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<< Frightened Fisherman | Episodes | Garrulous Go-Between >>

#202: The Case of the
Arrogant Arsonist
Original Airdate: 03/05/64

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
When retired fire chief Carey York is accused by TV reporter Tommy Towne of burning his own warehouse, he contacts Perry, who tells Towne to broadcast a retraction or face a whopping $1.5 million slander suit. Towne eventually goes on the air to admit his first charge was incorrect, sort of….Carey didn’t torch the building to get the insurance, he says; he did it to keep his son from bankruptcy. A sophisticated machine destroyed in the fire would have helped his son’s competition. Carey never gets a chance to file a second suit against Towne-—the reporter is found dead inside a car at the bottom of a cliff. The car belonged to Carey and that lands the ex-chief in jail for murder.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE ARROGANT ARSONIST
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins

Trailing

Directed by Jesse Hibbs
Written by Samuel Newman
Arthur Marks / Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Jackson Gillis | Associate Producer
Samuel Newman | Story Consultant

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson

Music composed and conducted by Van Cleave

Cast

Tom Tully as Carey York
Frank Aletter as Tommy Towne
Jeff York as Ross Walker
Wynn Pearce as Dorian York
Elaine Devry as Sylvia Gwynne
Russell Thorson as Farrell Moorefield
Byron Morrow as Captain Hillman
Connie Cezon as Gertie
Tenen Holtz as Otto Joseph
Holly McIntire as Elaine Joseph
John Gallaudet as Judge
Tommy Farrell as Herbert Baker
Michael Harris as Cameraman
Robert Chadwick as Policeman
Robert Kenneally as Radio Dispatcher
Coby Denton as Phone Dispatcher
Lester Dorr as Bailiff

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Robert Wegner as Door Bailiff (spotted by gracenote, 2/14/2011)

Don Anderson as { Firefighter
Courtroom Spectator

Crew

“Perry Mason”
Director of Photography … Howard Schwartz, A.S.C.
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 … Carl Biddiscombe
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … Marshall Schlom
Theme Composed by … Fred Steiner
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company

Perry Mason
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions

Trivia Edit

Anomaly: Tommy Farrell, listed as Herbert Baker, is called Mr. Herbert in the show, twice by Perry. [Mitch English]

Location: Look for the real L.A.F.D Fire Station 99 in this episode. See here. Submitted by Steve Fox, 1/12/2005. Additional info from Barbara Brafman, 1/13/2005.

Location: Vincent Thomas Bridge. A pan shot of this bridge is used to open the scene by the fireboat dock. See here. Submitted by Mitch English, 3/3/2005, and D.A. Supernaw, 3/4/2005. Also seen in the pan shot is L.A. City No. 2 (Fireboat).

+Carey York pays a night time visit to Fire Station 99. Three weeks later, Perry also pays a night time visit to Fire Station 99. In both instances, 3 weeks apart, the exact same automobiles (5 at least), are parked in the exact same places. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 13 Dec 2014.
+Not too unusual. They could have been reserved spaces. Also in the 80s I worked at a small business (7 employees) and you could go there days, weeks or months apart and see the same vehicles in the same spaces. Submitted by H. Mason 3/18/15 Agreed. I was idly Googling my employer's address on the map application, and even though the scene was a year old, the time the picture was taken showed everyone's cars in the same parking spots, for the most part, as that day! Submitted by MikeReese, 4/9/2016

Russell Thorson makes his final of four appearance on Perry, and his first since 1959. Russell Thorson is best known as a prolific old time radio actor, most notably as Jack Packard on I Love a Mystery. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 5/13/2009.

Holly McIntire, in a role reminiscent of those played by her mother, is the daughter of Jeanette Nolan, a 6-time Perry Mason player. Submitted by daveb, 1/5/2011.

Sightings: Quiet Old Man #1 is briefly visible in the courtroom gallery, along with Distinguished Gentleman #1. More here. Submitted by daveb, 1/5/2011. Updated by gracenote, 2/14/2011.

Character Names: We finally learn from the bailiff that the name of the judge played by John Gallaudet is Richard Penna. Why this name is omitted from the credits is unknown. Submitted by gracenote, 2/14/2011.
+ In two other episodes, he was Judge Penner. Click on the Actors List in the sidebar, and then click on the letter G. Submitted by gracenote, 8/11/2011.
+ The bailiff introduces him as Benjamin Penner, at 34:46 of the 2012 Paramount DVD. lowercase masonite, 3/29/16.

Perry quotes from Shakespeare, specifically Hamlet: “The play’s the thing wherein I‘ll catch the conscience of the king.” (The “king” refers to Hamlet’s uncle Claudius, who murdered the Danish prince’s father and married his mother, the widow.) Submitted by gracenote, 2/14/2011.

No Della or Tragg again (despite credit). Miss Street is staying with her aunt, it is explained, but Tragg’s absence merits no mention. Submitted by gracenote, 2/14/2011.
+ On the other hand, Gertie has a rare, nice extended scene with Paul and Perry, including a close-up. Although a receptionist, she is asked to do a secretarial task. Submitted by cgraul, 10/18/2011.
++ AA was Della's 7th absence. "Barbara Hale was one of the original 'Dr. Pepper' girls featured in the soda company's calendars in the 40s/50s," IMDb notes. Mike Bedard 3.18.15

Uncredited Actors: Two show up at the elder York’s arrest: Don Anderson as a fireman and Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice. In the courtroom, Anderson reappears as a courtroom spectator (though he still could be the fireman in civilian clothes), and Robert Wegner stands guard at the door. Submitted by gracenote, 8/11/2011.

Deja Vu: At least three props were recycled from the previous episode, "Frightened Fisherman": The metal, mesh-screened LANG-JAMES LABORATORIES sign now says FIRE STATION 99; the radio-phonograph with the raised lid from the beach shack in "Fisherman" is now in Carey York's living room; the plank door in Carey's living room with the unusual viewport was also in the "Fisherman" beach shack. Submitted by David H, 10/26/2012.

This is the only PM appearance for Holly McIntire, the daughter of actors John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan...MikeM. 1/9/2017

Comments Edit

It’s unusual that in this episode they begin the courtroom scene with an American Flag ritual, the entrance of the judge, and other formal procedures not previously aired. Submitted by gracenote, 2/14/2011.

The opening scene of the assault and arson is a wonderful example of television film noir: the close focus on the crowbar, use of high contrasting light and shadows, camera rack-focusing to follow the slow-moving hand, and the choreography of the fall after the manager is hit. Very nice. Submitted by cgraul, 10/18/2011.

Perry sent Gertie on an errand and he left the office. With Della away who was watching the store? Did Perry take lessons on how to run his business from Constant Doyle? Submitted by H. Mason 3/18/15

This is one of those episodes where the victim and defendant are both so obnoxious you almost wish the latter was quilty; no Tragg...no Della...a real bummer. Submitted by Notcom, 040516.

Any episode with Elaine Devry is tops in my book. JohnK, 6 April 2016

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