#111: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 02/04/61
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Loring Lamont is a wealthy skirt-chaser whose latest target is yummy Arlene Ferris, his father’s secretary. Lamont tricks her into coming to his beachfront “wolf’s lair” in a complicated series of deceptions. After a pitcher of martinis, Lamont makes his move. She slaps him and flees, but the cad pursues her, forcing her to steal his car to get back to town.
But Arlene’s troubles are only beginning. After she leaves, someone stabs Loring to death. She's the number one suspect. Perry believes that the murder really had something to do with blackmail and with a telephone conversation Loring had shortly before Arlene left him.
We get a rare look at Perry’s apartment in this episode when he is visited by two of the thuggiest thugs on TV (complete with dark suits and white ties). The place seems tastefully appointed, loaded with houseplants, and equipped with a fireplace.
Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of THE WAYLAID WOLF
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Directed by Gene Fowler, Jr.
Teleplay by Jonathan Latimer
Seeleg Lester | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Arthur Marks | Associate Producer
Produced by The CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Jackson Gillis | Story Consultant
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Robert Karnes as Deputy D.A. Chamberlin
Rebecca Welles as Edith Bristol
Andra Martin as Arlene Ferris
Laurie Mitchell as Madge Elwood
Tony Travis as Loring Lamont
Barry Atwater as George Albert
Benson Fong as Colong Kim
Robert Carricart as Orvel Kingman
Frances Fong as Frances Kim
I. Stanford Jolley as Jerome Henley
Morris Ankrum as Judge
Bill Cord as Police Officer Lyons
Irvin Ashkenazy as Tom Grimes
Elizabeth Harrower as Woman Apt. Manager
Tiger Joe Marsh as Al
Pitt Herbert as Coroner's Physician
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
George E. Stone as Court Clerk
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
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.
Titles and Opticals … Pacific Title
Perry Mason \ A Film Presentation
A CBS Television Network Production
Anomaly: Benson Fong, listed as Colong Kim, is exclusively called Oolong Kim in the show. [Marc Dashevsky]
+ "Colong Kim" is a typographical error in the filmed credits; the "C" should be an "O". His nickname "O.K." is a plot device intended to induce confusion between the "Okay" spoken on the phone and with the other character Orvel Kingman. This conforms to the 1960 ESG original, in which there are also two "O.K."s: Orval Kingman and Otto Keswick, the latter doing "odd jobs around the place" ("lodge" in the book, “beachfront wolf’s-lair” on TV). "Oolong Kim" replaces "Otto Keswick" for the TV version but it got misspelled in the credits. I guess somebody got confused. The link to the ESG original has a Search function that allows you to view parts of the novel's text containing "ok" or "okay", making all this clear-as-can-be; Character List and Synopsis here. Added by Gary Woloski, 10/19/12.
+ Interestingly, this is the second time Benson Fong has played a caretaker in the PM series, replacing a non-Chinese caretaker in the original novel both times. He was James Hing in TCOT Caretaker's Cat and now, of course, Oolong Kim. I love his performances and was disappointed on reading Caretaker's Cat after seeing the episode; I much preferred his gentle, loyal, and clever character to the gruff old coot in the book! Submitted by JazzBaby, 9/4/2019. ++Also interesting is the fact that his Asian heritage really doesn’t play into the character. Sadly, that is still unusual. Submitted by Rickapolis 11/02/21
Goof: When Orvel Kingman and his goon Al pay a late-night visit to Perry, something funny happens with the door to the apartment. Submitted by cobolpoet, 8/14/2007. Some pictures here.
+ Another goof: About 2/3 of the way through the episode, as Perry and Della are driving together, Della mistakenly refers to the Madge Elwood character as “Marge.” Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 5/20/2011.
Sgt. Brice gets to testify in this episode, but Perry does not cross examine him. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 20 August 2009.
Perry does not appear in the wrap up scene, leaving Paul to bring together the loose ends for Della. This is the only episode I can remember that Raymond Burr acted in where he did not appear in the final scene. There must be some sort of explanation for this, other than the show being written this way. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 20 August 2009.
+ Not the only, but perhaps the first. See next episode. Submitted by gracenote, 7/6/2011.
