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<< Ugly Duckling | Episodes | Paper Bullets >>

#212: The Case of the
Missing Button
Original Airdate: 09/24/64

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Or maybe “The Case of Button, Button, Who’s Got The Button?”

Janice and Dirk Blake are divorced. They are presently firing opening rounds in a custody battle over their daughter Button, who has inherited $4 million from her grandfather.

Dirk takes the low road and hides Button aboard a boat owned by Vince Rome. But Perry and Paul manage to locate the girl. The case then goes to court, and the judge awards temporary custody of Button to her cousins, Lois and Roger Gray. But Vince Rome has a plan -— involving no less than theft, blackmail, and hints of illicit sex -— to cut himself in on the $4 million pie. When Dirk learns of this scheme, he goes to the boat and fights with Rome. A gun goes off and Rome is hit. The next day his body is found, but Dirk swears Rome was alive when he left. Perry believes him.

Credits Edit

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


Starring Raymond Burr
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Richard D. Donner
Written by Jonathan Latimer
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
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson

Music composed and conducted by Richard Shores
Music Supervision by Herschel Burke Gilbert


Julie Adams as Janice Blake
Ed Nelson as Dirk Blake
Claire Wilcox as Button Blake
Dee Hartford as Lois Gray
Anthony Eisley as Vince Rome
Otto Kruger as Judge Norris
Alan Baxter as Roger Gray
Lysa D’Anjou as Naomi Sutherland
Mike Mazurki as Cully Barstow
Stanley Adams as Pancho Morado
David Macklin as Mike Sommers
Charles Irving as Judge Blanchard
Ruth Packard as Miss Smithers
Garland Thompson as Lab Expert
Pitt Herbert as Coroner’s Physician
Jean MacRae as Woman At Motel
Robert Riordan as Janice’s Lawyer
Joe Dominguez as Bartender
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Richard Geary as Scuba Diver

Uncredited Actors

Don Anderson as { Courtroom Spectator


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

Location: The early scene where Perry and Paul walk down a ramp to a dock on their way to the Blue Nymph sailboat was filmed near the Alamitos Bay Marine Bureau building. See here. Submitted by D. A Supernaw, 3/17/2005.

Sightings: Distinguished Gentleman #1 peeks in between a blonde lady and Pancho Morado as they make a bet. He moves aside and continues to stand next to her as the two gamblers play. The Gentleman shouts, “He got ’em! Got ’em all!” Then he says, “Come on, pay up, Pancho!” And he laughs with another spectator. This may be the first time we ever hear him speak!!! Submitted by gracenote, 3/25/2011.

The new season starts off with Ray Collins in the credits, but his character, Lt. Tragg, is absent again. Submitted by gracenote, 3/25/2011.

Through that remarkable transformation of the time-space continuum known as Daily Syndication we have David Macklin appearing less than two weeks after his last performance (Simple Simon), whereas in reality the appearances were separated by almost six months. Further testing our faith in the illusion of theatre is the fact that - at just eighteen - he's actually younger than his character is probably intended to be...a novelty for PM (or many shows of the period). Submitted by Notcom, 041916.

David Macklin seems miscast as a lobster trapper with the clean cut looks. Submitted by Perry Baby, 10.17.16

Uncredited Actors: Don Anderson plays another (silent) double role in this episode. In the final courtroom scene, he is a spectator in the front row of the gallery, and in the last scene at the La Playa Bar & Motel, he is a background bartender. Submitted by gracenote, 3/25/2011.

Sightings: In the middle of the courtroom gallery sits Quiet Old Man #1. Submitted by gracenote, 3/25/2011.

