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<< Grumbling Grandfather | Episodes | Jealous Journalist >>

#123: The Case of the
Guilty Clients
Original Airdate: 06/10/61

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Two girls from Argentina cause quite a stir in the US. Lola Bronson, a real spitfire, and cousin Conception O'Higgins are in court to settle Lola's divorce from Jeff Bronson.

The couple are glad to be rid of each other until pilot Bill Ryder sabotages the test flight of Jeff's prototype airplane, bankrupting his business while also making a play for Lola.

When Bill is found dead with one bullet in his body and two others lodged elsewhere in the room, both Lola and Jeff are suspects for the murder. Now the same two people who battled out their divorce in the courtroom are battling to cover for each other.

Violet Ryder is played by Barbara Stuart (once Sergeant Carter's girl, Bunny, on "Gomer Pyle").

Credits Edit

Random actor from episode. Click for page of all available.

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE GUILTY CLIENTS
Based upon Characters Created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins

Trailing

Directed by Lewis Allen
Written by Jonathan Latimer
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

Cast

Lisa Gaye as Lola Bronson
Charles Bateman as Jeff Bronson
Guy Mitchell as Bill Ryder
Faith Domergue as Conception O'Higgins
Barbara Stuart as Violet Ryder
Alan Bunce as Courtney Patton
William Mims as Leander Walker
Ben Wright as Clarence Keller
Grandon Rhodes as Divorce Judge
Sydney Smith as Trial Judge
Tom Vize as Astronomer
Pitt Herbert as Pathologist
Charles Stroud as Court Clerk
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
William Coffin as Pilot

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice (posted by gracep 11/19/2010)

Crew

Production Supervisor … Dewey Starkey
Director of Photography … Robert G. Hager
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Robert G. Stone
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

Trivia Edit

Ben Wright makes his third and final appearance here as Clarence Keller. Ben Wright was a famous voice actor on radio in the 40s and 50s. Although he was English by birth, he portrayed Paladin’s Chinese assistant, Hey Boy, on the radio version of Have Gun Will Travel. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 8 January 2010.

Location: The brief establishing shot showing the Los Angeles airport passenger terminal near the intersection of Airport Blvd. and Avion Drive appears to have been lifted, in part, from #96, TCOT Treacherous Toupee. That’s actually Paul Drake and Dick Hart in the car. Posted by daveb, 3/2/2010. Some pictures here.

Location: Street numbers in Perry Mason episodes are usually real. Consequently based on the “12930” on he Bronson Aircraft shack and the overall topography I would say this location is probably 12930 Pierce Street along side Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, CA. Whiteman Airport is a small airport some Hollywood stars used which is tucked in the north east corner of the San Fernando Valley next to mountains which are visible in this episode. Posted by Eric Cooper, 25 March 2010. Some pictures here.
+I'm pretty certain that building is actually in the airport grounds on Airpark Way (not Pierce), and is now a diner. Submitted by KGarrett 02/17/2016

Character Names / Anomaly: The “Pathologist” listed in the credits is addressed by Hamilton Burger as “Mr. Willard,” and the “Astronomer” as “Mr. Finney.” Perry refers to the Trial Judge as “Abernathy.” Why their names were left out of the closing titles, or why the D.A. failed to address the pathologist as “Dr.” is a mystery. Submitted by gracep, 11/19/2010.
+ Hamilton Burger addresses the “Pathologist” as “Dr. Willard”. Submitted by BobwloCB, 8/19/2014. + For some reason on the CBS/Paramount season sets the astronomer's name is spelled in the closed-captioning as Phinney not the usual Finney. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/09/14.

Sightings: Today we see have quite a few courtroom regulars seated in the gallery today. In one cutaway to the Argentinian sisters, we see the beloved Little Old Lady #1 (with her usual hat), Distinguished Gentleman #1 (with glasses), Pencil Mustache Man, and possibly “Miss Carmody” watching evens unfold. Quiet Old Man #1 is on the other side of the aisle. We can also discern another little old lady from the Style P credits, who is dressed all white and sporting a big hat. By now you are asking yourself, just who are these people? Submitted by gracep, 11/19/2010.
+The Distinguished Lady #4 is seated next to LOL #1 in court. The Quiet Old Man #2 and The Thin Man join the court for the last hearing. At the airport, we spot the Pencil Mustache Man talking with Distinguished Gentleman #1. Bill767, 1/6/16.

CARS. (1) Bill Ryder's white 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible, top down, outside the County Court House as Bill picks up Lola after the opening courtroom scene.

  • (2) One of Paul's old cars, the black 1958 Ford Thunderbird Convertible, top down. Ostensibly, Paul is dropping off Perry at the PanAm entrance @ 46:24 but, as Big Dave pointed out in the first "Location" entry above, the footage seen here was originally shot for ep#96.

Of the many background cars, I believe these were intentionally placed in the camera's view:

  • (a) 1961 Ford Fairlane 4-Door Sedan police B&W, parked beyond Ryder's Car (1). The same car appeared as Car (4) in Ep#122 with the same "SHERIFF" star pasted on the door.
  • (b) As Leander Walker is standing behind the white picket fence watching the test-flight through binos, there's a black '61 Buick beside him. A "V" and a "9" on the licence plate are seen through the fence pickets. It's almost surely the 1961 Buick Electra 4-Door Sedan Licence No VBV 990 (Car (2) in Ep#117).

