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#231: The Case of the
Lover's Gamble
Original Airdate: 02/18/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Betty Kaster is hired by Philip Stark to take care of Stark’s invalid wife, Frances, who has recently been injured in a car accident. Philip wants her in Mexico to recuperate. Supposedly a doctor has said it would be good for the sick woman’s lungs. But Betty suspects Philip is more concerned about Frances's recent $2 million inheritance than her lungs.

Betty knows Della from a lecture she gave at college and asks her for help, but she soon needs the Big Guy even more when Philip Stark is found murdered.

Perry believes Betty’s story about Philip’s illicit affair with bombshell Jill Fenwick. However, he focuses on the $2 million and the flock of vulture-relatives circling the Stark house.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

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

Trailing

Directed by Harry Harris
Written by Jackson Gillis
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 by Richard Shores
Music Supervision by Herschel Burke Gilbert

Cast

Elizabeth Perry as Estelle Mabury
Hal Peary as Freddy Fell
Margaret Bly as Betty Kaster
Donald Murphy as Dr. Philip Stark
Joan O’Brien as Jill Fenwick
Roy Roberts as Henry Thomas
June Dayton as Frances Stark
Linda Leighton as Sarah Thomas
Grandon Rhodes as Judge
Hal Baylor as First Truck Driver
Minerva Urecal as Martha Glenhorn
Barbara Perry as Beauty Operator
Richard Reeves as Second Truck Driver
Orville Sherman as Mr. Link
Robert Hernandez as Newsboy
John Cliff as Bus Driver

Uncredited Actors
Don Anderson as Courtroom Spectator
Robert Wegner as Man at Bus Stop (spotted by gracenote, 4/24/2011)

Crew

Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … Richard W. Farrell
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

Harold Peary makes his only Perry appearance here playing Freddy Fell. Harold Peary was a big name in radio in the 1940s, playing the title role in The Great Gildersleeve on radio and in six different movies. He would quit the radio show in 1950 in a dispute with the sponsor, Kraft Foods, over who owned the name Gildersleeve. Kraft Foods retained the name and hired Willard Waterman to continue with the Gildersleeve role until 1958. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 18 August 2009.

Barbara Perry's 81 IMDb Actress credits include another Perry/Tsarina's Tiara & Pickles Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Mike Bedard 4.30.15

Uncredited Actors: First, standing in line waiting for the bus as Betty approaches the bus stop is Robert Wegner. Then Don Anderson appears in the courtroom gallery. Submitted by gracenote, 4/24/2011.

Sightings: Observing the action in the courtroom gallery today are Distinguished Gentleman #1 and Little Old Lady #1. The Gentleman also plays a druggist helping a lady at the perfume counter in the drugstore where Drake makes a phone call. Submitted by gracenote, 4/24/2011.
+Lots of sightings at the bus stop and travel agency around the 20 minute DVD mark. During the next 2 minutes we see the Thin Man five times (in the distance at the bus stop carrying a box, walking in front and then in and out of the Travel Agency, and walking a dog in the neighborhood as Betty returns home). In addition we see the Distinguished Gentleman #1 walk by the agency with his grandchildren. Along with them, Don Anderson and Robert Wegner both make several appearances. I guess that they were buying travel tickets for a good vacation. Submitted by BigBill767, 6/20/2016.

Alas, yet another episode where Ray Collins receives credit but does not appear. Submitted by gracenote, 4/24/2011.

Goofs: When Betty Caster is at the front door, the boom mic shadow is clearly visible in the upper right corner - PerryBaby 10/20/13

Minerva Urecal, in her second PM role (see #15), was probably best known as (Phoebe) Ma Kettle from the Ma & Pa Kettle series of movies. The Ma Kettle character was introduced in the 1947 Fred MacMurray / Claudette Colbert film The Egg and I. The character was popular and Ms Urecal was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance, but lost to Celeste Holm. A spin-off series of 9 movies followed (from 1949 to 1957) with Percy Kilbride returning as (Franklin) Pa Kettle in the first seven. Submitted by H. Mason 4/23/15

Marjorie Main played Ma Kettle. Minerva's Wikipedia paragraph says she played “Marjorie Main-LIKE characters…..” Minerva was in movies, usually playing maids and landladies….But she was not Ma. LuvPaul 5/19/16

This is the only PM appearance for Margaret Bly/Blye who played Michael Caine's girlfriend in the 1969 movie "The Italian Job"...MikeM. 2/17/2017

Hamilton Burger wore a large pinkie ring in this episode...MikeM. 2/17/2017

Comments Edit

I believe this is the only episode Harry Harris directed. I can see why. His camera work in the courtroom is jarring and uncomfortable -- extreme close-ups from low angle, slow camera revolves around the witnesses, all giving the viewer scant opportunity for perspective. One of the worst ever second halves. cgraul 12.19.12

House: The neighborhood and a wide shot of the home used by Dr. Stark was seen in this story. It appeared in tight shots in #213 as headquarters for the Jason Foster campaign and in #186 as part of Manzana Valley Prep School. Submitted by H. Mason 4/23/15

Paul displays his PI credentials into the camera: we see a badge in the lower flap & an ID card on the upper. Mike Bedard 5.7.15

A young single woman enters her hotel room, closes the door...and sees a hulking big stranger waiting for her. Wouldn't she at least try to scream before the stranger attacks and throttles her? How did she know that he is a semi-clueless PI? And the hotel's bellboy may have apprenticed at the Bates Motel. Submitted by lowercase masonite, 5/23/16.

Spoiler Warning! Do Not Read Below If You Have Not Seen The Episode

Unlike the episode's original viewers, we can see in advance the list of all of the credited actors. When I saw that June Dayton is Frances Stark, throughout the episode I was wondering why "Frances Stark" looks nothing like June Dayton. Even the woman in the car at the beginning looked and sounded to me more like a female impersonator than June Dayton wearing a wig. Submitted by lowercase masonite, 5/23/16.

While Perry successfully defends only one client against murder charges, an additional death is uncovered and explained by his deductive reasoning skills. jfh 17Feb2017.

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