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EpisodePages/Show49

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<< Purple Woman | Episodes | Perjured Parrot >>

#49: The Case of the
Fancy Figures
Original Airdate: 12/13/58

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
After spending a bitter year-and-a-half in jail for a crime he did not commit, Martin Ellis is exonerated, thanks to evidence that his wife received in the mail. Charles Brewster, the real thief, is justly sent to jail for stealing the $300,000 in question, but manages to get out on bail. When Brewster later turns up dead, guess who is the prime suspect? It’s a good thing Martin Ellis has Perry Mason on his side this time around.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE FANCY FIGURES
Based upon Characters Created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg

Trailing

Directed by Arthur Hiller
Written by Barry Trivers 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

Cast

Frank Silvera as Jonathan Hyett
Joan Banks as Valerie Brewster
Anne Barton as Carolyn Ellis
William Phipps as Martin Ellis
Ralph Clanton as Charles Brewster
Ray Kellogg as Richard Hyett
Harvey Stephens as Victor Squires
S. John Launer as Judge
Chuck Webster as Sgt. Brice
Leslie Kimmell as Mailman
David McMahon as Walter Vico

Uncredited Actors
Don Anderson as Bailiff
(spotted by FredK & posted by gracep, 12/20/2010)

Crew

Gene Wang | Story Consultant

Production Supervisor … J. Paul Popkin
Story Editor … Alice Young
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
Assistant Producer … Robert Wechsler
Art Direction … Lyle Wheeler, Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Morris Harmell
Editorial Supervision … Art Seid, A.C.E.
Film Editor … Richard Cahoon, A.C.E.
Casting … Marvin Schnall, Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Richard Hamilton
Hair Stylist … Annabell, S.C.H.
Wardrobe Supervision … Dick James
Set Decoration … Walter M. Scott, Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Sound Editor … Gene Eliot, M.P.S.E.
Production Sound Mixer … Robert O’Brien
Script Supervision … William E. Orr

This has been a CBS Television Network Production
Filmed in Hollywood by TCF Television Productions, Inc.

Trivia Edit

CARS: 1958 Ford Thunderbird convertible, black, top down. From The Cars by Greg Cockerill.

Look for the black actor and director Frank Silvera playing lead Jonathan Hyett—a somewhat daring situation in 1958. Submitted by Karl Eggert, 5/7/05.

Joan Banks plays almost exactly the same character that she played in Episode 12, “TCOT Negligent Nymph,” the alcoholic wife of the murder victim—a woman who cannot function without a drink in her hand. Submitted by PaulDrake33.
+ For the second episode in a row, we have an unhappily married couple. Submitted by Duffy, 5-14-2014.
++ Ditto, Perry praises Hamilton: "That won't affect Mr. Burger; we've had our differences, but you can't accuse him of playing politics." Mike Bedard 6.8.16 MeTV viewing.
-> which is an interesting statement by Perry considering the fact that District Attorneys in California are elected, thus making DAs politicians by definition.

Why does most of these people live in Victorian mansions. What that so common in the 50's? Submitted by Perry Baby 2/1/15.

Strange casting. Frank Silvera, an African-American actor age 44 at that time, is cast as the father of Joan Banks, a light-skinned strawberry blonde age 40 at that time. (Joan Banks looked every bit of 40 by the way). Submitted by PaulDrake33.

When Squires is in Mason’s office, Della dials a number for him. She dials seven digits, whereas in previous episodes when people dialed a # they would dial only five numbers. Submitted by Craig, 3/25/10.
+ In 1958, the year this show was broadcast, Ma Bell had just started to implement 7-digit phone numbers and All-Number Calling, especially in larger cities. In some rural areas, even into the 1980s and 1990s it was not necessary to dial the full exchange (the first three numbers). Submitted by gracep, 1/17/2011.

Uncredited Actors: The bailiff stationed at the main courtroom door is Don Anderson. Submitted by FredK, 20 December 2010.

Sightings: Seated in the back row of the courtroom gallery on the defendant’s side is the Little Old Lady in a Hat who also appears in the opening credits. Quiet Old Man #1, Distinguished Gentleman #1, and “Miss Carmody” appear on the prosecutor’s side. When court reconvenes the next day, however, we find that all four of them have switched sides. These are some of many recurring spectators that are fun to spot. Submitted by gracep, 12/16/2010.
+In court we find the Distinguished Lady #4 next to the LOL #1. Submitted by BigBill767, 2/4/17.

