#154: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 09/27/62
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Joseph Kraft is not your typical used-book salesman. Behind the facade of his small shop is a thriving operation in forgeries of rare first editions that nets him $70,000 a year. But Kraft slips up when he finds that a copy of Tristram Shandy is missing.
Shortly after, Kraft is found dead inside a locked room. The death appears to be accidental; he seems to have died because of a faulty gas heater. Perry doesn’t think so, though, and before long, the police don’t either. Guess who the main suspect’s lawyer happens to be?
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE BOGUS BOOKS
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Jonathan Latimer
Art Seid | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Jackson Gillis | Associate Producer
Samuel Newman | Story Consultant
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Wiliam Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson
Phyllis Love as Ellen Carter
Adam West as Pete Norland
John Abbott as Prof. Carlos Muntz
H. M. Wynant as Gene Torg
Joby Baker as Kenneth Carter
Allison Hayes as Pearl Chute
Woodrow Parfrey as George Pickson
Maurice Manson as Joseph Kraft
Tenen Holtz as Mr. Gilfain
Raymond Greenleaf as Rare Book Curator
Kenneth MacDonald as Judge
John Alvin as Bank Teller
William Tracy as Man
Michael Fox as Coroner’s Physician
Renee Godfrey as Lady Librarian
Director of Photography … Robert G. Hager
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … John D. Faure
Casting … Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Irving Pringle
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Ed McDermott, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Charles Q. Vassar
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … Cosmo Genovese
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Rare Books: Two books are mentioned in this episode. Both are real. The first is , aka . You will find it mentioned here. The other book is . You can read about it here. Submitted by Steve Fox, 12/6/2004. [I wonder if Perry really does have a full set of Man & G?]
+ Also, English writer Izaac Walton (1593-1683) is mentioned by Professor Muntz. He had purchased a work by the author at the bookstore the previous week. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/02/12.
Character Names: Although Michael Fox is listed merely as the “Coroner’s Physician,” it is the same Dr. Hoxie he has been playing since “The Case of the Runaway Corpse”! (Talman addresses him thus.) Submitted by gracep, 1/13/2011.
+ The character played by Woodrow Parfrey was listed in the credits as George Pickson. He was called Herbert in the story. Added by H. Mason 12/13/14
Classical Music: This episode has some familiar classical pieces throughout. During the opening scence, the music played on the radio in the bookstore is the familiar second movement (Andante) of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony No. 94 in G Major. In a later scene at the bookstore, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony provides the background. Two other familiar pieces play on that radio at different times. Submitted by gracenote, 7/11/2011.
+ Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto is recognizable. A late symphony by Haydn, maybe #104, also seems to be employed. Added by emahl, 15 January 2015.
Sightings: Appearing in the courtroom gallery are Quiet Old Man #1 and the Thin Man. More here. Submitted by gracenote, 7/11/2011.
Unconvincing Musicianship Dept.: That guitar Adam West is so ineptly trying to look like he's playing is a low-budget Kay acoustic. Kay made many thousands of similar models sold through Sears, Spiegel, etc. Submitted by francis, 5/20/12.
+ The first guitar that Pete Norland (portrayed by Adam West) played was about three minutes into the episode. This guitar had a round sound hole in the front and a squarish head stock. To me it resembled an expensive type of guitar manufactured by C.F. Martin. The second time Norland played the guitar, there was a different guitar used. The second guitar appeared about 49 minutes into the episode and was an f-hole (also called arch top) guitar. The head stock on this guitar clearly had the word "Kay" on it. This was the one made by the Kay Musical Instrument Company, maker of less expensive instruments. You can see the two guitars at this web page. Submitted by Charles Richmond, 9/10/13.
