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#14: The Case of the
Baited Hook
Original Airdate: 12/21/57

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
There's something funny going on with Carol Stanley's trust fund. Mr. Dawson is concerned; as is Carol's quasi-guardian, the inestimable Abigail E. Leeds. Perry gets $2,000 in cash and one half of a $10,000 bill as a retainer in case his services are needed to defend a mysterious, veiled woman. Then, in one of the most macabre scenes ever on the show, he finds a wide-eyed corpse in a closet. The unseen Hamilton Burger orders an arrest. During it all, Perry has a miserable cold and would rather be in bed. Della comes to the rescue. She nurses the pajama-clad lawyer in front of his fireplace, and we get to see his apartment for the first time.


Credits Edit

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


Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of The Baited Hook
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Christian Nyby
Teleplay by Richard Grey
Ben Brady | Producer
Produced by CBS Television in association with Paisano Productions
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Sam White | 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


Geraldine Wall as Abigail E. Leeds
Willard Sage as Robert Dawson
Judith Braun as Carol Stanley
Alfred Hopson as Richard Ellis
Mary Castle as Enid Shaw
George Neise as Albert Tydings
Connie Cezon as Gertie
Peg Whitman as Receptionist
Lyle Latell as Officer
Frank Marlowe as Janitor
Maurice McEndree as Operative

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as street spectator


Gene Wang | Story Editor
Production Supervisor … J. Paul Popkin
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lyle Wheeler, Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Art Marks
Editorial Supervisor … Art Seid, A.C.E.
Film Editor … Otto W. Meyer, A.C.E.
Makeup … Mel Berns
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Dick James
Set Decorations … Walter M. Scott, Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Recorded by … Alfred Bruzlin
Rerecording Mixer … Harry M. Leonard
Script Supervisor … Cosmo Genovese

This has been a CBS Television Network Production
Filmed in Hollywood by TCF Television Productions, Inc.

production number 019

Trivia Edit

CARS: 1957 Cadillac convertible, black w/ black & white int., top down (Mason); 1957 Pontiac Star Chief Convertible, top down, medium color; 1954 Pontiac Star Chief 4-Door Sedan, light color, photo&brochure; 1957 Chevrolet 150 4dr sedan, black (Police). From The Cars by Greg Cockerill.

Continuity Error: Watch the night cleaning man that Della convinces to let her into the Tydings & Dawson office. As he graciously opens the door for her, he magically acquires a pair of black rimmed glasses as the camera angle changes to inside the office. See here. Submitted by “BB,” 2/4/2004.

Shortly after Abigail E. Leeds leaves Perry’s office for the first time, Della takes a call from Paul and relays the message to Perry. He says “Call Paul back. Tell him I’ll meet him downstairs.” Della replies “Oh, that’s where he is. Down at Clay’s Grill.” I think that this is the first mention of "Clay’s Grill" in the series and that we don‘t encounter Clay or his Grill again until the last season. Submitted by Mitch English, 6/28/2005.
+ Actually Clay’s Grill figures prominantly in ep. 8: The Case of the Crimson Kiss. Perry is eating there when he receives the call that involves him in the case. Later he has a meeting with Burger and Tragg there, and later still Perry meets Della and Paul there. Submitted by R Dean, 5/12/2008.

Perry and Paul exit to the outside through a door marked "1248". Above the entrance it reads "Clay's Grille" with an "e" at the end. To the right we see a smaller "Clay's Grille" marking with two words beneath I couldn't decipher. To the left of the entrance are the words "Brent Building"...MikeM. 7/27/2016
+ "Fine Foods". Kilo 9/7/2019

Phone numbers: Perry’s office number, MA 5-1190, makes its first appearance as the number for the Tydings and Dawson office. Paul gives it to the operator when he makes his warning call to Perry from the phone booth. Submitted by D. A. Supernaw, 12/13/2006.
+Correction: Further examination indicates that the number in this episode is MA 5-1199, very similar to Mason’s number, but one digit off. Submitted by alan_sings 10/01/2010.
+ See more discussion of this among the next episode trivia. Submitted by gracep, 11/21/2010.

