The show definitely has a different feel to it from the earlier seasons. It is noticeably lighter, with a great deal of comic relief. The incidental music is different, the theme music is revamped, and all trace of film noir is gone.
+ The new theme arrangement is quite heavy on the saxophones and bass. The new music cues are quite bland -- unlike the great Bernard Hermann music cues of yore. The only trace of film noir was in the scene where Carla was restrained in the prison hospital bed with low key lighting, but i agree, other than that, it was a straight up 1965-style shoot. Submitted by catyron, July 16th, 2018
No matter how many times I see this episode, Burger's statement at Clay's to Perry, "I'd enjoy beating your brains out!" is quite jarring and offensive. jfh 16Jun2017.
In discussing Carla's case in the early restaurant scene, Lt. Anderson wryly notes the growing tendency of witnesses to remain anonymous. This may be a reference to the infamous Kitty Genovese murder just one year before this episode aired. DOD 03/22/19
It's rare that Perry has a jury to play to, and in this episode he displays his talent in engaging the panel during a cross-examination. Submitted by francis, 3/18/13.
For the first show of season 9 (not sure filming order), it did have a different feel than season 8. Raymond appears to have lost weight and appeared less burdened than the prior season. He was engaged in the story from the beginning unlike the prior season. I think one aspect that dates Perry Mason shows is all the shows involving Victorian (?) mansions. It is now the mid-60s. Perry Baby 12/3/13
Other than Perry's office and the courtroom, that mansion set with its distinctive staircase is probably the most used set in the series, appearing not just in houses, but in nightclubs and hotels.
Perry handles that olive microphone rather casually.
Roan Daniel describes some oriental art pieces as being from the "zulu" dynasty and "shalimar" period. Couldn't the writers at least attempted to invent some plausibly oriental names?
One might assume (perhaps incorrectly) that the production numbers given at the end of the episode indicate the production order. In that case this episode is the fifth-produced episode of the season:
0831 The 12th Wildcat (aired October 31)
0832 The Runaway Racer (November 14)
0833 The Cheating Chancellor (October 3)
0834 The Fatal Fortune (September 19)
0835 The Laughing Lady (September 12)
0836 The Candy Queen (September 26)
0837 The Impetuous Imp (October 10)
etc. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 12/9/13.
Della flutters her eyes at Perry. The scene is where Perry says he'll take Della to a party. Black tie. Della responds "I'll get one" in her sexy voice. I don't think Perry even noticed as he had already turned to leave. Kilo 4/23/2020.
"In 1900 a crisis erupted in China as the 'Boxers' increased their resistance to foreign influence and presence...US Marines participated in several actions in China...3 officers who served in the Boxer Rebellion went on to become Commandants of the Marine Corps" www.archives.gov observes ("US Marines in the Boxer Rebellion" Prologue Magazine Winter 1999). Mike Bedard 2.9.15.
Listen closely to the testimony of Leona Devore (Constance Cummings) and Peter Stange (Bernard Fox). During Perry’s cross examination of Devore she says “I ran back to the car and started off…and then, as the lights swept across the house, I heard her laugh, a mad hysterical laugh.” It was, of course, the laugh of the Mynah bird. Later, during Perry’s questioning of Stange, we learn that the bird “was outside where you left him when you heard Leona Devore’s car coming.” These two accounts don’t jibe but no one in court seemed to notice. Submitted by Charles Richmond, 7/27/2003.
>> minor correction: since Leona was Perry's witness, she was cross-examined by Burger. jfh 22Mar2019.
+ The whole mynah bird aspect of the story is really confusing and frustrating to me. Why would anyone put a live bird in a supposedly rare antique cage? Even if it was a fake, you would think that they would want to avoid having a bird soiling it. And where was the bird when we saw the cage at the opening at the art gallery on TV? And where was the bird when Perry looked at the cage when he visited the gallery? Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 6/27/2014
++ How did Paul get the birdcage into the courtroom? When he and Leona come in with the kriss and the screen, it is nowhere to be seen, and too large to be hidden behind the folded screen Paul is carrying. Anyway, for those interested, I think I have found out what bird it is. It is not the Common Hill Mynah most of us (well, at least me) think of when we hear that name, which was a fairly common pet in those days. It appears to be the Bare-Eyed Mynah. OLEF641 9/1/21
The mynah manages to laugh without opening its mouth - and how does the discovery that it was a bird making that noise help reveal the culprit? DOD 04/03/20
> The fact that it was the bird that laughed gives lie to his claim that he wasn't present during the killing, since he admits he had possession of the cage. But does that then establish that he was the killer ?? No, of course not; and a clever - or habitually dishonest - person would simply shift testimony ("All right, I WAS there, and I saw HER do it !!") But here, as in practically every other PM, a twist is an excuse for a dramatic revelation. But (real) trials don't work like that: the point is not to solve the case, but simply to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused; the Prosecution would present facts and testimony and the Defense would address them...directly. If they were impeached, that would be the end of it. The kinds of of "fishing expedition"s and side excursions that predominate on the show would never be allowed. Notcom 090121
I just watched the "Wizard Of Oz" and the wicked witch of the west laugh reminded me of the Mynah bird. Joe B. 04/11/20
Stang's estate is called Vista del Pajaro -- View of the Bird -- a subtle clue to an important plot point. OLEF641 9/1/21
There is a very touching scene at the end of this episode. Leona, the troubled girl, is in Perry's office to settle up her bill. She says that she knows Perry and Paul's time is worth something, but it's clear she doesn't have much money to her name.
She estimates the cost to be around $170, as Perry asks Della to bring her account to him. The camera pans downs and shows the actual fee to be over $1,700. Below that it reads: "No Charge."
Perry tells Leona that she made a mistake in her figures, and that the bill comes to $160. Leona gives him $10 down, and promises to continue paying when she gets a job.
Perry then tells Della to give the $160 to charity. A nice PM moment. 4/8/18
+ Correction to the above: "Carla" is the name of Perry's client. jfh 03Apr2020