Location: About 19 minutes in there is a quick shot of the historic Hall of Justice on the corner of Temple and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. It was badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 12 August 2011

Location: The finale takes place around historic Echo Park. It has been a favorite film location starting with Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang. Chinatown, Kentucky Fried Movie and even Gilligan's Island shot scenes there. Perry and crew drive around the lake in his sweet ride then take the nearby onramp onto the Hollywood Freeway when Della spots the missing girl. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 12 August 2011

Names 1: This was the ninth time actor Charles Irving appeared as a judge and called Judge Blanchard. In episode 173 TCOT Golden Oranges he was given the name Judge Stanley. Submitted by H. Mason 4/4/15
+Charles Irving [Zipperman] Judged 11 Perrys & 3 Bonanzas; he prosecuted Charles Dickens (played by Jonathan Harris) in Bonanza's "A Passion for Justice" [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 4.6.15

Names 2: The Pitt Herbert character was called Dr. Wyler. In episode 79 TCOT Lucky Legs he was named Dr. James Latham. Submitted by H. Mason 4/4/15

Bank: The check Dirk Blake wrote to Vince Rome was from an account at the Pacific National Bank. That bank was mentioned in episode 173 TCOT Golden Oranges. Submitted by H. Mason 4/4/15

Props It appears the model used for the murder reenactment is the Eldon Racing Sloop a popular toy of the period ("Popular", in this case meaning I had - and still have - one.) Brought into court by Notcom, 041916.

This is the only PM appearance for Claire Wilcox who, like Raymond Burr, was born in Canada...MikeM. 1/23/2017

Comments Edit

I have to wonder…if Distinguished Gentleman #1 got some lines, why didn’t he get any credit while “Woman at Motel” did? Submitted by gracenote, 3/25/2011.

+ This fact seems to be hiding in plain sight on this site, but we do indeed know the name of DG#1 -- Rudy Salinger. Somehow he got a credit #112, TCOT Wintry Wife, as "Chemist." John K, 17 October 2016.

This is simply a sign of the times. In the 50s & early 60s women were still considered to be '2nd class citizens', so very few tv programs were written for them. Therefore, a male actor might not receive billing in the credits, even if he had lines, but a (younger) female actress was almost ALWAYS listed, even if her role was no more than 'window dressing'. The reasoning was simply that the male viewers wanted to know who the actresses were. However, it was still considered vulgar for a woman to want to know the name of a male actor - unless, of course, he played one of the lead characters. Submitted by Lazarus 4/21/16

Speaking of lines, La Playa Motel & Bar has a remarkably loyal clientele. See the man in coat and tie next to Distinguished Gentleman #1? On a later day after the murder, later in this episode, he is still there and wearing the same coat and tie. And the same-dressed woman (gray top, long white sleeves) is still at the bar. Submitted by masonite, 12/9/12.

And in that scene above at La Playa, what time of day or night are the people there? Per the wall clock behind Pancho, when he is on the phone, the time is about 3:40. But afternoon or early morning? On Vince's yacht at the same time, it looks like night, with the jetty light occasionally shining in the background. Submitted by masonite, 12/9/12.

The Hallmark Movie Channel's showing today of episode 212 has commercials inserted mid-scene, rather than at the original break points. HMC had started doing this recently, then stopped for at least a week. If the commercials return to their normal times again, I'll try to leave a message. Submitted by MikeM, 10/4/2012.

Contrary to the episode Summary above, the dialog and action convince me that the Blakes are only legally separated with an interlocutory judgement. Early on (8:38 on the 2012 Paramount DVD) Dirk Blake states, "Judge Nelson said I could have Button two days a week until the final divorce hearing." Later (27:13) he states about Janice, "She's been going out a lot, living it up since we're separated." Submitted by masonite, 12/9/12.

Right you are. I've revised the plot summary. -Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 12 October 2014.

Germs: When Mrs. Smithers went into the house for a glass of milk watch Button wipe the handlebar where the woman had touched it. Submitted by H. Mason 4/15/15

The ending for this episode seemed a bit far fetched when Perry and company in his Lincoln drove around LA looking for Buttons. Submitted by Perry Baby 10/17/16.

The search at the end is not completely random. The housekeeper mentions that the lady said something about the park with the lake, Echo Park. When they don't find them there, Perry gets on the nearby Hollywood Freeway and they see the woman and child standing at the railing of the next overpass...MikeM. 1/21/2017

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