Anomaly: Near the beginning of this episode, when Leeds first visits Perry’s office, she introduces herself as “Leeds, Abigail Esther.” Near the end of this episode, when we see the birth certificate for Leed’s daughter Carol, her name is listed as Abagail Edith Leeds. (Of course, either name fits with the ending credit of Abigail E. Leeds.) Submitted by Charles Richmond, 10/9/2008.
+ Paul also calls her "Abigail Esther" when telling Perry the information about her passport he got from Washington. Kilo 12/4/2018.
+ And in the library scene, it sounds like Carol calls her ‘Aunt Bea’. The first of six appearances by Geraldine Wall. DOD 06/03/20

When Tydings first shows Dawson the papers he intends to use for blackmail, as Dawson leafs through them we can clearly see that they are photostats, white printing on a black background. But the birth certificate that Mason takes from Ellis and shows to Abigail is now a standard document of black print on white paper. Submitted by FredK 7 April 2014
+ ...Because, as Ellis tells Mason (at 43:10 of the 2006 Paramount DVD), "It's all there. Photostats and originals." lowercase masonite, 2/9/16.

One of the few Perry episodes where there is no trial, no courtroom, no judge, and no Hamilton Burger. The guilty party is determined before a trial can take place. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 25 August 2009.
+ True...tho we had one only eight episodes back; as others have noted, I think this well illustrates that the earlier seasons were more spontaneous - or perhaps "inventive" would be a better word - in that they didn't follow a preset formula so much (other than the obvious one of someone being killed and an innocent being blamed). Notcom, 100319

Lt. Tragg crosses paths with Perry four different times at four different locations (outside of Perry’s office) during this episode, surely a record! Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 25 August 2009.
Boringly Uncurious Coffee Cups: The wildly striped art deco triangular coffee cups with eh angled "7" shaped handled are gone. The Curious Coffee Cups have not yet arrived. This episode we have some standard-issue white restaurant ware cups. No joy in coffee cup land. Submitted by catyron, November 15, 2020.

Uncredited Actors:Lee Miller walks on the opening scene with distinguished Lady # 2. Submitted by BigBill767, Nov 12,2016.
Sighting: Distinguished Lady #2 gets a lot of exercise in this episode. In the opening scene, she walks by the Greybar Building. Later on, while Paul and Perry talk outside Clay’s Grill she passes behind them on the footpath no less than 3 times! Then, once again she is outside the Greybar Building, right behind Ellis. Phew! Submitted by evelyne, 15 February 2011.

Character Names: The Officer in the credits is named Bill Duggan. He even spells it for us. Submitted by gracenote, 8/28/2011.

Sightings: Distinguished Gentleman #2 plays some kind of attendant or guard at the office building where Tydings & Dawson is located. Submitted by gracenote, 8/28/2011.

Goof: As Perry enters his office through the private door, someone else’s hand reaching for the knob is visible. Submitted by gracenote, 8/28/2011. Some pictures here.

The hand at the door has always puzzled me. It happens in several episodes. Couldn't the carpenters who built the set find a door that is actually able to close by itself? And, why after the first episode in which it happened didn't some observant viewer (perhaps even someone working on the show) say, "Hey, you know we can see the mysterious hand. Maybe we should be a little more discreet in future episodes!" Submitted by Paul's Operative. 4/7/2024.

Goof: After Perry and Paul discover the body, Mason says "That's not the same man that came to see me at the office." But Dawson met Perry at his apartment not his office. (In the novel they met at his office. An earlier version of the script may have had them meet at the office as well, and this line wasn't changed when the scene changed.) Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 5/19/13.
+ Good catch. The novel IMHO handles the meeting much better. Aside from the front door of Perry's apartment having neither peephole nor lock, why would a prominent attorney with enemies invite in to his apartment a total and suspicious stranger at 12:05 AM? The scene begins (at about 07:19 on the 2006 Region 1 Paramount DVD) with Perry asleep in his chair, papers in his hand, next to an ashtray and cigarette lighter. At least the firefighters will not have to break down his door to get in. Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 07/17/13.

