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<< Wayward Wife | Episodes | Gallant Grafter >>

#83: The Case of the
Prudent Prosecutor
Original Airdate: 01/30/60

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
This is the unique episode where Lt. Tragg is surprised to see Mason and Burger working on the same side.

While on vacation, Hamilton Burger introduces his fellow duck-hunters to Jeff Pike, an old friend who saved his life in a boating accident twelve years before. Now Jeff is in trouble and wants Hamilton's advice. Jeff and his son are at odds with a man who is later murdered. Since the L.A. District Attorney's office has jurisdiction, Hamilton disqualifies himself and asks Perry to defend his friend.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE PRUDENT PROSECUTOR
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 Robert Ellis Miller
Written by Jackson Gillis
Herbert Hirschman | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Seeleg Lester | Associate Producer, Story Consultant
Produced by The CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Arthur Marks | 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

Philip Bourneuf as Asa Culver
J. Pat O'Malley as Jefferson Pike
Barbara Fuller as Joan Leonard
Ruta Lee as Vita Culver
Walter Coy as Denver Leonard
Dabbs Greer as Hal Kirkwood
Dennis Patrick as Prosecutor
Ron Foster as Fred Pike
Frank Albertson as Duck Hunter
S. John Launer as Judge
Michael Fox as Autopsy Surgeon
Edd Stoddard as 2nd Hunter
John Alonzo as Guitterez
Paul B. Kennedy as Court Reporter

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice (added by gracep 9/25/2010)
George E. Stone as Court Clerk (added by gracep 9/25/2010)
Robert Wegner as Courtroom Spectator (added by gracenote 11/20/2011)

Crew

Art Seid, A.C.E. | Assistant to the Producer
Production Supervisor … Dewey Starkey
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
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, S.C.H.
Wardrobe Supervision … William Zacha, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Charles Q. Vassar
Sound Effects Editor … Gene Eliot, M.P.S.E.
Music Editor … Gene Feldman
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … M.E.M. Gibsone
Sound … Glen Glenn Sound Co.

Perry Mason \ A Film Presentation
A CBS Television Network Production

Trivia Edit

Location: “I believe the opening scene here is at the corner of Kanan Rd. and Agoura Rd. in the parking lot of a place called Whizins.” Submitted by Mitch English, 10/2/2005.
+ Google map here. This is in Agoura Hills, CA. There was a Whizins restaurant at “Cornell Corners” near the time of the series. Today, the Whizins Shopping Center is located northeast of the intersection of Cornell Road and Agoura Road. This is about a mile east of Kanan Road. Submitted by daveb, 18 December 2007.

Location: I, too, thought the opening scene was Whizzins until I bought the DVD and on the cleaner, clearer copy saw the “Saddle Peak Lodge” sign. I’ve eaten at the Saddle Peak several times. It has gone from the roadside BBQ you see in this episode to five-star fine dining. It has a history with Hollywood types all the way back to Clark Gable. It’s only a few miles from Malibou Lake which is a favorite location for Perry Mason episodes. For more information on the history of Saddle Peak Lodge go to their site here. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 2 September 2010. Some pictures here.

This is the only episode where Paul Drake does not appear. William Hopper appeared in 270 of the 271 episodes, more than any other person, even Perry himself. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 6/24/2008.
+ My records, and a quick check, show that Paul Drake did not appear in #80, “The Case of the Violent Village,” either. Submitted by daveb, 6/24/2008.
+ Jim on the Perry_Mason Yahoo! group notes that Paul also was missing from #219, “The Case of a Place Called Midnight,“ as well. Submitted by daveb, 9/8/2010.

Hamilton Burger sits in the spectator gallery in this episode. He is also shown wearing casual clothing. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 30 October 2009.

In the courtroom scene in my copy, Burger wears a tie and a coat, not casual clothing, although he does indeed sit behind the bar.
Submitted by DocRushing on 01 August 2012.

+I think PaulDrake 33 meant that Burger was shown wearing casual clothing in this episode not necessarily in the courtroom. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/10/13.

We get a shot of Denver Leonard’s car registration in the opening scene. For a change, the address is not that of a studio. More here. Submitted by daveb, 9/8/2010.
+ Another non-studio address also appeared in Ep#9, in which the address for John Addison shown on the registration for his '57 Continental MkII was a real residential address on Cheviot Drive, LA (see Murder Date under Trivia ep#9). Another similarity between the two episodes is:

  • In Ep#9, the Lic No shown on Addison's registration form was the number actually seen to be on the licence plates of a different car in the episode (see Prop Anomaly under CARS Trivia).
  • In this Ep#83, the Lic No on Denver Leonard's registration form (NFL 252) doesn't match the number we see on his front licence plate (SDL 689) when he backs his bull-horned Buick out of his parking spot! It's not Burger's plate# on Denver's reg'n form, either (see CARS, below)!

Submitted by Gary Woloski, 20 June 2012.

+ Denver Leonard’s same 59 Buick Convertible, but without bull horns, appears again in an LA restaurant parking lot in Ep#86 TCOT Mythical Monkeys: Perry reads the Registration Form and finds the same Lic No NFL 252 registered to "Richard Gilman", resident at "350 Sierra Rd.", the same address as Denver Leonard in this episode #83! Also, in ep#86 the car is still a "Convertable" (see here again), but its engine has been switched for Engine No Xy547769! It also cost $48.50 for Gilman to register his Buick. See Comment below. Submitted by Gary Woloski, 27 June 2012.