Tiger Joe Marsh makes his only Perry appearance here playing the goon Al. Joe Marsh was a professional wrestler and Tiger was only his stage name. Al gets lots of face time in the episode, but only one line. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 20 August 2009.
Once again in this episode Della wears her “D S” pendant written in script. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 21 August 2009.
Location: Guard Gate appearing numerous times at the start of the episode and again about 37 minutes into the episode is the front gate at Hollywood Center Studios where Perry was being filmed at the time at 1040 N. Las Palmas. See Episode #78 and 1040 N. Las Palmas page on this wiki for more information and photos. Compare the iron gate design in this episode with vintage photos, the lines above and below “Stop” at the guard gate and the leftmost window location and accent line horizontally across building in the center background for similarities. Posted by Eric Cooper, 9 March 2010.
Sightings: Five of our courtroom regulars appear in this episode and all of them sit on the “defense” side. Distinguished Lady #2 and the Pencil Mustache Man sit next to each other in the first row. The Quiet Old Man (#1) sits next to the Little Old Lady in a Hat in the second row. And Distinguished Gentleman #1 sits next too “Oolong Kim” in the back row. At times, however, during the “wide shots,” we don’t see that Gentleman at all. On Day 2 of the hearing, the Gentleman moves to the prosecution side (except for one cutaway when he “teleports” back to the side of Oolong Kim) and the Pencil Mustache Man is gone. Submitted by Kenmore, 9/21/2010.
+And “Miss Carmody” makes six: she has good vantage point on the defense side. Read about her and all the other regulars here. Submitted by gracep, 11/4/2010.
+The Distinguished Lady #4 from her favorite spot in the back row makes seven in the courtroom. Bill767, 1/3/16.
+In the opening scene, we find the Thin Man working as an office worker. Bill767, 1/3/16.
Who Is That? Nominee: I don't know the protocols or necessary bona fides for placing an actor in our Who Is That? firmament, but I would like to nominate a woman who appears in the gallery frequently in the middle years. She's an attractive woman with dark medium-length hair, who I might call "Mediterranean Woman." Today on MeTV she appeared over the right shoulder of the defendant, for example at about the 50 minute mark. I'll be happy to chronicle her other appearances, if our PMTVS overseers see fit. Dutifully submitted by JohnK, 17 November 2022
Location: There is a very quick shot of the Santa Monica Pier on the DVD at 5:51 mark. If you blink you will miss it. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 7 October 2010.
Talman returns? In the previous episode we celebrated the return of William Talman (as Hamilton Burger) to the cast. However, he is missing from the credits to this episode, and will be from several to come. Submitted by gracep, 11/4/2010.
Outside view: In this story for the first and only time an establishing shot was used for the exterior of Perry's apartment building. Submitted by H. Mason 11/6/14
Where does Perry Live? As H. Mason pointed out for once we get a quick exterior shot of Perry's apartment. You can see Sheraton on the lighted awning. Based on that as well as the grill work under the windows and the white paint on the first 3 floors Im pretty sure Perry lived at what was known as the Sheraton Townhouse on 2959-2973 Wilshire Blvd. This was a very famous location in its day although its low income housing now. Elizabeth Taylors first marriage took place here. You can google photos of this famous location and match the paint and 2 distinct styles of iron grillwork under the window. 6 Sept 2016
CARS. (1) 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Club Sedan, Arlene Ferris, 2-tone light/med. The Club Sedan Model 64B, was a 2-Door Sedan with a minimal B-Pillar. Compare close-ups at 3:24 & 4:32 with photos here and here. I believe this is the same car as Getaway-Car (3) in Ep#107.
- (2) 1956-59 Austin-Healey 100-6, Lic SWN 167, Loring Lamont, black top up. Appears to be the "2+2" model, meaning it has two front seats plus two "occasional seats" in back.
- (3) 1961 Buick Electra 4-Door HardTop, black, with Brice (?) driving and Tragg in passenger seat. The clock in the pod atop the dash-center was standard on the Electra. Possible Lic No ULL 918 (unclear). Tragg's new Cruiser!
- (4) Perry's black 1960 Ford Galaxie Special Sunliner, Lic No TVC 236, top down.
- (5) The Apt. Manager shows Perry & Della to the two-car garage where Madge's car, a 1956 Dodge Coronet 2-Door Sedan (2-tone dark/light), is parked. It's the second '56 Dodge Coronet to appear in 2 consecutive episodes. The car parked beside Madge's Dodge is possibly a light-color 1956 Ford Customline 4-Door Sedan (ID by taillights, fins and trim).