Whose body? Now I'm confused. When the body falls out of the closet, Perry says "That's the same man who came to see me at the office." (My colleague above may have misheard that line.) But at any rate it's not Dawson but Albert Tydings, whom Perry never met, at his office or anywhere else. Submitted by francis, 5/29/14.
+ I think the problem is Raymond Burr's delivery of the line. Even though the line should have been "that's not the same man..." he says "'snot the same man..." which sounds more like "that's the same man..." In any case the closed-captioning reads "that's NOT the same man..." Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 5/30/14.
Just watched, listening carefully, and he indeed says NOT the same man. He suspected Tydings may have been the man who approached him because the $10,000 bill was traced to Tydings, thus his line about possibly representing clients on opposite sides of the same case. Still, the meeting was in Perry’s home, not his office. 06/17/21

++ When the body falls out of the closet it brings back memories of a Three Stooges classic Who Done It? where Emil Sitka falls out of the closet when Shemp opens the door. Submitted by HamBurger, 8/13/2017
++++Tiebreaker ?? We'll probably never know exactly what Perry said - or should have said, since he might have bungled the actual line - but I would submit "that is the man who came to my office" is the only one that makes sense; why? simple: upon finding a body an affirmative declaration - "I know him" - makes sense, whereas a negative one - "I don't know him" - doesn't. With that in mind, I'd like to advance the theory that this is evidence of substantial editing - perhaps even rewriting: I think there was an earlier version where Tydings did come to Perry's office, and it was later deleted. Notcom, 100319.
+1 Joe B. 01/24/2024 Perry says "this isn't the man..." but doesn't say the line clearly. I heard him say "This is the man.." but the closed captions said "This isn't the man..." so I rewound. There's a slight 'n' sound after 'is'. --yelocab

Law Books: When we see Perry's apartment, there is a stack of law books near his clock and phone. It is from the same set (Corpus Juris) that is seen in the closing credits through "The Fan Dancer's Horse" (including this episode). In fact one of them is the same volume, number 51, "Public Utilities to Railroads." Also in Perry's apartment is Volume 34 ("Judg... to Judi...") (Judge Judy? LOL) and two unidentifiable books. Seen in the closing credits with Volume 51 is Volume 39 from Corpus Juris and Volume 21 from the Pacific Reporter series. The publisher's name is crudely and not entirely successfully covered up. Other first-season episodes display different series: "The Demure Defendant" through "The Deadly Double" show books from the American Law Reports-Annotated series (Volumes 5 and 6) along with the aforementioned Volume 21. "The Moth-Eaten Mink" and "The Haunted Husband" have smaller sponsor-size books later seen full sized in "The Haunted Husband" production notice ("The Moth-Eaten Mink" production notice has the old CJ books) and in the closing credits in episodes from "The Empty Tin" to the end of the season from the darker Corpus Juris Secundum set, Volumes 82 ("Statutes to Stipulations"), 97 ("Wills to Witnesses") and 98 ("Witnesses to Workmanship"). Do we see any other identifiable volumes from any of these sets in the actual episodes? Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 5/30/14. I don't know, but Perry picks up a copy of Argosy magazine when he returns to the couch in his apartment. Joe B. 10/08/23

License plate: The Cadillac driven by Perry has a different license plate (NLU 525). Episode 4 and episode 7 each had a different plate number. Submitted by H. Mason 10/1/14

The original ESG novel gave the script writers some unusual names to play with: Byrl Gailord (who becomes Carol Stanley), Abigail Esther Tump (who becomes Abigail E. Leeds), and Arthmont A. Freel (who does not appear in the episode). Submitted by BobH, 26 May 2016.

