Given all the Perry Mason episodes, I cannot remember the guilty party in every episode but this is one I always remember. This also seems to be a reunion episode of prior Perry Mason actors: Douglas Henderson (six appearances), Gary Collins (two appearances), Anne Whitfield (three appearances), Pat Priest (two appearances), John Lasell (two appearances), Walter Burke (five appearances), Patricia Joyce (5 appearances), and John Holland (4 appearances). John Lasell was also the murder victim in the Case of the Promoter's Pill Box. Submitted by Perry Baby 2/5/14
Attorney Bruno Grant warns Perry not to "besmirk" the reputation of his client, Leon Vandenberg. Whether his mangling of the English language affects his own reputation is anyone's guess. Submitted by BobH, 24 December 2015.
Cloris Leachman with a modern hair style was 40 years old when this episode was filmed as Danny Shine's wife. Submitted by Perry Baby 2/5/14
When the Tanners meet Walter Burke outside their home, there is a low brick wall they step over. That wall doesn’t appear in any other scenes outside the house. DOD 05/27/21
Gossip-Columnist Danny Shine mentions THE FOURTH ESTATE: "1 a group other than the usual powers, as the Three Estates of France [Clergy, Nobility, Commoners] that wields influence. 2 the journalistic profession or its members, the press [Webster's Unabr. Dict.]." Mike Bedard 3.18.15
I think the black mail mechanism (to not testify in the trial) was a weak premise. The prosecution would have wanted to call the Tanners as witnesses since they were present at the crime as well. Of course they could refuse with a contempt of court. Submitted by Perry Baby 2/13/17..about 2 yrs since I had watch all the episodes.
+ Alex wanted to drive his wealthy newspaper-owner wife round the twist, kill the guy who knew the secret, and implicate his rival for the murder. jfh 16Dec2022.
When Paul is outside Jules' office, the woman inside asks "what does he look like?" The man replies" A good looking guy in a trench coat." She replies: "That sounds like the man that was following me!" I found that to be a bit funny, as "good looking guy in a trench coat" would describe hundreds of men in LA. --yelocab 30SEP19
The central plot element - that after a nearly a year someone just happened to come by the house and discover the couple's secret, and it just happened to be a 'tell-all' columnist - strikes me as weak as well...or, as we'e said often enough, implausible: the Tanner's seem to have no maid, so did she never answer the door ? did they never invite anyone over ??
As is many times the case with twist endings, in order for there to be a surprise, the dramatic action that precedes it has to be made illogical (even it if that only becomes apparent in review) Fault Finding Again, Notcom, 091319.
+Apparently the Tanners have only been in town a week from 'the East' where there isn't the same servant problem they are having in LA. In that weeks' span they have buried the news owner/Pat's dad. Bizyfe0415
+ True, but I still find it just barely plausible a fairly prominent family could have carried off the deception so long. And just how did Tanner think this “kidnapping” would play out? The truth had to out eventually. DOD 05/13/20
++ During the trial it is stated that the murder was a month prior. So the baby has allegedly been missing for a whole month? How could the pretense have gone on for so long? Rick P 1/20/22
This episode has one of the more downbeat endings in series history. A little child, thought to be alive by almost everyone, is dead; his mother is completely delusional; and his father is a murderer who, rather than having sought psychiatric help for his wife, has helped foster her delusions--primarily out of self-interest. Della's effort to reassure us, in the epilogue, that Pat Tanner will finally get the help she needs is not particularly reassuring. Submitted by BobH, 18 September 2019.
It's interesting how this episode plays off of known TV tropes. It didn't bother me that they never showed the baby because we know that using a real child causes many problems for a production. I also attributed the wife's frequent hysterics to either overacting or the tendency in that era to portray women as overemotional. However, it seemed odd that nobody mentioned how the child was spirited out of the house and later back in without anyone noticing. I also assumed that a 60s TV show would never be so dark as to have a kidnapping story end with a baby murdered by the kidnappers. Therefore, with these things in mind, I was quite surprised at the ending. Submitted by Vladimir Estragon, 1 September 2020.
Yet another episode in which the lack of any gun shot residue (GSR) on the accused killer's hand or clothes should have cleared him immediately, but is simply not mentioned in this case (even by Perry!) for the sake of the story. AND the absurdity that the DA hasn't even considered the victim's wife as a suspect despite her presence on the scene, lack of alibi, and strong motive of jealousy. ckb 28 Oct 2020
Burke was obviously a private investigator. Funny how the 2 private investigators run into each other on a dark street and Paul asks his cohort for a "light". Submitted by HamBurger, 9/5/2020
Similar Plot Device from Famous Contemporary Play The ultimate realization that an oft-discussed but never seen child is imaginary is part of the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." While the play debuted in 1962, the film debuted in 1966, the same year as this PM episode, though the TV show was broadcast a month before. Probably just a coincidence therefore. Anyone know? Rick P 1/17/22