Background Cars parked at LAMONT ENGINEERING in various shots through the episode:
- (a) 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible with white soft top up, outside LAMONT front door.
- (b) a red(?) 1957 Thunderbird w/removable Porthole HardTop is deliberately placed in the Lamont parking lot Night Scene with Arlene's Car (1). See the Comment below SPOILER warning.
- (c) '57 or 1958 Mercury 4-Door Hardtop Station Wagon, light color is parked beyond Car(1) & Car(b).
- (d) When Tragg visits LAMONT, a late '50's Nash Metropolitan, 2-tone med/white is in the lot (Arlene's Fairlane is also there).
'57 T-Birds had thin, canted fins like those on the other '57 Fords. '55 & '56 T-Birds had rounded, vertical fins like the other '55 & '56 Fords. Article on Austin-Healey 100-6 here. Submitted by Gary Woloski, 7 Oct 2012.
This is the fourth of five PM appearances for Rebecca Welles...MikeM. 9/1/2016
This is the only PM appearance for Laurie Mitchell...MikeM. 9/1/2016
This is the second of two PM appearances for Andra Martin...MikeM. 9/1/2016
This is the only PM appearance for Frances Fong...MikeM. 9/1/2016
+According to IMDB, Frances Fong also played Rosie on M*A*S*H. Submitted by Arisia, 03/13/18
This is the second of four PM appearances for Elizabeth Harrower...MikeM. 9/1/2016
Of the five guest actresses in this episode, all except Elizabeth Harrower may still be with us. Elizabeth Harrower passed in 2003 at the age of 85...MikeM. 9/1/2016
Jonathan Latimer has 32 PM writing credits. He was a crime reporter and mystery writer...MikeM. 9.2.2016
+In the mid to late 1930s, Latimer wrote a series of mystery novels that featured a boozing detective by the name of Bill Crane. (Actor Preston Foster played Crane in a series of B-movies from Universal Studios that were based on the Latimer novels.) In the 1940s, Latimer also wrote the screenplays for several excellent film noirs based on novels by other famous mystery/suspense writers: Dashiell Hammett's "The Glass Key," Kenneth Fearing's "The Big Clock," and Cornell Woolrich's "Night Has a Thousand Eyes." Submitted by BobH, 2 September 2016.
This is the third of six PM appearances for Barry Atwater, who appeared in two episodes of Ironside playing Lt. Tom Hubbard...MIkeM. 12/9/2016
Jerome Henley (I. Stanford Holley) makes a curious remark. As he is showing Mason and his escort some fancy hi-fi equipment, he assures them it is “discophonic, of course.” From what I can tell, there is no such word used at the time (or now), even among audiophiles. Perhaps he meant “stereophonic” as that would have been novel in the early 1960s. Submitted by gracep 11/4/2010.
+ The stereo salesman should also know better than lift the tone arm with the speaker volume turned up. In real life, it would blow speakers if the stylus drags, etc. Submitted by Perry Baby 10/27/15
+ Discophonic refers to a teenager's record disc's sound. "The Discophonic Scene" was coined by Jerry Blavat in the 1960s. Submitted by CMC 12/30/17
William Talman is missing again from this episode and the next episode. Perhaps there were filmed before he was rehired? Submitted by gracep 11/4/2010.
In this episode, as in the immediately previous one, the murder weapon, a knife, is presented in court still streaked with blood! jfh 29Dec2017.
