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#159: The Case of the
Dodging Domino
Original Airdate: 10/25/62 Revised

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Someone entered Phil Schuyler’s bungalow on Halloween and threw an electric heater into the bathtub while the Phil was taking a bath. He never knew what hit him. An eyewitness testifies that only Damion White (played by David Hedison of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) went into the bungalow during the time of the murder, but Perry thinks otherwise. After all, weren’t trick-or-treaters coming and going all night long?

Future Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn appears in this episode.
+ Ellen is best known for her Academy Award performance in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Credits Edit

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

Starring Raymond Burr
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Athur Marks
Written by Charles Lang
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

Music composed and conducted by Van Cleave


David Hedison as Damion White
Jeff Morrow as Alex Chase
Ellen McRae as Mona Winthrope White
Lloyd Corrigan as Rudy Mahlsted
Robert H. Harris as Jerry Janda
Eddie Firestone as Leonard Buckman
Janet Ward as Freda Chase
James Forrest as Phil Schuyler
Maureen Arthur as Vera Jordan
Tom Palmer as Frank MacManus
Herbert Rudley as Charles Noymann
Barney Biro as Judge
Amanda Randolph as Grace (Maid)
Pat Goldin as Old Man
Orville Sherman as Kirkwood
Diana Reese as Girl
Rusty Stevens as Boy No. 1
Gary Hart as Boy No. 2
Charlotte Thompson as Operator

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Bert Stevens as Party Guest
(two spotted by gracep, 1/12/2010)


“Perry Mason”

Director of Photography … Robert G. Hager
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Robert G. Stone
Film Editor … Richard H. Cahoon, A.C.E.
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
Theme Composed by … Fred Steiner
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company
Fiberglass Home and Garden Furniture Supplied by … Jon Hall Originals, Malibu, California

Perry Mason
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions

Trivia Edit

In the summary, it is mentioned that Academy Award winner Ellen Burystn appears in this episode. An even more famous actor also appears here. Robert “Rusty” Stevens makes his only Perry appearance playing a young boy. He was 13 at the time. Rusty Stevens will forever hold a place in all baby-boomers’ hearts as the character Larry Mondello on Leave It To Beaver. All information I have been able to scrape up shows that Mr. Stevens is still alive in the New Jersey-New York area. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 2 September 2009.

Lloyd Corrigan (Rudy) is also a "famous face"; he appeared in many of the Boston Blackie movies as Arthur Manleder, Blackie's millionaire friend. jfh 15Nov2017.
+ The delightful Corrigan also had a major role in the movie THE THIN MAN GOES HOME, and appeared as sensationalist writer Ned Buntline on 6 episodes (1955-58) of the TV show THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP. The real-life Buntline may not have really invented a gun called the Buntline Special, but he did invent the character of "Buffalo Bill" Cody for William Cody, transforming him into a Wild West legend and performer rivaling "Wild Bill" Hickok through his writing. Corrigan plays Buntline as deliciously silly and lovable. Oh, and he was Santa Claus in an episode of Lassie! Submitted by JazzBaby, 3/20/2019.

Lt. Arthur Tragg (Ray Collins) does not appear in this episode, despite oncscreen credit. The veteran actor’s health was starting to fail. Submitted by gracep, 1/12/2011.

David Hedison also appeared in the original movie The Fly 1958 as Andre Delambre. He was known as Al Hedison at that time. Submitted by HamBurger 7/7/2016

Character Names: The Old Man listed in the credits introduces himself as 56-year-old Joe Hudson (which is not terribly old). Boy No. 1 is Brucie Hillman; Boy No. 2 is Gene Karger; and the Girl is Michelle Strule. Submitted by gracep, 1/12/2011.

Location: The Royal Pacific Court in this episode plays double duty by appearing again in “TCOT Mischievous Doll.” Also shown briefly in “TCOT Pathetic Patient.” Submitted by Eric Cooper, 28 April 2011.
+ The area that was supposed to be across the street was seen in TCOT Double-Entry Mind. Added by H. Mason 12/22/14

Uncredited Actors: At the party, that might be Bert Stevens playing a party guest. After the murder, Sgt. Brice Lee Miller appears behind Vera Jordan as she walks through the door at the Royal Pacific Court. He reemerges behind Lt. Anderson at the White residence. Submitted by gracenote, 7/23/2011.

The poem recited in the wrap-up scene is from “Sleep and Poetry” written by John Keats and published in 1817. Submitted by gracenote, 7/23/2011.

Perry's knowledge of Keats is pretty good although the exact rendering is "but strength alone though of the Muses born is like a fallen angel". Submitted by Poha1

+ During the poetry recital in the wrap-up, the hanging lamps behind Perry's desk are swaying a bit -- like there's a minor earthquake -- but neither Della, nor Perry, nor Paul seems to notice. JohnK, 31 October 2022

At 38:17, Della quotes from the Book of Job, chapter 1, verse 7, And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Submitted by vgy7ujm, 1/1/2015.

Goof: When Mona pitches the contents of her drink at Alex (when she accused him of stealing her husbands song) and hitting him in the face and left shoulder, his shirt looks SOAKED (both shoulders), but the “wetness” changes throughout the scene. Some show both shoulders are wet, then only one, and then both wet again, etc. Submitted by mesave31, 03/11/15.

