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#262: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 02/27/66
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
This is the one and only Mason episode shot in color.
Eighteen-year-old Lennie Beale is involved with a gang of thieves who strip Perry's car to the frame. It turns out that Lennie has been with a cast of characters straight out of Oliver Twist. Benjamin Huggins, a wealthy art collector, is the modern-day Fagin who oversees a teenage car-stripping operation. Before Lennie gets Perry's message offering him immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony against the gang, the boy is charged with murder. It appears that Bill Sikes, Lennie's immediate boss, shot Lennie's girlfriend, and Lennie stabbed the man to death.
"'Oliver Twist' (1836-37) appeared at Irregular intervals in a monthly magazine, 'Bentley's Miscellany,' edited by Dickens," dickens.wpi.edu/history observes. Mike Bedard 3.8.15.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE TWICE-TOLD TWIST
Based Upon Characters Created By Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Ernest Frankel and Orville H. Hampton
Arthur Marks, Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Ernest Frankel | Story Consultant
Orville H. Hampton | Associate Story Consultant
Music … Richard Shores
Victor Buono as Ben Huggins
Kevin O'Neal as Lennie Beale
Scott Graham as Bill Sikes
Lisa Pera as Donna Reales
Lisa Seagram as Robin Spring
Nicolas Surovy as Tick Gleason
Marc Rambeau as Jody Laird
Keg Johnson as Lester
Judson Pratt as Tom Loman
Beverly Hills as Sue
Harlan Warde as Sgt. Roddin
Harry Holcombe as Judge #1
Byron Morrow as Judge #2
Helen Kleeb as Welfare Worker
Will J. White as Deputy D.A.
Coby Denton as 1st Officer
Jim Farley as 3rd Officer
Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Robert G. Stone
Film Editor … George Hively
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 … Ford Motor Company
Produced by the CBS Television Network in Association with Paisano Productions
Locations: This episode opens with Perry and Della taking Angels Flight the Funicular railroad (more information here) in downtown Los Angeles. About halfway through this episode Perry and Steve go to Los Angeles County Hospital (some pictures here) and then a few minutes later Paul Drake gives chase through historic Olvera Street, one of the oldest areas of downtown. A tourist stop, Olvera Street is still there and looks basically the same. Posted by Eric Cooper, 25 September 2009.
Beverly Hills (birth name Beverly Powers) makes her only appearance on Perry here as Sue. Beverly Hills played a stripper in quite a few of her video appearances, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Beverly Powers changed her name to Beverly Hills to accentuate her two biggest assets. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 17 November 2009.
This episode is the *only* episode of Perry Mason filmed in color. This "experimental" color episode is episode #262. Coincidentally, in Nazi Germany, their first experimental jet fighter (built my Messerschmitt) was the ME-262. Submitted by Charles Richmond, 9/14/2013.
+ "How Hitler Lost The War" is a great documentary that looks at Nazi "Wonder Weapons" like the 262 & the V1/V2 Rockets that led to the US Space Program & Perry Space-oriented episodes. Mike Bedard 3.8.15.
That's a good way to remember "262" and it was missing on MeTV's lineup. Found a nearly complete YouTube version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg2Vd3ckI1s&t=14s This was uploaded last month (12/2016) and although I watched it on a UHD TV it seemed formatted for a SmartPhone in ‘Portrait’ mode. It’s missing first and last few seconds, credits and edges of the picture and the audio has a "Donald Duck" quality. Submitted by pilotart 01/21/2017.
Ben Huggins serves coffee to Donna Reales using cups from the Curious Coffee Set. More info here. Submitted by daveb, 12/30/2010.
Kevin O'Neal (Lennie Beale) is the son of Patricia O'Neal and younger brother of Ryan O'Neal. jfh 16May2016.
Sightings: We get to see the Pencil Mustache Man in full color! He sits on the defense side, second row and is best seen behind Perry as he finishes questioning Donna Reales (Lisa Pera) while standing at his table. Submitted by Kenmore, 9/24/2010.
+ Distinguished Gentleman #1 plays a yellow-clad waiter at Clay’s Grill in at least two scenes. “Miss Carmody” turns up among the courtroom spectators. More about these folks on the “Who Is That?” page. Submitted by gracenote, 6/5/2011.
+ The Pencil Mustache Man also appears at the crime seen of Lennie's dead girlfriend. He's standing in the back wearing what look's like a cabbie's hat. Submitted by Kenmore, 10/3/2011
Harry Holcombe Judged 3 Perrys & appeared in 2 others as Mr. Big & a Senator [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 3.5.15.
Viewers will remember Victor Buono as King Tut in the Batman series of the mid sixties. Seems like he acts and dresses like he was previewing his character in that series here in this episode. Submitted by HamBurger, 07/02/2017
I don't know if a question counts as a comment, but: does anyone know WHY this episode, and only this one, was shot in color? I actually prefer the black-and-white presentation. Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 3/1/11.
+ I think I have an answer. On the introduction to "Twice Told Twist" on the 50th Anniversary of Perry Mason DVD, Arthur Marx related that Mr. Paley, the head of CBS wanted to see a Perry Mason episode in color in case the show was renewed for a 10th season. Perry Mason was not renewed of course. Submitted by Kenmore 10/27/2012.
Bad Accent Dept. Lisa Pera plays a Mexican woman but sounds more like she hails from Transylvania. I often wonder why the producers didn't just cast a native Latino actress, in this instance, with a believable accent. [I don't know what nationality Ms. Pera is, but her son Radames played the young (half-Chinese) Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu TV series, so go figure.] Submitted by francis, 5/6/13
I liked the color and wish the last season had been in color. It may have helped it stay on the air another season. The color opening features Perry with the new haircut. The interesting part is sets used in B&W were often painted shades of green. In the courtroom, the wood is grayish with purplish trim. Perry Baby 1/18/14
+ Amen! The Network execs could have asked for a Trio to get a better idea. Mike Bedard 3.5.15.
26 COLOR MOVIES began 19 years later with "PERRY MASON RETURNS," followed by TCOT Notorious Nun & Shooting Star ('86); TCOT Lost Love, Sinister Spirit, Murdered Madam & Scandalous Scoundrel ('87); TCOT Avenging Ace & Lady In The Lake ('88); TCOT Lethal Lesson, Musical Murder & All-Star Assassin ('89); TCOT Poisoned Pen, Desperate Deception, Silenced Singer & Defiant Daughter ('90); TCOT Ruthless Reporter, Maligned Model, Glass Coffin & Fatal Fashion ('91); TCOT Fatal Framing, Reckless Romeo & Heartbroken Bride ('92); TCOT Skin-Deep Scandal, Telltale Talk Show Host & Killer Kiss ('93) [IMDb RB Filmography]. Mike Bedard 3.5.15.