKE in 1961. The XKE debuted at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, 16-26 March 1961 - at about the same time that this episode #121 would have been filmed! There was no JAGUAR XK130 (unlucky 13??). Both an XK150 FHC and an XK140 DHC will appear in Episode #133. Added by Gary Woloski, 11/24/12.
Paul's convertibles sure are snazzy, but it seems strange he would sit in a convertible, with the top down, in plain sight of everyone, while conducting an undercover operation (in this episode, staking out the Gilman house). Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 10/3/2013.
Willis Bouchey really chews up the scenery in this episode as the Judge. He looks and sounds like he should be on the Supreme Court! He is my favorite Perry Mason judge. Submitted by 65tosspwertrap, 10/3/2013.
Don Dubbins' character, Hartley Elliot, says "I refuse to answer" repeatedly on the witness stand. In episode 168, TCOT Prankish Professor, once again his character says "I refuse to answer" on the witness stand. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/9/2013.
You just know that when an episode has characters named Glamis(!) Barlow, Hartley Elliott, and Cartman Jasper--as opposed to the more reasonable Elliott Hartley and Jasper Cartman--there's a good chance the episode is adapted from an ESG novel. (See Episode #241, TCOT Mischievous Doll, for another example of the misnamed members of the Jasper family.) Submitted by BobH, 2 July 2018.
Indeed, as noted above, not only do we never see (1) the victim, Vera Martell, but we also do not see many of the other people involved in the convoluted plot: (2) Stephen Barlow, (3) Phyllis Monroe, (4) G.W. Monroe, and (5) Joe Yemen (who might possibly have changed his name to G.W. Monroe). And poor Muriell has little to do, other than to provide one more duplicate daughter. Submitted by Fifty-Niner on 11 August 2011.
And, adding to the bizarreness mentioned above, the shot of the revealed killer's grasping, clutching hands. They seem to float, disembodied in space against a black background - wonder if they actually belonged to the actor who played that role? Submitted by MikeReese, 11/22/2013.