+The first guitar is a Gretch (the name is briefly visible on the head stock if you pause the DVD). The second is, as already noted, a Kay. Also, the song that Adam West sings in the book store is an African-American gospel number titled "This Train." It was first recorded in 1922. In 1933 the folk music collectors John and Alan Lomax recorded a version by Walter McDonald, an inmate at Parchman Farm in Mississippi. They published a transcription in 1934 in "American Folk Songs and Ballads" and again in 1960 in "Folk Songs of North America," both times identifying the source of the song as being from Mississippi, which is why Pete Norland identifies it as such. See the Wikipedia article about the song here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Train -- Submitted by catyron, April 19th, 2018.
+ You can hear a fabulous rendition of This Train, by the inimitable Louis Armstrong (with apologies to Adam West, wink!) here: https://youtu.be/sGmX5ln18po.
Closing Credit. Beginning in the fall of 1962, CBS began incorporating the production credit (CBS/Paisano Productions in this case) along with the "Seal of Good Practice" into the closing credits rather than a separate credit. This occurs on the 1962-63 season of The Twilight Zone as well. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/02/12.
, ! Until the end of Season 5, our favourite show had aired on Saturdays, 7:30-8:30 PM. On Thursday, 27 September 1962, THE NEW YORK TIMES (page 75) ran the following CBS ad for that evening's Season Six Première of Perry Mason:
The NYT daily program listing, also on page 75, was:
- 8:00-9:00 -- Perry Mason
in "The Case of the Bogus Books" with Raymond Burr, Phyllis Love, Adam West, others. Man's death points to a racket involving bogus first editions (season's première) - (2).
This episode has NO CARS but Ford gets credit for them anyway. Added by Gary Woloski, 5/26/13.
ASTRONOMICAL DATING. Perry makes a demonstration to the Judge, Burger and Tragg in which he states "according to the Weather Bureau, twilight extended only to 6:40 that particular evening" (ie, the murder date). To Meteorologists, Astronomers and Navigators, "twilight" is a formally defined concept of which there are three types; I assume that Perry is speaking of "Civil Twilight", the duration of which in Los Angeles varies from about 24 to 30 minutes, depending on time-of-year (longest in June & Dec). Under the Daylight-Saving-Time protocol in effect in Los Angeles up to 1966, the only days of each year that could have Civil Twilight extending "only to 6:40" in the evening were 3 or 4 April and 19 or 20 October. By making reference to a solar event, Perry has almost explicitly dated the murder. All that's missing are the season and year. Too Bad there's NO CARS to help us with the year! See Comments section below for details & links to online solar calculators. Perry does this again in Ep#216. Added by Gary Woloski, 5/29/13.
For the second time a victim was killed by inhalation of natural gas fumes. It also happened in episode 112 (TCOT Wintry Wife). Submitted by H. Mason 12/13/14
Goof: A bank official testifies that Joseph Kraft got 20 one-hundred-dollar bills at the bank and that the bills were brand new bills from the Mint. The Mint has nothing to do with paper currency. Paper currency comes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Submitted by D. Tlougan, 5/1/15.
Goof: Pearl's chain lock on her door was installed incorrectly. The tethered end is supposed to be on the jamb and attaches to the receiver on the door. Paul would just need to lift the chain to get in. Submitted by Perry Baby 3/24/16
This is the third of five PM appearances for Allison Hayes who, according to Wikipedia, was a close friend of Raymond Burr...MikeM. 11/2/2016
Library Substitution Alas, there is no "Cosgrove Library" in San Marino (or anywhere else in SoCal); by a remarkably small coincidence, however, there is the Huntington Library which features a well known collection of antiquarian volumes. So why go to all the trouble of essentially identifying an actual location and then not use it ?? Maybe the CBS Legal Dept. became concerned that it would give people ideas, or maybe the Huntington itself refused to be associated with a plot so stupid as this one (see below)
+ The Huntington does get a mention about halfway through. After Perry has demonstrated how easily a substitution could be made, he asks about substititions at other libraries, and gets this response: "UCLA has found two substitutions, Huntington and Old Berry, one each." The first two are obvious, the third may be what is now the Baker-Berry Library, the main library at Dartmouth College. OLEF641 2/30/21
This is the second of two PM appearances for Renee Godfrey, who was married to English actor/director Peter Godfrey...MikeM. 2/8/2017
This episode marks the first of two Perry appearances for Phyllis Love. In her second appearance, episode 255 The Case Of The Wooden Nickels, she plays Minerva Doubleday, a very similar character, also an employee in a collectibles shop, also charged with murder. jfh 08Feb2017.