When Tragg arrives at the lake Perry and Paul get in their car to leave. Perry has to back out. However, just as the scene fades to black you can see the car surge forward as if Perry has it in the wrong gear. Submitted by Kilo 3/4/2018.
+ It could be that the car has a manual transmission and Perry partially releases the clutch before applying the accelerator. jfh 21May2019
++ FYI No 1957 Cadillac had a manual transmission.Joe B. 04/07/2022 -

Della's Shoes Della wears her high-heeled mules in this episode --- and she wears them well. jfh 21May2019

This is the first of five PM appearances for George Neise, who was an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II...MikeM. 5/9/2018

+Not only does George Neise hold the PM series record for Most Appearances as a Murder Victim (4), each of those appearances is found in an episode based on an ESG novel: TCOT Baited Hook, TCOT Calendar Girl, TCOT Shapely Shadow, and TCOT Golden Girls (a revision of TCOT Vagabond Virgin). Submitted by BobH, 21 June 2022.

Comments Edit

Actually, I think we saw a bit of Perry’s apartment in the very first broadcast episode, Restless Redhead. Perry is seen reading in what I take to be his apartment when he gets the phone calls from his answering service. Could an analysis of Perry’s apartment be done in the spirit of the one for his office? I realize there’s less material to work with, but it would be interesting to see. billp 12/27/2008
+ I agree! It would be interesting but doing The Office took several years and nearly drove me crazy. I'm afraid, a similar analysis of Perry's apartment by me is not likely. Any volunteers? Submitted by daveb, 2/27/2011.

Any ideas on what the ‘baited hook’ refers to? DOD 06/03/20
+ Maybe the half of the $10,000 dollar bill was the bait? Joe B. 04/07/2022

Two episodes back, in Negligent Nymph, Perry’s library was through the door by the round table. This episode it is through the door to the right of that bust, where it will be for the rest of the series. Tydings must have been shot with one of those magic non-hole making guns. There is a distinct lack of blood on the body or at the scene of the crime. DOD 06/03/20
+There is only so much gore that a TV show can present to its audience, especially during the 1950s. However, since the shell indicated a small caliber weapon, it's possible that the bullet remained lodged in Tydings. Thus the relative lack of blood, although it did drip quite a bit up the steps, in the house, and to the closet. Submitted by Kenmore 06/29/2022

The $80,000 that is missing from Carol Stanley’s trust would be worth about $589,249.02 today. A fairly tidy sum. Tydings took $60,000 ($441,936.77), Ellis $20,000 ($147,312.26). The $2000 retainer that Perry gets would be about $14,731.23 today. Not too bad. The $150 that Leeds was paying to Ellis would ring in at about $1,104.84 a pop. billp 12/27/2008.

Perry begins and ends this episode wearing a pair of pajamas. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 25 August 2009.

The aforementioned discovery of the corpse may certainly be one of the most dramatic moments in the history of the series. But the reaction that both Perry and Paul have to the body falling in front of them I found to be downright hilarious. Neither one of them bat an eyebrow, and they calmly walk over to the phone. Submitted by Kenmore, 1/18/2011.
+ I daresay if I came across as many dead bodies as Paul and Perry do, I'd probably not bat an eye either. Even so, I found the deadpan reaction - IMHO totally appropriate for the characters - hilarious, too. Submitted by billp, 2 August 2012.
+Not only is their reaction hilarious, but one wonders how Tydings's corpse was so compliant in being placed in an upright position inside the closet and remaining in that position until the closet door is opened. Also, once the compliant corpse is placed upright, how does the person who placed the body in that position get out of the closet? Submitted by BobH, 21 December 2015.
++And, while the topic is the corpse's odd positioning, how about the difficult-to-achieve "face plant" position in which Tydings's body is first found by Carol Stanley? Actor George Neise wins the award, hands down, for Most Entertaining Performance by a Corpse in the show's nine-year run. Submitted by BobH, 23 December 2015.
+ Strange that both Perry and Paul handle the telephone thereby destroying any fingerprints knowing a murder has been committed. Submitted by Kilo 3/4/2018.