Added by Gary Woloski, 11/30/12.

Wardrobe Note: At 2:34, we see Mason wearing a striped tie. This strikes me as very unusual. - Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 29 December 2012.

The Case of the Missing Minute: A close-up of the clock in Bill Ryder's house shows the time at 11:50 with the second hand crossing the twelve. Immediately after there is a long shot of the clock and the time is about a minute later and the second hand is between the six and the seven. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/09/14.

Judge: Sydney Smith was listed in the credits as "Trial Judge". It was a preliminary hearing. There is a difference between a hearing and a trial. Submitted by H. Mason 11/10/14

+ That was to distinguish him from the other judge in the episode, the divorce judge, who also presided over a hearing. The second hearing looked more like a trial so the word trial was used in the credits so that viewers would know one from the other. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/29/14.

Aviator's Abode: The boozy test pilot, Bill Ryder, lives in a house that is quite upscale -- French doors, even -- and lovingly decorated in American Colonial style. I would have expected a grubby apartment dotted with a few empty bottles and cans. JohnK, 10 October 2015

That Guy in the Sky following in the mulesteps of Frankie Laine, 50's pop singer Guy Mitchell (nee Albert George Cernik) makes his PM debut here. As with the former, his performance is neither brilliant nor terrible, and the writers somehow avoided the temptation to squeeze in a few gratuitous songs. Submitted by Notcom, 121715.

Jumping Jewelry: At 16:30 on the DVD, Conception's pearl necklace has a '50s dynamic space age-galaxy arrangement, but by 19:30 it has calmed down to a simple series of loops. JohnK, 29 June 2017.

This is the third of three PM directing credits for Lewis Allen, who was born in England in 1905. He passed in Santa Monica in 2000, aged 94...MikeM. 9/20/2016

This is the first of two PM appearances for Barbara Stuart, who was once married to actor Dick Gautier, who played Hymie the Robot on the television series Get Smart...MikeM. 12/27/2016

Comments Edit

After the divorce hearing, there is a man to whom Lola Bronson says, “Thank you for your help, Mr. Gilman.” The man receives no credit, however. I wonder who he is? Submitted by gracep, 11/19/2010.

According to this Fred Danzig article of 14 June '61, the Second Annual TV Guide Award Show aired on NBC on Tuesday 13 June, three days after this final episode of Season 4:

  • Raymond Burr was awarded "favorite male performer" (having won "most popular male personality" the previous year) and
  • Perry Mason repeated as "favorite series".

A photo at the event, posted on the "PM TV SHOW BOOK", here, shows Gail Patrick Jackson and Barbara Hale with the trophies. Evidently Barbara is accepting Raymond's award on his behalf: Michael Starr quotes Raymond's assistant, Bill Swann, saying that Raymond left "June 10 for Australia" to promote the start of the show in that country (Starr, Michael Seth. Hiding in Plain Sight The Secret Life of Raymond Burr, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2008. page 137), see here. Submitted by Gary Woloski, 3 June 2012.

Summary Error: Bill is not found with three bullets in his body. According to Lt. Tragg, one bullet was found in the body, one in the wall, and one in a log in the fireplace. Submitted by ace, 8/10/12. 10yearoldfan corrected the summary on 29 December 2012.

No Accent Dept.: For someone whose family has lived in Argentina "for generations," Lola, like her cousin Conception, exhibits not the slightest trace of Spanish influence on her speech. Submitted by francis, 9/24/14.
+ Actually Conception does make a few attempts at sounding non-American. But it's not convincing. Working on this episode was noted voice actor Ben Wright, but I imagine that in the few days they had to make these episodes there was no time for accent training. JohnK, 10 October 2015.
+ And wouldn't the cousin's name be Concepcion (with an accent on the last syllable), rather than Conception? JohnK, 10 October 2015.

Bon Voyeur: For a character identified as an "astrologer," Burger's creepy witness spends a lot of time peeping into private residences, it would appear. During his "usual sweep of the sky and the city," he's somehow able to identify people going into and out of one particular house in Los Angeles, and even provide a license plate number! This is really stretching it as a plot device. Submitted by francis, 9/24/14.
+ I suspect his creepiness was deliberate, not accidental. 'Astronomer', my eye ... but since he did give the police some evidence, I guess they decided, that THIS time, he wouldn't be up for a vice charge .. Submitted by MikeReese, 12/28/2016
+ That would be "astronomer." An "astrologer," one who purports to tell people their future based on where and when they were born, might be expected to be one who peeps into residences. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/09/14.

This episode has the classic murder mystery clue of the broken glass at the point of entrance. Too bad all those criminals have not figured out that the broken glass needs to be hit from the outside (so it falls inside) to make it look like a burglary. Submitted by HamBurger, 09/28/2014

At least to me, Lisa Gaye (Lola Bronson) in this episode looks, sounds and even acts like a young Kirstie Alley (pre-Cheers). Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/09/14.
+ Lisa Gaye graced six episodes of PM, but that's not enough for me: I put her on a pedestal as high as that of Julianna Margulies. Not a bad actress, either -- she convincing plays some nasty women. JohnK, 10 October 2015

Quick Loan: Minutes after the charges were dropped and before the defendant left the courtroom, Paul said a bank was going to lend Jeff the money to develop his airplane. Preposterous! Submitted by H. Mason 11/10/14

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