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#253: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 11/28/65
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Physicist Hans Ritter has been contacted by the Soviet Union and told that his six-year-old granddaughter is living in an East Berlin orphanage. If he’ll return to East Germany and work for the Communists, little Elke will be released to Ritter’s wife.
Perry agrees to negotiate for the scientist, but Ritter is overanxious and goes on ahead. Perry, Della, and Paul catch up with Ritter and get involved in a murder case behind the Iron Curtain. Now Perry has to defend Ritter’s wife before an East German court, where the Communists don’t play fair.
Berlin looks suspiciously much like L.A. in this episode. Note that just about every car shown is either a Mercedes-Benz or a Volkswagen Beetle.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE FUGITIVE FRAULEIN
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Jonthan Latimer
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
Music || Richard Shores
Susanne Cramer as Gerta
Jeanette Nolan as Emma Ritter
Gregory Morton as Wolfgang Stromm
Kevin Hagen as Samuel Carleton
Ronald Long as Franz Hoffer
Lilyan Chauvin as Matron
Wolfe Barzell as Prof. Hans Ritter
Eileen Baral as Elke
Barbara Morrison as Woman Magistrate
Peter Hellman as German Sergeant
Horst Ebersberg as German Border Guard
Hans Heyde as Guard at Courtroom
Charles Hradilac as 1st Associate Magistrate
George Perina as 2nd Associate Magistrate
Shony Alex Braun as Violinist
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 … 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.
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Susanne Cramer, playing Gerta, and Kevin Hagen, playing Samuel Carleton, were in real life husband and wife when this episode was filmed. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 25 August 2009. Unfortunately, Susanne Cramer (prolific in European films) died at only 32 years old, reportedly of pneumonia. cgraul 1.3.11
In her last appearance on the Perry Mason TV series, Jeanette Nolan plays Emma Ritter in this episode, “TCOT Fugitive Fraulein.” In her first appearance on Perry Mason, Nolan plays Mrs. Kirby in #22, “TCOT Fugitive Nurse.” Both episode titles have the word fugitive in them. Submitted by Charles Richmond, 31 January 2011.
The Volkswagen Beetle driven by Gerta in the opening act is the “big-window” version of the German classic (i.e. made after 1964). The “big window” refers to the rear window. Indeed most of the Beetles in this episode are this sort. Later, in what appears to be stock footage, we can see an older split-window style. Submitted by gracenote, 5/22/2011.
The sign that the patrolman passes in the very first scene in East Berlin reads FISCHE FÜTTERN VERBOTEN or “FEEDING FISH PROHIBITED.” Submitted by gracenote, 5/22/2011.
Character Names: Gerta’s last name is Palmer. Elke’s last name is Dietrich. Submitted by gracenote, 5/22/2011.
Despite what the episode summary says, Della does not go to Germany with Perry and Paul. She is in the episode, just not in Berlin. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 07/07/2014
Sussane Cramer as Gerta is the definition of "chewing the scenery" in this episode. She overacts throughout, but her performance in the climax of the episode is completely over the top, and I find it hard to watch. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 07/07/2014
+ Her performance in TCO A Place Called Midnight ('64) as Greta Koning - war orphan & protector of the Corps of Engineer Lt. in love with her - was more moving/even touching. Mike Bedard 2.23.15.
East German leader Stromm refers to his country as "the People's Republic": a phrase associated with "Communist China"/the PRC in Nov. 1965. The "Democratic" Republic of EAST Germany & the "Federal" Republic of WEST Germany were Re-Unified in Oct. 1990: the COLD WAR ended on Christmas Day 1991 when Mikhail Gorbachev Disbanded the Soviet Union. Mike Bedard 2.24.15, TCOTFF shown on MeTV.
What were they thinking ?? The writers that is: having earlier navigated the Cold War (ep171) and a European investigation (ep219, albeit w/o an actual trial) someone apparently came up with the (not too) bright idea of putting the concepts together...this time with an actual trial. And so we have the most implausible premise the series would offer: that Perry could not only argue a case in a (hostile) foreign country - of whose courts he would have little if any knowledge - but do so in a language of which he had never spoken even a word. If the IMF had been given this assignment, they would have passed it up !! Head shakingly by Notcom, 061416.