It’s odd that Paul Drake’s thorough investigation of Robert Dawson concludes that the man is fanatically ("depressingly" --- jfh 18May2018) honest, while Tydings has a sheaf of papers that prove Dawson is guilty of misdeeds as incriminating as Tydings’ own theft of $60,000 from Carol Stanley. Submitted by FredK, 9 June 2011.
+ The file that Tydings confronted Dawson with was Ellis' file on Carol Stanley, which Tydings had appropriated from Ellis. Since Dawson was in love with Stanley and didn't want to open her to public ridicule, he was effectively checkmated by Tydings and could not tell the authorities about Tydings malfeasance. So Paul Drake's assessment about Dawson was correct. Submitted by billp, 9/29/2011.

How rude! Mason barely, if at all, acknowledges that Jerry brought him his car. He could have said "Thanks." Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 5/19/13.

It's for you, Mr. Mason: Paul tracks down Perry at the office of Tydings & Dawson. Submitted by francis, 5/29/14
+ goof: Perry picks up the handset and says, 'Yes' before pressing the button for line 2. jfh 09May2018.

It's for you, Paul: Perry {even though Della is present) answers a call in his office for Paul. jfh 09May2018

The blackmail check said: "No 189; April 26, 1956; Mendenville Trust Company; Richard Ellis; 150.00; A. E. Leeds." Mike Bedard 4.8.15
+What I learned from this episode: If you're blackmailing someone, don't let them pay you by check. If you're being blackmailed, don't pay by check. Since neither party wants the blackmail scheme exposed, stick with the anonymity of cash. Submitted by Duffy, 4-14-2015.
+I think the check reads "Bradenville"...MikeM. 7/27/2016

"On July 14, 1969, the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve System announced that currency notes in denominations of $500, $1000, $5000 and $10000 would be discontinued due to lack of use. Although they were issued until 1969, they were last printed in 1945," states. Article 1, US Constitution: "Congress shall have power to...coin money, regulate the value thereof [Sec. 8]." Mike Bedard 4.8.15

Continuity: When Paul watches Ellis leave the Greybar Building a lady follows him out holding her hat and carrying a white purse. Paul then crosses the road to tell Perry that Ellis just left the building. In the background you can see the same woman again leave the building holding her hat. Kilo 12/4/2018.

In Abigail's chat with Perry in his library after he's produced Carol'a birth certificate, Abbigail says, "You've never been a child without a father [ ... ], called names you didn't understand. Well, I have." I believe she should have said, "Well, Carol has." jfh 04Mar2024
> No, the implication is that Abigail herself was illegitimate and didn't want Carol to experience what she had.(How well the deception worked is unclear as Perry admits "Carol has known for years", so perhaps others did as well.) Notcom 040524.

Perry loses a case this time, since he agrees to represent Mrs. Leeds at the end of the episode, even though he knows that she is guilty of murder. Submitted by vgy7ujm, 12/25/14 [On 2/9/16 lowercase masonite moved this comment to below the Spoiler Warning.]
+I expect that Perry and his client will win, by his talents resulting in a good plea-bargain or a reduced charge. lowercase masonite, 2/9/16.
+It's not technically speaking losing a case if you are pleading guilty and the client is found guilty. What Abigail Leeds refers to at the end is how Perry's track record will not be helped by a guilty client. Meaning that Perry's reputation is built on clients pleading not guilty and who are not convicted. Submitted by Kenmore 06/27/2022

Casting Kudos: In several episodes, the casting decisions for characters who are related to one another are questionable at best (and ludicrous at worst!) In my opinion, they got it right this time--Geraldine Wall and Judith Braun could easily pass for mother & daughter. Third_ Generation_Fan, 1/16/2021.
The scene at the lake with Tragg was hilarious. Joe B, 04/07/2022

Spoiler Warning! Do Not Read Below If You Have Not Seen The Episode
MAJOR SPOILER: the murderer is (Geraldine Wall as) Abigail E. Leeds. jfh 10Jun2024

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