This is the first of two PM appearances for Tenen Holtz, who was born in Russia in 1887. His stage name was created by dividing his birth surname of Tenenholtz. His second PM appearance in 1964 would be the final television role of his career. Tenen Holtz passed in Los Angeles in 1971 at the age of 84...MikeM. 5/10/2018
A reunion of sorts for Allison Hayes and Maurice Manson. They both appeared several years earlier in the Roger Corman flick, The Undead, although they didn’t share any scenes together, just as in this episode if you don’t count the phone call. Submitted by Kenmore, 1/07/2012.
In 1962-63, we have a new opening scene, Perry sitting alone in the courtroom. And I'm happy that, in 1962-63, CBS decided to omit the little ditty music they had played during 1961-62 each episode following the last scene but prior to the classic Perry Mason theme during the credits. --submitted by 10yearoldfan, 26 August 2013.
+ There was also the alternate opening where Perry enters the courtroom and walks to his seat. Perry Mason was not the only CBS series which not only introduced a new opening in the 1962-63 season but also an alternate version. The Dick Van Dyke Show introduced the Rob-Petrie-tripping-over-the-ottoman opening and also made one where he didn't trip. Another similarity between the two series is that by the final season (1965-66 for both series) one of the openings was rarely seen. Rob Petrie rarely tripped anymore and Perry only walked in twice in the ninth season--and that counts the special color-episode opening. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 9/9/13.
++ Also, the 6th season did introduce the 2-part closing credits. Many times in the syndicated version, the second part is cut out. The first part leads directly to the Viacom logo and the copyright info and production number are not seen. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 9/9/13.
+++ What a relief that Pacific Title, which was responsible for the icky opening titles, is gone now, and that the comedic little ditty music is gone. Back to more-or-less normal at last! Submitted by catyron, May 24th, 2021.
That ubiquitous staircase set that was in the Langley mansion in the previous episode, Lonely Eloper, is seen here in the Cosgrove Library. DOD 12/03/19
: "twilight extended only to 6:40 that particular evening".
So, what evening was that?? . . . . Find the April evenings which fit Perry's description by examining the calendar for April 1957 (Wed & Thurs 3/4 Apr 1957 both fit Perry's description). Then flip forward a year at-a-time by clicking on the appropriate link below the calendar (eg "" in blue). But note: The DST start-dates on these calendars are INCORRECT! The actual DST-starts were the Last Sunday of April (see explanation below). Subtract one hour from all times between the first and last Sundays .
. . . . Likewise check each calendar from October 1962 onward (Sat, 20 Oct 62 fits). The October calendars for 1962 & later have the correct DST-end dates & the correct Local Times are shown.
. . . . For 1961 & earlier, DST-end must be corrected to the Last Sunday of SEPTEMBER (see below) and One Hour subtracted from times in the affected days. Now observe that twilight does not extend to 6:40 on any of these autumn evenings. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/1/13.
A uniform (DST) protocol has been observed state-wide in California since 1950. The US federal Uniform Time Act of 1966, which aimed to reduce Time Zone Chaos across the US, didn't require any immediate change in California since the state was already in compliance. For the period of interest to us, California & Los Angeles DST was in effect as follows:
- 1950-1961: Last Sunday of APRIL to Last Sunday of SEPTEMBER.
- 1962-1986: Last Sunday of APRIL to Last Sunday of OCTOBER, except 1974/75.
Prior to 1950, California had only applied DST during wartime (1918-19 & 1942-45) and during California's own 1948 Power Shortage. A for the whole USA back to 1918 is Time changes in the U.S.A. by Doris C. Doane (California p24). Online use timeanddate.com to find DST effective dates for Los Angeles: 1950-59, 1960-69.
