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#36: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 06/07/58
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Philip Larkin is found shot to death. His stepfather, Joseph Harrison, is the chief suspect. The two men quarreled over business and over a girl. In fact, a home movie shows the men fighting. Perry is called on to defend Harrison and delve into the family’s strange lineage.
Fay Wray, the woman who drove the big ape crazy in the 1933 monster classic King Kong, plays the defendant’s wife in this episode. Nancy Kulp, Miss Jane of The Beverly Hillbillies, also appears.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of Prodigal Parent
Based Upon Characters Created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Seeleg Lester and Gene Wang
Ben Brady | Producer
Produced by CBS Television in association with Paisano Productions
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Sam White | Associate Producer
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
Virginia Field as Irene Collaro
Herbert Rudley as George Durell
Fay Wray as Ethel Harrison
Andra Martin as Lorraine Stevens
Ann Doran as Claire Durell
John Hoyt as Joseph Harrison
Terry Becker as Philip Larkin
Morris Ankrum as Judge
Nancy Kulp as Sarah Winslow
Chet Stratton as Mr. Alcorn
Michael Fox as Dr. Samuel Anders
Richard Bull as Court Reporter
Dean Casey as Det. Sanchez
Leo Needham as Officer Norton
Gene Wang | Story Editor
Production Supervisor … J. Paul Popkin
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lyle Wheeler, Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Robert G. Stone
Editorial Supervision … Art Seid, A.C.E.
Makeup … Mel Berns
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Dick James
Set Decoration … Walter M. Scott, Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Robert O’Brien
Script Supervision … Lew Jarrard
This has been a CBS Television Network Production
Filmed in Hollywood by TCF Television Productions, Inc.
CARS: 1958 Chevrolet Delray 4dr sedan, black & white (Police). 1958 Chevrolet Delray 2dr sedan, black (Police), 1958 Pontiac Starchief 4dr hardtop, 2-tone: medium color & white. From The Cars by Greg Cockerill.
Anomaly: Michael Fox is listed as Dr. Samuel Anders but is, as he often is, Dr. Hoxie. Reported by Allan Asherman and posted by daveb, 5/2/2007.
+ The closed captions used in syndication print broadcast in my area spell it “Hocksey.” Submitted by gracenote, 9/5/2011.
Goof: Dr. Hoxie (Michael Fox) testifies that death was “caused by the passage of the bullet through the rib cage, the peritoneum and left ventricle of the heart.” Oops! He should know that it’s the pleura in the chest cavity. The peritoneum lines the abdominal cavity. Submitted by Thomas Grossman, 3/9/2004.
Sightings: Several familiar faces appear The Pencil Mustache Man is in the second row of the gallery on the defense’s side, on the first day of the hearing. Diagonally behind him sits the Little Old Lady in Hat. On the second day, we can see Distinguished Gentleman #1 and our mustachioed friend in the same back row. Submitted by gracep, 23 August 2010.
+ “Sasha Magaloff” sits behind Sarah Winslow on the prosecution side, second row aisle seat. Submitted by alan_sings, 16 Oct 2010.
+ And right next to Sasha is Distinguished Gentleman #2, who later appears on the defense side near the Pencil Mustache Man. Barely visible, but also on the prosecution side (at least at first), is Distinguished Lady #4 Submitted by gracenote, 9/5/2011.
Uncredited Actors: George E. Stone appears mutely throughout the hearing, uncredited, as the court clerk. Submitted by gracenote, 7/14/2011.
Interesting interplay of words at end of the episode. Della asks, “Which one of you handsome gentlemen will take me to lunch?” Perry responds, “I will.” To which Paul asks, “What about me?” Perry jokingly responds, “You’re not my type.” …Or was he? Submitted by Eric Cooper, 13 January 2011.
This show actually has many interesting discussions between characters. We see two between Tragg and Burger, one nice one (shorter) with Della, Perry and Paul. Clearly, the writers were able to distill the clues, which left them more space to develop relationships (such as they are). cgraul 7.6.12
When this show story occured, LA was a blanket of smog and humidity in August (when it took place -- note Lorraine worked 10 months, since November). Yet all the men retained their suit jackets even inside (where AC was not nearly as prevalent as it is today). cgraul 7.6.12