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EpisodePages/Show247

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#247: The Case of the
Carefree Coronary
Original Airdate: 10/17/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
This is the episode where Perry asks Paul about his bedside manner, then sends him off to investigate the increase in heart attacks for the Safeline Insurance Company.

Perry appears to have gone too far when he tries to prove convalescent fraud and pushes an ex-fighter to his limit. The guy dies of a heart attack.

Perry suspects he was poisoned but the insurance company suspects Perry…of murder.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE CAREFREE CORONARY
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman

Trailing

Directed by Jesse Hibbs
Written by Orville H. Hampton
Arthur Marks \ Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Ernest Frankel | Story Consultant
Orville H. Hampton | Associate Story Consultant
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Dan Tobin as Terrence Clay

Music | Richard Shores

Cast

Robert Emhardt as Arthur Wendell
Bruce Bennett as Reve Watson
Benny Baker as Jerry Ormond
Whit Bissell as Dennison Groody
David Lewis as Wallis Lamphier
Lawrence Montaigne as Dr. Chauncy Hartlund
Hal Baylor as Jack David
Joseph Sirola as Dr. Raul Caudere
Shirley Mitchell as Marilyn David
Tracy Morgan as Doreen Wilde
Dan Seymour as Nappy Tyler
Alexander Lockwood as Deputy
William Woodson as Dr. Willard Sholby
Tommy Farrell as TV Reporter
Jay Weston as News Reporter

Uncredited Actors

Don Anderson as { Drake Operative #3
Restaurant Patron

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 … Bob Wolfe, 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 … Chrevrolet Division of General Motors Corp.

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

Trivia Edit

Location: Right after the scene where Della says Paul is dying, there’s an establishing shot of a building. It’s the L.A. County USC hospital in Boyle Heights known as “Big County.” See here. Submitted by Mitch English, 5/21/2005.

Location: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. An establishing shot of the arena appears early in the show. See here. Submitted by Scott Pekeris, 7/1/2005.

Location: About 36 minutes in, Paul says he’s on Sycamore and Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, and lo and behold he is. If you look to his left you can see a woman with some kids and to the left of them you can see the Travelodge at 7051 Sunset. It is still there. See Google maps street view here. Want more proof? Look closely at the top corner of the building. You can clearly see the little “sleepy bear in PJs,” which was Travelodge’s logo in the 1960s, painted on the top left corner of the building. Posted by Eric Cooper, 9/2/2009. Some pictures here.

Location: About 37 minutes in Paul gets dropped off at the YMCA which is still at 1553 N. Schrader Blvd. in Hollywood. If you look closely you can see “1553” on the building as Paul enters. The YMCA would be about 8 blocks east of the previous Sycamore and Sunset location. Posted by Eric Cooper 9/2/2009. Some pictures here.

Location: About 8 minutes in we see the exterior of Nappy’s and a sign below it that I think reads “Sunset Grill.” If so, that would be the place made famous by the Don Henley song of the same name. The place still exists next door to Guitar Center on Sunset but it has been drastically remodelled, and I can’t find a vintage photo to compare. Anyone have a photo? Submitted by Eric Cooper, 17 September 2010.
+ No photo, but the sign definitely says “SUNSET GRILL.” But it looks so temporary; could that really have been standing for forty-six years? Submitted by gracenote, 5/14/2011.

Location Question: When Paul gets the fake construction job, does anyone know WHERE and WHAT the building crane actually "built" in that area? Looks like a big project!!! Thanks in advance! Submitted by mesave31, 02/16/15

Uncredited Actors: Don Anderson appears as a Paul Drake operative in this episode. Don and William Hopper keep Jerry Ormond (Benny Baker) under observation at the construction site. Submitted by FredK, 11 January 2011.
+ In a subsequent scene, Anderson plays a patron at Clay’s Grill who leans back to stare as something happens. Submitted by gracenote, 5/14/2011.

Sightings: At the doctor’s office, our “Miss Carmody” plays the nurse who retrieves the oxygen and consoles Mrs. David. Submitted by gracenote, 5/14/2011. I couldn't help but think while watching this episode that in just a few years, William Hopper really would die from cardiac complications. Makes the show sad and poignant to me. Submitted by Welshwoman 02/16/15 Whit Bissell appeared in 4 original & 2 "New Perry Masons" ("TCOT Jailed Justice [Trial Judge]," "TCOT Prodigal Prophet [Judge]"), 2 Ironsides, an "FBI," a "Star Trek: The Trouble With Tribbles" & All 30 "Time Tunnels" as General Kirk [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 2.11.15.
+ Speaking of Star Trek <grin>, Lawrence Montaigne plays Dr. Chauncy Hartlund, possibly best known in Star Trek for Amok Time (1967), playing "Stonn". Submitted by mesave31, 02/16/15

Credit anomaly: Alexander Lockwood, identified as "Deputy" in the episode's closing credits, actually plays the Coroner who presides over the inquest. Submitted by alan_sings, 1/18/2013.