Syndication cuts: Brewster driving up to the Hyett Building; a mailman delivering a package containing microfilm to Carolyn Ellis and Carolyn opening a phone book; Newspaper headline "Brewster Free on Bail" as Carolyn prepares dinner for Martin who makes a drink and goes out to get more liquor; Della and Paul are told by Mason that they have half the day ahead of them and Paul reports he couldn't discover anything about the microfilm; Mason calling Mrs. Brewster, Richard Hyett saying she can't come to the phone because she's sick and attempts to get her to quit drinking. [Note: the scene with Mason, Della and Carolyn in Mason's office before Paul arrives detailing the business of Hyett, Brewster and Hyett and that the fraudulent bills disappeared before Martin's trial reported missing from the CBS/Paramount DVD is included in the syndicated version.] Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/01/12.

Wrong name: Actor Harvey Stephens was billed as Victor Squires in the credits. The name on the envelope mailed to him was Lawrence Squires. Submitted by H. Mason 10/14/14

Travel tips: Charles Brewster aka Charles Brown aka George Kendall purchased tickets to Mexico City from Wayne Travel Agency. He was killed. In episode 20 TCOT Lonely Heiress Charles B. Barnaby aka "Country Boy" Baker aka Charlie Bailey aka Charles Burns bought tickets to Rio de Janeiro from Wayne Travel Agency. He was killed. If you use more than one name don't get your tickets from Wayne Travel Agency. Submitted by H. Mason 10/14/14

Same apartment: The establishing shot of the Shane Apartments was the same one used for the apartment building where Paul found Inez Kaylor after she was threatened and left the courthouse in episode 29 TCOT Hesitant Hostess. Submitted by H. Mason 10/14/14

What time was it?: Martin Ellis said he left his apartment around 9:30 to get a drink. His watch was very visible in that scene and showed the time to be either 3:00 or 12:15. Submitted by H. Mason 10/14/14

This is the only PM writing credit for Barry Trivers, who was born in Egypt in 1907...MikeM. 9/14/2016.

Anne Barton played Eddie Haskell's Mother on the 1960 series "Leave it to Beaver". Eddie was quite a guy. Submitted by BigBill767, 2/4/17.

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

Goof Burger announces his next witness will be "Mrs. Martin Ellis," but then proceeds to tell us she isn't legally his wife: he should refer to her either as "Mrs. Viktor Pulaski" or by her maiden name; (curiously, he continues the reference throughout her testimony, while Mason notes the inconsistency and does the opposite...thus each giving implicit support to the legal argument of the other). Observed by Notcom, 091516.

Comments Edit

It's not too surprising that the progressive producers of PM cast the partly ethnic-African, Frank Silvera, in an important role as a "White" man. According to Wikipedia, Silvera's mother was a Jamaican of African descent, but his father was a Spanish Jew. Wiki says that, on the stage, the versatile Silvera played the fathers of actors Ben Gazzara and Anthony Franciosa. He also played Mexicans and even a Polynesian. Tragically, Silvera was electrocuted, at age 55, while repairing a kitchen garbage disposal. As a World War II Navy veteran, he was buried at Long Island National Cemetery. Submitted by MikeM, 10/24/2012

+Just to add to MikeM's comment above, noted Black Conservative Thomas Sowell said in a column that appeared a few years back in the Chicago Sun-Times, that he enjoyed both Perry Mason and Law And Order shows, but preferred Perry Mason because he thought that Law And Order was trying to teach him social lessons he didn't want to learn .. so the oddness of this episode, as well as the one with the Black actor portraying a judge (with no dialogue, yet) must have gotten by him. Or maybe not? Submitted by MikeReese, 9/4/2014

Where was Lee?: Burr stand-in and longtime supporting actor Lee Miller seems to have been away from the set for this episode, for the role of Sgt. Brice was filled by one Chuck Webster. Odd that for one episode they wouldn't just find another name for the sergeant in the script. Submitted by francis, 07/05/14.

What happened to Carolyn?: This is another episode that is slightly frustrating. The last scene on many of the stories should have been used to mention the fate of some of the characters in the story. Carolyn was accused of helping Brewster embezzle the money. Wasn't she also guilty of withholding evidence? Was she charged with any crime? Submitted by H. Mason 10/14/14 //

TIME TUNNEL: Original viewers may have heard Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe," the # 2 song in both the US & UK the 2nd week of 1958. Mike Bedard 6.2.16. //

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

I find it odd that Tragg said he could not detain Hyett at the crime scene to be sure he was not involved (he was) or removing something from the crime scene (which he did). He had no cause? Hard to believe. Submitted by Perry Baby 2/1/15

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