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EpisodePages/Show85

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<< Gallant Grafter | Episodes | Mythical Monkeys >>

#85: The Case of the
Wary Wildcatter
Original Airdate: 02/20/60

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Charles Houston thinks he’s clever; he kills his wife and makes it look like a car accident. He wants to keep her share of potential profits from an oil well. Freedom and fortune are his; that is, until a wildlife photographer shows up with the murder on film. Also, his wife's sister, Paula, keeps demanding her share of the oil profits. The situation goes from bad to worse for Charles, especially when Paula is found locked in a room with his corpse.

Watch for Barbara Bain, star of Mission: Impossible, in this episode.

Credits Edit

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

Opening

Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE WARY WILDCATTER
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 William D. Russell
Written by Robert Bloomfield
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

Douglas Kennedy as Lucky Sterling
Barbara Bain as Madelyn Terry
Byron Palmer as Charles Houston
Lori March as Paula Wallace
King Calder as Floyd Gordon
Harry Jackson as Roger Byrd
Richard Gaines as Judge
Larry Blake as Officer
Anthony De Mario as Dealer
George E. Stone as Court Clerk
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice

Uncredited Actors
Robert Wegner as 2nd Officer added by gracep 9/29/2010

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 … Morris Harmell
Film Editor … John D. Faure
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: The Monterey building about 3 or 4 minutes into this episode as well as 20 to 25 minutes in, is located at 804 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles 90038. At the time it was 800 N. Las Palmas and you can see 800 on the front door. If you compare the Google Map photo to the video 20 minutes in you can see the original front door is still in use as are the black lanterns on each side. The entire entrance with all the molding is still there as well the 4 designs on the balcony above. Brown accents have been recently added. This building can also be seen briefly 15 minutes into episode #97. This building is just 2 blocks down Las Palmas from the studio where Perry was being filmed making this location an easy one to shoot. See episode #78 for more info about the studio. Posted by Eric Cooper 1 February 2010. Some pictures here.
+ 2nd mentioned Location: "Santa Rosa" - the seat of Sonoma County where "wine country & farm country, redwood forests & rivers, lakes & ocean meet" - is 55 miles North of San Francisco (City of Santa Rosa website). Mike Bedard 2.17.15.

Sightings: Another good day for courtroom regulars! Behind Barbara Bain sits the Little Old Lady in a Hat, and behind her is Quiet Old Man #1. Distinguished Lady #2 is somewhat to his right. When court reconvenes, a Cute Young Lady appears near the center aisle. Read more about these recurring background actors here. Submitted by gracep, 9/29/2010.
+ Omitted one! Distinguished Gentleman #1 is a waiter. See these pix, which are omitted from the syndication print, which begins the scene just as DG #1 goes offscreen behind the counter (blink and you miss it). Added by gracep 10/3/2010.
+ DG#1 does not make a convincing waiter -- it looks as though he's afraid of that cup of coffee. JohnK, 21 December 2015
+ And given the fact that DG#1 plays the role of morgue attendant in several episodes, including Episode #119 TCOT Violent Vest, I think I'll pass on that coffee. Added by Dan K, 11/3/16.
+ Distinguished Lady #4 occupies an aisle seat in the gallery for a time, and then reappears elsewhere. Little Old Lady #2 appears when court reconvenes. Submitted by gracenote, 11/30/2011.
+ Miss Carmody plays the matron both in court and the jail. Submitted by Bill767, 10/31/15.

Uncredited Actors: Oft-uncredited Robert Wegner appears as the scowling second arresting officer. Read more about him here. Submitted by gracep, 9/29/2010.

Continuity Error: In the second part of the hearing, the Little Old Lady in a Hat (see Sightings above) is repositioned behind Roger Byrd, but then she magically reappears in another shot behind Lucky Sterling. Then she is back again behind Byrd. The Quiet Old Man (see above) is behind her, too. Submitted by gracep, 9/29/2010.

Continuity Error: When Paula uses the door buzzer at Roger Byrd’s apartment it is mounted on the door trim. Later when Lt. Tragg is inspecting the door knob, the button has moved to the wall next to the trim. Submitted by Bill H, 7/29/2011.

As Perry interviews Madelyn Terry (Barbara Bain), she sips placidly from a cup from the Curious Coffee Set. Submitted by gracenote, 11/30/2011.
+ I believe this is the first PM appearance of this peripatetic porcelain. In Mason's office at this point Della is still pouring the Chase & Sanborn into little glass cups, and the CCS does not appear at the Brent Building for a few more episodes. Perhaps Perry later received them in a settlement from "Lucky" Sterling. JohnK. 1 October 2015.

CARS. (1) opening scene, murder car is Charles Huston's black 1955 Buick Special Riviera Coupe (early-50s Buick terminology: "Special"=Buick base model line, "Riviera"=Hardtop, "Coupe"=2-door).

Car(3) was Hamilton Burger's car in Ep#83, TCOT Prudent Prosecutor. Did the DA imprudently trade his car for a share of the Fair Chance Oil Well? Submitted by Gary Woloski, 6/26/12.

The ubiquitous music composed by Bernard Herrmann for the pilot of The Twilight Zone, "Where Is Everybody?" can be heard for at least the third time in the third season in this episode. Here it can be heard from 20:06 to 22:01 during Paula's discovery of the body and her attempted escape. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/4/13.

Actor Douglas Kennedy's final acting appearances are an oddity. He appeared in three episodes of Hawaii Five-0 in three consecutive months in the same season: January 1973, February 1973 and March 1973 - playing three different characters. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 11/4/13.

Richard Gaines presided in 14 Perrys (5%) from 1958-61; he played Cochise & Abraham Lincoln in "TV Reader's Digest" in the mid-50s [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 2.17.15.

Killer closing ad...In the lower left corner of the closing credits, there was a product shown. The wording on it was: "Colgate's Florient Flora Air Deodorant, Kills Offensive Odors"...MikeM. 7/28/2016

This is the second of five PM appearances for Lori March, who was married to actor/narrator Alexander Scourby...MikeM. 11/3/2016

This is third of four PM appearances for King Calder, who was born Albert King Calder in Baltimore in 1897...MikeM.8/3/2017

Comments Edit

Roger Byrd's agile camerawork in the opening scene is little short of miraculous, as he seems to be able to shoot from multiple vantage points in consecutive, uninterrupted shots. He first shoots an extreme close-up of murderer Charles Houston about to push his wife and car over a cliff. Having clearly established Houston's close-up culpability, his rolling footage then jumps immediately to a long-shot of the car plummeting over the cliff. Submitted by BobH, 30 May 2016.

'Roger Byrd', blackmailer, reminded me of mystery writer Keating's (Inspector Ghote series) story, 'The Iciest Sin (or Crime), where he puts forth that a blackmailer has to be cold-blooded, conscienceless, to commit HIS crime. Byrd certainly fit the description - blackmailing the sister of the murdered woman? Evil!! Submitted 9/20/2013 by MikeReese.

Interesting Character Names: A WILDCATTER named HOUSTON, a WILDLIFE photographer named BYRD. Mike Bedard 2.17.15.

Roger Byrd is a particularly lucky blackmailer, catching not one but two murderers in the act: Charles Houston killing his wife, and Houston's killer leaving Byrd's hotel room after bumping off Houston. Submitted by BobH, 21 October 2016.

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