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EpisodePages/Show234

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#234: The Case of the
Murderous Mermaid
Original Airdate: 03/18/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Barbara Hale’s husband, actor Bill Williams, returns in this episode as Charlie Shaw, a boat owner who would appear to be a hero after saving a young actress who is attempting to swim across the Catalina Channel.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

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

Trailing

Directed by Robert Sparr
Written by Mann Rubin
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 Supervised and Conducted by Herschel Burke Gilbert

Cast

Patrice Wymore as Victoria Dawn
Bill Williams as Charles Shaw
Jean Hale as Reggie Lansfield
Jess Barker as Doug Hamilton
Richard Erdman as Ben Lucas
Lee Bergere as Dr. George Devlin
Nan Leslie as Lillian Keely
Ron Kennedy as Male Nurse
Richard St. John as Patron
Jack Carol as First Reporter
John Ward as Second Reporter
Maurice Wells as First Man
Barry Brooks as Second Man

Uncredited Actors

Don Anderson as { Spectator on Beach
Rescue Boat Skipper
(sighted by gracenote, 4/27/2011)

Crew

Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
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 cliffs in the background when the young actress dives off the rocks (8 minutes and 21 minutes into the episode) are not in Catalina but actually the cliffs just north of Paradise Cove in Malibu. [Some pictures here.] Posted by Eric Cooper and Linda Shockley, August 17, 2009.
+ Paradise Cove is a popular location for Perry episodes. The tide was low and based on the lighting on the cliff it was a morning shot on both dives. The shot of the actress up on the rocks is later in the day (note the shadows around the bystanders below in the later dive) and most likely a different beach. If you look closely you can see a black plastic pipe that runs down the cliff in the background as she dives. Those black plastic pipes are still used by cliff-side home owners for drainage. The top of the cliffs is now the Paradise Cove Mobile home park where a double wide with a view recently sold for $2.2 million, land not included. Posted by Eric Cooper and Linda Shockley, August 17, 2009.
+ As noted the dive and the scene with the actress preparing to dive were taken at different times and probably at different beaches. If you watch closely you can see that in both dives there are people below and at least 50 feet of sand between the cliff and the water. Even then the water is shallow for at least another 25 feet. So diving from the cliffs and landing in enough water to survive is impossible unless you are part flying squirrel. Consequently, the dive with the Paradise Cove cliffs in the background was accomplished either by diving off a boat or more likely a platform built at the end of the Paradise Cove pier. Also the only way to get that perspective of the cliffs is to dive from partway in the cove itself. No diving area from land would give you that angle. The pier is fairly long now but it was much longer back in 1965 when this episode was shot. Posted by Eric Cooper and Linda Shockley, August 17, 2009.

Excellent acting by Bill Williams, husband of Barbra Hale. jfh 22Feb2017.

Character Names: The violently lecherous male nurse is introduced as Ernie Craig in court. Submitted by gracenote, 4/27/2011.

Sightings: As Reggie meets with her agent at an unnamed lounge, Pencil Mustache Man is tending bar in the background. He continues as Drake joins the conversation. Later, Distinguished Gentleman #1 is among the spectators thronging the beach to see if Victoria Dawn will dive from a cliff. Submitted by gracenote, 4/27/2011.
+ In the courtroom, Little Old Lady #1 is visible in a cutaway to Perry and his client; Quiet Old Man (#1) is in another to Victoria’s sister. The aforementioned Pencil Mustache Man sits in the far corner, although not in every shot. And Distinguished Gentleman #1 is also there, in the back. Read more about these favorite frequent faces. Submitted by gracenote, 4/27/2011.

Lee Bergere played Abraham Lincoln in Star Trek's "Savage Curtain" episode. Posted by Trekker Mike Bedard 2/3/15.

Business Cards: For at least the second time Paul Drake was shown giving out a business card (see #55 TCOT Fraudulent Foto). Perry handed out cards at least fourteen times starting with the first episode. Submitted by H. Mason 4/27/15

Business For Perry: Paul sent another person to Perry. This time it wasn't Paul's client. Submitted by H. Mason 4/27/15

Murder Weapon: A person was killed with an ashtray for at least the fourth time (see episodes 46, 55 and 93). Submitted by H. Mason 4/27/15
+Killed with a bookend in this episode. Submitted by W. Jones 5/14/16

It's for you, Mr. Mason: Perry receives a phone call while speaking with Doug and Lillian on the patio. jfh 22Feb2017.

Paul's Phone: Mr. Drake's car phone was used for the ninth time. Submitted by H. Mason 4/27/15

Paul's Fee: When Paul talks to Ben Lucas in the restaurant, we find out that Paul charges $100 per day plus expenses. Submitted by D. Tlougan, 5/7/15.
+ Viewers might recall Jim Rockford's (oft-quoted) rate was $200/day; the series being set about a decade after this episode, extrapolating out, we'd have $3200/day today...I suspect rates aren't that high (though the 70's we're notorious for high inflation). Pondered by Notcom, 051916.

This the second of two PM writing credits for Mann Rubin, who also had two "Ironside" writing credits...MikeM.2/22/2017

Comments Edit

The creepy, lecherous, threatening male nurse is appalling. I guess a girl isn't safe anywhere! Submitted by gracenote, 4/27/2011.

+ And Paul was in no hurry to return Reggie's good luck charm to her after her failed parachute jump, even though she and her agent, Bennie, spent about a minute at Bennie's car talking. However, when Paul later found out that Reggie was at a cocktail lounge....Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 06/29/13.

+Poor Perry's arm is still out of commission!

Reggie's agent, Bennie, has a series of dodgy stunts arranged for her -- the parachute jump, the Brahma bull riding, the final stunt shown in her attempt to break into the movies -- but why did neither of them seriously question what she would have to do for the $5,000? In 2013 dollars, that is $36,000(!). Didn't that possibly sound too good to be true for an unknown? Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 06/29/13.
+It was a secret. Reggie was told after she passed her tests. You don't tell anybody you're going to fake a channel swim until you're sure the person can be trusted. Added by H. Mason 4/27/15

An Oddity: In this story Perry Mason was not shown with his client until the first scene in the courtroom. Submitted by H. Mason 4/27/15

Private "I" Fees: Paul charges "$100 & expenses" per day; Jim Rockford's fee is "$200 a day + expenses." Mike Bedard 5.7.15

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