. The calendars linked to above were produced by sunrisesunset.com using this DST rule. This DST Protocol IS NOT VALID for the era of the Perry Mason Series, 1957-1966! The October calendars up to 1961 and all of the April calendars incorporate INCORRECT DST start/finish dates. The times shown on these calendars for the three or four week periods affected by the incorrect start/finish date must be corrected by adding or subtracting one hour as appropriate. Added by Gary Woloski, 5/31/13.
Mr. Woloski provides excellent analysis above to help determine the actual date of the murder. Perry stated that "twilight extended only to 6:40". However, in the opening street scene you will notice that it appears to be after dark. The street lights are on, cars have their headlights on, etc. Now notice in the lower left of that scene there's a clock that clearly shows the time to be 5:20. Assuming the murder happened within a few days, that would destroy Perry's 6:40 twilight analysis to determine the time of the murder. Submitted by Kilo, 10/3/2017.
Library Substitution (contd) Perhaps not surprisingly, art forgeries are a frequent plot device on PM; paintings, statuary, tapestries, coins and - here - books have been among the media counterfeited, and the formula is pretty simple: someone creates a fake whatever and substitutes it for the original. And such could have been the M.O. here: Miss Chute, using her vast technical knowledge - "...old time pens, even special kinds of glue like they used in the olden days" she relates in a technical tour de force - doctors a minor copy of some major cla$$ic so it is indistinguishable from the actual, than a surreptious swap is made...no one the wiser. But what do they do instead ?? As Della clearly explains (@ ~26:30) the knockoff is substituted - unaltered - and instead Miss Chute doctors the original...thus destroying the very marks that give it its value !! In the name of Gutenberg, could the writers be more clueless if they tried ?!?! Head shakingly by Notcom, 020617.
+ No, I think the idea was to add some marks to the first edition so they could not be traced back to the library from where they were stolen. A [new] stain on page 3, for example, would not be recognized by the original library because they would not have a memory/record of it. Using authentic inks/glues/techniques would make it not traceable as a 'new' mark. Still, a bit of a weak plot device. --yelocab 02012018
+ You're probably correct in that was the writer's thinking - "but not too much...just so it can't be identified as any particular copy" - but it's still a thoroughly bassackwards plan: even if the alteration was successful - how could they know which (of an infinite number of) identifying marks to alter ?? would a collector really accept an altered volume ?? - it still puts all of the effort on the part of the scheme that's unlikely to be a problem, and none on that which is ...the original substitution (one needn't worry about a stolen item being traced if the theft isn't discovered in the first place). Of course criminals often aren't very smart, so I'm not sure whether we should criticize the writers for coming up with a stupid idea, or applaud them for imitating what a stupid criminal would do. Redirect from Notcom, 030118.
+ Yes, I think the writer's thinking was backwards. A particular first edition could be identified by distinct marks/stains/etc. that already exist on a certain page. (torn page 8, words handwritten in red on page 12, water stain on page 7, etc.) Adding additional stains would not remove the distinctive earlier marks. Is it possible that a library, having paid thousands for a rare book, would have also marked it in a distinct --but discreet way? --yelocab 17APR19
Holy Awful, Batman! The only thing I could think of after hearing Adam West's off-kilter rendition of "This Train" at the beginning of this episode was: Where's El Kabong when you really need him? Submitted by Bob H, 27 May 2017.
+ Actually, Adam West's singing isn't all THAT bad, he's just way out of tune with the guitar he's singing with. OLEF641 2/30/21
"This train is bound for.....Anaheim, Azusa, and Cu-----camonga." DOD 11/20/18
I found this episode to have really stretched disbelief in a number of ways: leaving a rare book on the shelf (someone could have stolen it); leaving cash in another book on the shelf (where anyone could have found it); and the flies, and the gas being left open for an hour or so without an explosion.