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#128: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 10/14/61
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Big-time comedian Charlie Hatch learns that the woman he loved and lost, Anne Gilrain, has escaped from a sanitarium for alcoholics. Charlie knows her husband had talked her into committing herself and he would like to take Anne away from the dirty situation.
When the husband is murdered, Charlie is afraid that Anne may have done it. He sets himself up as a likely, suspect to protect Anne. (Now that’s either real love or real stupidity.) He easily gets himself arrested for the murder, and now he needs a heck of an attorney to cut through this facade.
Watch for Jackie Coogan, Uncle Fester of The Addams Family, who plays Gunner Grimes in this episode.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE CRYING COMEDIAN
Based upon Characters Created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Robert C. Dennis
Art Seid | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Jackson Gillis | Associate Producer
Produced by The CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Samuel Newman | 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
Tommy Noonan as Charlie Hatch
Jackie Coogan as Gunner Grimes
Gloria Talbott as Ann Gilrain
Sue Ane Langdon as Rowena
Med Flory as Sgt. McVey
Stacy Harris as Ed Brigham
Liam Sullivan as Tom Gilrain
John Gallaudet as Judge
Nestor Paiva as Nico
John Alvin as Manager
Louis Mercier as Remy
Ray Dannis as Reese Lordan
Art Lewis as M. C.
Alan Reynolds as Dr. Iverson
Carl Milletaire as Bolin
Charles Stroud as Court Clerk
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
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … M.E.M. Gibsone
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company
Titles and Opticals by … Pacific Title
Anomaly: Med Flory, listed as Sgt. McVey, is introduced to Perry as Lt. McVey by Lt. Tragg. Submitted by daveb, 12/20/2007.
Stacy Harris makes his final of three appearances on Perry here playing Ed Brigham. Stacy Harris was a favorite of Jack Webb. Stacy Harris starred in the 1954 Dragnet movie, was in the original Dragnet five times and in Dragnet 1967 eight times. Jack Webb even named his eldest daughter “Stacy” after Stacy Harris. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 3 November 2009.
Tommy Noonan plays comedian Charlie Hatch in his only Perry appearance here. Tommy Noonan was in fact a stand-up comedian, teaming up with Peter Marshall (Yes, the same Peter Marshall who later hosted Hollywood Squares), in a Martin and Lewis-style act for several years. Tommy Noonan was the half brother of western actor John Ireland. Tommy Noonan died much too early at the age of 46 from brain cancer. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 3 November 2009.
Sightings: Distinguished Gentleman #1 appears as a waiter in the restaurant scene (Nico’s) with Hatch (Tommy Noonan), Tom Gilrain (Liam Sullivan), & Ann Gilrain (Gloria Talbott). The Gentleman actually holds back Hatch from hitting Gilrain. And in the courtroom scene, the Pencil Mustache Man sits next to Ann Gilrain. Submitted by Kenmore 9/19/10.
+ Also in the courtroom gallery, just two seats away from the Pencil Mustache Man, sits Quiet Old Man #2. On the prosecutor’s side, Distinguished Lady #1 watches with great interest. Submitted by gracep, 11/28/2010.
+ The Little Old Lady in a Hat can also seen on the prosecution side just as court adjourns the first time. Submitted by daveb, 12/5/2010.
Continuity Error: In the scene at Nico’s, we see Rowena (Sue Ann Langdon) standing in the background near the stairs when Tom Gilrain arrives and confronts Hatch. Yet when Gilrain tells Hatch to stay out of it because he’s “talking to his wife,” we get a cutaway of Rowena descending the stairs and arriving in the restaurant. Submitted by Kenmore, 9/19/2010.
Character Names: During the course of the hearing, we learn that Rowena’s last name is Leach and that Gunner’s real name is Elwood P. Grimes. Submitted by gracep, 11/28/2010.
Location: The famous Culver Hotel where the Munchkins stayed making the Wizard of Oz is seen briefly 13:20 into the DVD version of this episode. It is also seen in episodes #56 and #168. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 20 May 2011.
Honorable Discharge: Actor Med Florey was USAF Captain McVey in episode 120 TCOT Misguided Missile. In this story he was LAPD Lt. McVey. Submitted by H. Mason 11/12/14
The Glen Haven Sanitarium was the Kendall home in episode 101 TCOT Wandering Widow. Submitted by H. Mason 11/12/14
After Burger finishes examining Mrs. Gilrain, Perry isn't given an opportunity to cross-examine at the time, or even asked if his cross-examination will take too much time before adjournment. The judge automatically announces that court will reconvene the next morning. This artificially gives Perry time to investigate the bank before the cross-examination the next day. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 12/14/14.
Even though court reconvenes the next morning, other than Perry, Paul (seen in the tag presumably on the night of the trial's end with Perry wearing the same clothes) and Burger, most characters are wearing the same clothes as the day before. In addition, the same woman shown sitting next to Lt. McVey previously is there again the next morning. Charlie, however, was allowed to change out of his prison/trial suit. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 12/14/14.
Barbara Hale does not appear in this episode. Since it was the first episode produced for the fifth season (the first two episodes broadcast were holdovers from the fourth season) perhaps she couldn't get back from a vacation or another acting job in time. Perhaps because of her absence two other actual fifth-season episodes were aired before this one. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 12/14/14.
+ CC was Barbara's 3rd Credit-Only episode. "As a young girl, Ms. Hale intended to major in art & drawing...she [attended] the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts...On the Perry Mason set she sketched constantly," IMDb observes. Mike Bedard 3.18.15
Here is another example of the bizarre and terrible treatment of women throughout this series—which is of course a reflection of its time. In the restaurant, Ann Gilrain has made it clear that she doesn’t want to return to her husband, Tom. When the owner breaks up the fight between Gilrain and Hatch, he tells Gilrain to take his wife home. When Hatch tries to stop them, the owner says, “A man's got a right to take his wife home. A cop would tell you the same thing.” What about her right to decide when and where she will be? Getting married means a woman gives up all her rights as an adult? Submitted by gracep 11/28/2010.
The woman as property is prevalent in Perry Mason and other shows, and is still evident today in the "engagement ring," designed to show that the woman has been purchased. Ironically, women brag of their rings! cgraul 7.26.12