Where does Gary get $48.50? I see only $48. Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 27 August 2012.
+ It cost Leonard $48 to register his '59 Buick "Convertable" on 8 Mar 59. But Gilman's Registration Form in Ep#86 indicates that on 23 May 59 it cost Gilman $48.50 to register his identical car. My object was to point out the anomalies on the Automobile Registrations in the series: every one of them I've read has at least one goofy entry on it. GW, 28 Aug 2012.

CARS, in order of appearance:

Burger drives the '59 LeSabre Sedan here but in Ep#85, TCOT Wary Wildcatter, it belongs to fraudster Charles Huston. Perhaps the D.A. imprudently traded his car for a dubious oil well investment & got taken for a ride! Submitted by Gary Woloski, 22 Jun 2012.

Sightings: Courtroom regulars Little Old Lady in a Hat and Quiet Old Man #1 sit on the prosecutor’s side, although they are most easily seen when court adjourns. When the hearing reconvenes, they are gone, but Distinguished Lady #2 fidgets quite a bit in the second row. Read about these and other recurring spectators here. Submitted by gracenote, 9/24/2010.
+ Almost missed one! Distinguished Gentleman #1 hides behind another spectator in the first part of the hearing, but if you look carefully you can see the tiniest bit of his face. (And in the second part, the Little Old Lady reappears, too, peeking between other spectators’ heads, though you can scarcely see her.) Submitted by gracenote, 9/25/2010.
+ Room for one more! The aforementioned Gentleman serves at the concession stand behind Perry and Della as they talk with Ruta Lee. He brings them coffee to their table, too. Submitted by gracenote, 11/12/2011.
+ Also in the front row of the gallery (prosecutor’s side) is the Cute Young Lady. In the back row on Perry’s side, sitting right next to spectator Hamilton Burger, is Little Old Lady #2. Submitted by gracenote, 11/26/2011.

Character Names: Michael Fox’s character, listed as Autopsy Surgeon, is called Dr. Hoxie. Dennis Patrick’s character, listed merely as Prosecutor, is called Darryl Teshman. John Alonzo’s character’s first name is Pedro. Submitted by gracenote, 9/25/2010.

+ I, too, would have gone with the Darryl spelling but the closed-captioning on the CBS/Paramount DVD gives the spelling as Darrel. Not being familiar with this spelling I looked it up in a baby book of names and the name was listed under Darrel with all other spellings such as Daryl and Darryl listed as variants. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/10/13.

License plates: The plate number SDL 689 seen on Denver Leonard's auto also appeared on Bruce Chapman's vehicle in episode 70 TCOT Spurious Sister and Allen Sheridan's car in episode 78 TCOT Artful Dodger. Submitted by H. Mason 10/28/14

Comments Edit

My Apologies to the Crew for being so PICKY! The apparent connections and anomalies on Car Registrations, Licence Plates, cheques, newspapers, envelopes & other props in the series may have been due to deliberate prankishness by the Production Crew but perhaps some anomalies were just due to the pressure of keeping up with a tight Production Schedule. They probably weren't concerned that pesky People from the Future would give their work such close scrutiny aided by slo-mo and stop-action Home Video Players. I realise that it's not fair to them for me to do that. However, the rich detail that they put into every episode is a major part of the attraction of the Series for me. I simply won't be able to stop looking over the actors' shoulders to read every filler article on every page of the Los Angeles Chronicle that they ever printed! Submitted by Gary Woloski, 27 June 2012.

The priceless moment in the show is when Hamilton Burger mutters under his breath (but not so quietly that we can't hear it!) in response to Dennis Patrick's 'Prosecutor's' objections, "Shut up, you fool!" (From memory, not verbatim) And Dennis Patrick? I almost expected HIM to be found guilty! Submitted by MikeReese, 9 September 2012. + Actually Burger says, "Oh sit down be quiet". Submitted by HamBurger, 7/27/2014

That was a priceless moment, but another priceless moment was when Ruta Lee walked in to tell lies to Perry and Della in her skating outfit! She looks like a million bucks (actually $50,000!) in her short skirt and tight top! She puts the "figure" in "figure skating!" I imagine her outfit is a nice shade of peach. And when she testifies the first time, she keeps her mink coat on like it's freezing in the courtroom. Submitted by DyNama, 10/8/2014

Malibu or Malibou: It's interesting to note that when describing the community, it is spelled "Malibu" however when talking about the lake it is spelled "Malibou". Submitted by by HamBurger July 27, 2014, at 10:57 AM

Courtroom confession: This episode has IMHO the best/funniest confession outburst (I won't say who!). "I killed Leonard...I killed the BIG GAS BAG"!!! LOL! I play it back several times each time I see it! Submitted by mesave31, 10/21/14

I wonder what happened to the Culvers. Mr. C was willing to spend a lot of money for his wife's dreams of becoming a professional skater. He looked upset when it was revealed that she was interested in another man. He probably dumped her. Submitted by H. Mason 10/28/14

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