Arlene leaves the window in her car rolled down, although it looks like it has been a drizzly evening. DOD 09/20/18
In this episode we see Perry lounging on his couch in his apartment clad in pajamas, slippers, and some sort of bath robe or jacket, doing paperwork. The doorbell rings. Perry, who presumeably has no idea who it is, simply saunters over and opens the door (there is no peephole). In walk two unsavory characters. Why would Perry open the door not knowing who it was? How did they find out where he lived? Didn't Perry try to keep his address a secret (you would think Paul Drake could have given him some tips on that)? Surely a modern Perry Mason would do everything he could to keep his home address a secret. (You'd also think he would live in a higher-security building.) We see this constantly in Perry Mason and other shows of the era. Someone is at home or in their hotel room, there is a knock on the door, and they simply open it up having no idea who's on the other side. In strolls a bad person (or Lt. Tragg with a warrant for their arrest!). I realize that to some extent this is a plot device necessary to keep the story moving. But I also think it reflects how much less wary and suspicious people were back then. I think most of us now would not open the door if we didn't know who was there. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 9/24/2013
+The Door: I've mentioned before the door at Perry's apartment seemed to have no lock. There was a good view of the door after Perry ended his call with Paul and turned to see that the two men were gone. Submitted by H. Mason 11/6/14
Does anyone else find it odd that we never even see Loring Lamont's father? Lamont's father is mentioned more than once and it is his company, but Lamont's father never even shows up at the trial. I would hope if I was murdered that my dad would at least show up for the trial. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 2/24/2014
We witness a sweet moment between Della and Perry: in Perry's apartment as Della is sitting down at the table, she takes off her light apron and hands it to Perry. Without a word Perry takes the apron, holds Della's chair while she takes her seat and then he lightly tosses the apron aside. jfh 29Dec2017.
A delicious moment occurs in this episode's courtroom scene when the judge, hearing of Lt. Tragg's attempt to influence a witness, glares at him, causing the detective to squirm in his seat. Submitted by francis, 9/12/14.
Perry and Della remain remarkably calm during their ride in that convertible -- considering there's a jerk behind them who squeezes into their lane, cutting off another driver, and then rides their bumper for a few seconds before swerving back to the other lane. If that's the way everyone drives in LA, I'm glad I don't live there. Submitted by scarter 9-23-14
Forgot her lines?: When Lt. Tragg and Sgt. Brice were at the Lamont Engineering Corp. office was Madge holding a page of the script? It sure looked like it by the way the lettering was spaced. Submitted by H. Mason 11/6/14
Why didn't Lt. Tragg or Sgt. Brice recognize Madge Elwood in the Hi-Fi store? She was in the office when they examined Arlene's desk. Submitted by H. Mason 11/6/14
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 9/24/2013.
The recent allegations against Bill Cosby put this episode in an interesting light, at least for me .. I guess a psychologist could explain what anyone, male or female, gets out of forcing someone into a sexual act. Even if the victim relents and 'agrees', they really haven't, now have they? Addenum: Spacey, Weinstein, Trump, Moore, Franken...wow
Submitted by MikeReese, 11/27/14
Edited by MikeReese 12/29/17
Aside from a possible orgasm, the sense of power. Submitted by vgy7ujm on 7 November 2021
Running a Straight Line Television is often not very realistic in how if depicts the effects of drinking, with characters bouncing back and forth between sobriety and inebriation with lightning speed; case and point: here the (soon to be) defendant and her pursuer, after (what I believe were) four rounds of martinis, scamper over the dunes with remarkable agility. Submitted by Notcom, 120115.
And she doing these amazing feats of agility in high heels. Submitted by HamBurger, 09/03/2018
This show displays quite clearly how cheesy some sets were in the 60s. Especially when the characters are chasing through what was supposed to be night, and it is clear they just used some old set pieces from a western, probably shooting next door. And the driving scene was really bad back projection. Yuck. cwgraul 11.22
The Red Convertible. In the last courtroom scene, Background Car (b), a '57 T-Bird with Porthole HardTop, gets promoted to Cast Car, color Red, owner Edith Bristol. Some courtroom dialogue:
- Perry's theory is apparently that Madge's Car(5) was at the scene, rather than Arlene's Car(1) [both 2dr sedans]. He asks Oolong Kim ("O.K.") if he saw "an inexpensive 2-door sedan" behind the beach-house.
- O.K. surprises Perry by answering "no, there was a red convertible" (!),
- With that, Perry gets Police Officer Lyons back on the stand and asks him to "describe this other car that was double-parked?"
- Lyons : "uh . . a red convertible." BINGO! Exit Edith.
All '55-'57 T-Birds were "convertibles". The Removable Hardtop was standard equipment but the baseline car did not come with a fold-down soft-top. The soft-top was an optional extra. Added by Gary Woloski, 10/15/12.
The doctor's testimony about the victim being stabbed in the back potentially undermines the culprit's claim of self-defense. Ed Zoerner, 2/25/24