Continuity: When the little boy rings the doorbell of Jack David's house (with Paul and his operative apparently watching from across the street), the lighting changes suddenly from the wide shot to the close-up. Then we (and once again Paul and his operative) see David and the little boy in what appears to be the back yard of the David house. But there's no way Paul and his operative could watch both the front and the back of the house from the same location across the street. Submitted by Alan Smithee, 1-31-2014.

Foreshadowing Life was to follow art all too well: in less than five years from this episode William Hopper was dead, although from complications of a stroke rather than a heart attack...a sad ending that must have seemed every bit as shocking to his audience as Paul's demise would be to Perry. Recorded by Notcom 060716.

Comments Edit

The employees of Safeline were apparently mathematically challenged (maybe that's why the company was in trouble!). When Watson says that Safeline had seen an over 500% increase in coronary disability in the last three years, the chart he points to doesn't show a 500% increase. Then when actuary Groody is in Mason's office he jokes that they've taken the square root of minus one and made mathematical history. Evidently he's unaware that so-called imaginary numbers had been used extensively in mathematics, engineering, and science since the 1700's. This is surprising, since actuaries typically study a lot of math in college. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 1/31/2014.
+ But it would have little place in an insurance company - or a law office - which, of course, is why it's funny. OTOH they don't seem to handle exposure very well: we're to believe a single - and dubious, at best - lawsuit is so threatening to the company's future that they're in a panic to settle; certainly an insurance company, of all businesses, would provide for such routine risks. Noted by Notcom, 060716.

Random musings: An entertaining episode about disability insurance fraud (considering the number of ads I see on TV for law firms specializing in disability cases, evidently it's still lucrative business). Dr. Caudere's "Cardsyn Tonic" looks suspiciously like milk; can't tell if it's whole or 2% ;). "Caudere" sounds a lot like "Kildare" as in the TV show Dr. Kildare, which was on NBC 1961-1966. "Rod Steele": what a great name for a construction worker. Ex-boxer Hal Baylor was perfect as ex-boxer Jack David; note how effortlessly he skips rope (the little boy can't even get started) and works the speed bag. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 1/31/2014.
+ And a Dr. Hartlund ...as in Heart/Lung ?? Yes, the writers had quite a little yukfest going with this one. Noted (with amusement) by Notcom, 060716.

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

It seems as though the authenticity of Dr. Caudere’s credentials would have been addressed earlier in the proceedings than Perry’s examination. Since the plot rather hinges on this, to my mind this weakens an otherwise fun episode. Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 1/31/11
+ There's also a nonsensical scene in the hospital: the doctor tells Perry "we pumped his stomach and administered medicine"; the former is SOP for poisoning cases, but with no idea what the poison was, there would be little hope of finding an antidote. Submitted for your disapproval by Notcom, 060716.

In a scene in the coroner's office, when Perry is exposing Dr. Raul Caudere (Joseph Sirola) as a phony, he addresses Caudere in French, his supposed native language. But of course Raul would be a funny name for a Frenchman, being it is Spanish. Though it is used in France, but always spelled as Raoul.

A CORONER is "an officer, as of a county...whose chief function is to investigate by INQUEST...any death not resulting from natural causes (from the Anglo-French word "Corouner," Supervisor of the Crown's pleas, per Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). Like an Attorney, a Coroner is an Officer of the Court. "Quincy, M.E." points out that a Coroner is not always an MD; WUD defines a MEDICAL EXAMINER as "a physician...who is appointed...to perform autopsies on the bodies of persons supposed to have died from Unnatural Causes & to investigate the...Circumstances of such deaths." Mike Bedard Presidents' Day 2015.

In an appearance on The Jack Benny Show from 1962, he also speaks French in a sketch, which leads one to wonder if he was fluent in the language. While from Canada, he was born in British Columbia, far from the French speaking part of our northern neighbor. Submitted by PerryDixon 2/4/14.

LOL: Paul not only gets the poison caused heart attack, with all that pain, he then gets hit in the face w/the volley ball...even though softly...still "I hate when that happens!" <said in a Billy Crystal SNL voice!>! ...but it all works out as he gets FINE treatment w/all those hot nurses!!!! ;-> Submitted by mesave31, 02/16/15.

By the end of the show, Burger had enough evidence to charge 4 or 5 people in the scam. I liked the overall show despite some plot holes plus Della gets to show more emotion. Submitted by Perry Baby 1/4/17.

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