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EpisodePages/Show135

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<< Left-Handed Liar | Episodes | Renegade Refugee >>

#135: The Case of the
Brazen Bequest
Original Airdate: 12/02/61

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
President-elect of Euclid College, Charles Cromwell, a.k.a. Curly Oliver, contacts Perry when some unpleasantness in his past leads to murder.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE BRAZEN BEQUEST
Based upon Characters Created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg

Trailing

Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Robert Leslie Bellem

“Perry Mason”
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
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg

Cast

Phyllis Avery as Mary Cromwell
Alan Hewitt as Dr. Marcus Tate
Karl Weber as Charles Cromwell
Mort Mills as Sgt. Landro
John Wilder as Dick Wilson
Barbara Stuart as Maizie Freitag
Strother Martin as Pete Gibson
Joseph Julian as Deputy D.A. Horner
William Allyn as Robert Haskell
Will Wright as James Vardon
James Millhollin as Prof. Grove
Charles Irving as Judge
Elvia Allman as Julia Slovak
Nelson Olmsted as Dr. Hunterlin
Dick Whittinghill as Jerry
Ernest Sarracino as Rafael Sandoval
Sally Mills as Nurse Talbot
Charles Tannen as Cabby
Frank Behrens as Autopsy Surgeon
Morris Erby as Jonas
Herbert Lytton as Motel Clerk
Richard Geary as Deputy Sheriff
Sandy Shaffer as College Girl

Crew

Director of Photography … Robert G. Hager
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
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … M.E.M. Gibsone
Sound … Glen Glenn Sound Co.
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company
Titles and Opticals … Pacific Title

Perry Mason \ A Film Presentation
A CBS Television Network Production

Trivia Edit

Location: Some exterior shots were filmed at the University of Redlands and at the somewhat “modernized” old La Posada (aka La Pasada) hotel on State Street (long since torn down) in downtown Redlands, CA (not far from Big Dave’s home town). Submitted by Tom Southard, 4/29/2000.

Character Names: Charles Cromwell (Karl Weber) is addressed several times as Dr. (presumably Ph.D.), but this credential is not reflected in the closing credits, even though Dr. Tate was granted his. Additionally, Ernest Sarracino’s character’s full name is Sr. Rafael Dominguez y Sandoval. Submitted by gracep, 12/24/2010.

Euclid College: TCOT Brazen Bequest (#135, 5.12) and TCOT Prankish Professor (#168, 6.15) are both set at Euclid College. In fact, the opening sequence, showing the sign that says "Euclid College" and a man (probably a student) walking up the steps into a building behind the sign... is the *same* lead-in sequence used in *both* episodes! Submitted by Charles Richmond, 8/29/2012

Although credited, Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) does not appear in this episode, one of many times this season. Submitted by gracep, 1/7/2010.

This is one of the episodes in which Raymond Burr did not remove his pinkie ring (worn on his left hand) prior to shooting. Submitted by cgraul, 11/8/2011.

As requested below in the Comments, I can identify the music heard at the very beginning of the episode. It is a very abbreviated quote from a traditional student song, Gaudeamus igitur ("So Let Us Rejoice"). Its use in soundtracks to suggest an academic setting has become a bit stereotypical, but it is still a fine piece of music. Its words in Latin exhort students to live life fully (a sentiment akin to the saying, carpe diem, "sieze the day"). You can hear umpteen versions of it (with varying quality) on YouTube. The version by Mario Lanza from The Student Prince is a good one, though the sound quality is a little old. The tune is also heard during Brahms' Academic Festival Overture at about the eight and a half minute mark. Submitted by alan_sings, 11/10/2011.

+ This same music (no doubt part of the CBS music library) can also be heard at the start of two Twilight Zone episodes with academic settings: "Long Live Walter Jameson" from the first season (3/18/60) and "The Changing of the Guard" from the third (6/01/62). Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/06/15.

Another missing character in this episode. Dr. Crowell and his wife have a daughter who is mentioned twice in the episode. The first time she is mentioned as the person who took the photograph of Dr. Cromwell and his wife, and she is mentioned again in the scene in the lab when Sgt. Landro catches up with Cromwell. But we never see the daughter in the episode. Added by Neil Van Zile, 3/14/2014

At the start of the autopsy surgeon's testimony he is seen wearing glasses. For some reason, while the camera is showing spectators (and the dialogue continues), he removes his glasses and holds them in his hand. Unless a part was cut out before broadcast, he doesn't seem to have read anything before or after removing his glasses, so the reason for his wearing the glasses in the first place or removing them is unclear. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/06/15.

When Perry and Paul approach Mr. Haskell's apartment door Perry (offscreen) calls out to him twice. Unless Raymond Burr can repeat a phrase exactly the same way, the dialogue seems to have been repeated in post-production. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/06/15.

This is the second of two PM appearances for Phyllis Avery, who was married to actor/director Don Taylor...MikeM. 10/6/2016

This is the second of two PM appearances for Barbara Stuart, who passed in 2011 at the age of 81...MikeM. 1/12/2017

Comments Edit

An interesting casting choice was made in this episode. According to the story, it’s certainly implied, if not directly stated that Charles Cromwell (Kurt Weber) was younger than Maizie Freitag. Yet Barbara Stuart who played Maizie was almost 19 years younger in “real life” than Weber. And as hard as they try with the makeup, Stuart still looks younger than Weber. Submitted by Kenmore, 9/15/2010.

+ It appears that she has more age makeup on in the hospital than when she got out of the taxi earlier. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/06/15.

The facial difference between the young drunk woman who gets out of the taxi and the old heart attack victim at the hospital is so striking that it caused confusion for me in understanding the story. If you told me they were two different actresses, I could believe it...MikeM. 1/12/2017

The song played during the opening scene is the same melody used for my high school’s Alma Mater, but I recall that it’s something more famous. If anyone knows it, please post in Trivia! Submitted by gracenote, 7/12/2011.

Location?: It would be nice to know the distance and direction of some of the cities, towns, etc. in relation to Los Angeles in the Perry Mason Universe. Euclid Heights must be in the same Jurisdiction as Palm View (episode 130) since Sgt. Landro was the police officer in charge and actor Charles Irving was the judge both times. Submitted by H. Mason 11/14/14

We don't see Cromwell discovering the body and it wasn't really mentioned that he had done so. We didn't even see if Haskell was already dead when Cromwell entered. Are we supposed to wonder if Perry's client is really guilty? Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 4/06/15

Rare appearance by a black actor: Morris Erby as the orderly Jonas. Submitted by WJones 2/18/16

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