LOCATION: About 22:30 in we see a cop writing a ticket on Pacific Coast Highway. From the numbers visible on the three apartment complexes across the street you can see it's in the 22300 block. The apartments are still there and what looks like shadows on the 2nd story of the middle apartment complex is actually tan tilework. The apartments are just north of the 22333 business complex with Thai Dishes but please note at the moment Google map incorrectly has it in the 22400 block. Submitted by Eric Cooper 6 March 2012.

CARS. (1) Leonard Buckman's light-colored 1953 Chevrolet 150 Club Coupe, Licence Number JPE 098. Buckman heads for it in the opening scene, later it's ticketed.

Of several Background Cars parked around Royal Pacific Court, one is quite notable:

Bikes & trikes abound in the Court. Last bicycle was in Ep#133. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/17/13.

This is a rare episode where we see Perry running. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/1/2013.
+ Indeed, there is a lot of running in this episode. There are two scenes showing Mona White running along the beach (thank you very much!), a shot of Damion White running out of the surf and up the beach (thank you, very much! jfh 31Oct2019), a shot of Damion White running out of the Royal Pacific Court (followed by the running Perry!), and running kids. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/1/2013.

Telephone Number: Grace told Damion to contact Phil Schuyler at Olive 4-1654. The phone number Oldfield 4-1654 (which should be the same number) was George Sanborne's in episode 79 (TCOT Lucky Legs). The Olive telephone exchange was also mentioned in episode 35 (TCOT Lazy Lover). Submitted by H. Mason 12/22/14

Amanda Randolph: The White's maid appeared as Mama, the mother of Sapphire Stevens, on The Amos 'N Andy Show. That series was pulled from syndication in 1966. It is available on DVD. She also appeared as maid to the Williams family on Make Room For Daddy. Submitted by H. Mason 12/22/14

Repeat Actors: Lloyd Corrigan and Eddie Firestone were both in this episode and #186 "TCOT Decadent Dean". HamBurger 7/31/2016

This is the only PM appearance for Ellen McRae, who would change her last name when she married Neil Burstyn in 1964...MikeM. 11/9/2016

This is the only PM writing credit for Charles Lang, who had an acting career before turning to writing...MikeM. 2/15/2017

No Domino: A domino is a specifically shaped simple mask that only covers the eyes -- like the one that The Sprit wears. As far as i could see, none of the trick or treaters or party-goers actually wore a domino style mask. Submitted by catyron, 4/23/18.

TCOT Curious Coffee Set: Della serves Paul a cup of coffee from one of the Curious Cups at around 36:58. Submitted by catyron, 4/23/18.

Comments Edit

Van Cleave’s music really makes this episode. Submitted by gracenote, 7/23/2011.
+ So do the Malibu beach scenes. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/1/2013.
++ I agree. David Heddison really spiffs up the beach!
+ Sorry, but if they had played that ‘Pearls and Jade’ one more time, I would have thrown a shoe at the TV. Enjoyed all the hirsute chests, though. Poor James Forrest - electrocuted in the bath here, just a year before in ‘Meddling Medium’, he died in a plunging elevator. DOD 10/31/19

While not contained in the title of the episode, I'd bet that the song title "Pearls And Jade" is mentioned as many times in this episode as "The Purple Woman" was mentioned in its titular episode. jfh Mayday2024

Noymann testifies he was planning to spend $1,000,000 to produce “Pearls and Jade” on stage. This would have been an enormous sum for the time. The original production of “How to Succeed in Business”, for example, cost just $300,000. DOD 10/31/22

Looking out the door of the Chase’s home we see a clump of yucca that are not there in the exterior shots. DOD 10/29/21

YAY! for MeTV airing this Hallowe'en episode out of sequence today! jfh 29Oct2021
MeTV did it again, airing this episode out of sequence on Hallowe'en 2023! jfh 31Oct2023

Perry really takes a risk when he asks a witness to recall the wallpaper pattern of his apartment. Of course, as usual, it turns out in Perry's favor. (What if the witness had answered differently than what Perry was expecting/hoping? He would have strengthened the witness' testimony). This gamble seems like a real stretch, and has been used before to test a witness' memory (turning his back to the witness and asking 'what color tie am I wearing?', etc.). yelocab 22FEB18
+ Perry has other documents in his hands, perhaps other photos for additional inquiries, if needed.
++ Perry's point - that we become conditioned to familiar objects without really remembering what they look like - may well be true, but it has little to do with the particular situation he was discussing: the person wasn't remembered because they appeared in a disguise, and was confused with someone else...memory had nothing to do with it. Notcom 061924.

This is one of only a handful of episodes featuring "special days", in this case Hallowe'en. There were no Christmas episodes, one episode with a Memorial Day parade, and one where Perry asks Della whether a telegram he received contains birthday greetings. jfh 31Oct2019.

"The Harris Effect." One wonders whether Herbert Rudley's proximity to Robert H. Harris, the master of histrionic excess, affected his performance as producer Charles Noymann, particularly during Rudley's bombastic, over-the-top courtroom testimony. Submitted by BobH, 22 February 2021.
+"Rudley Redux." Just watched a last-season episode of "Leave It to Beaver" entitled "The All-Night Party" (1963) in which Rudley portrayed the excitable, demanding father of Wally Cleaver's date. Even though Robert H. Harris appeared nowhere in the episode, his influence on Rudley's acting style remains quite pronounced. To borrow from JohnK's comments on Episode 48 (TCOT Purple Woman): Sheesh! Submitted by BobH, 25 March 2021.
++All I can say is I love Robert H. (He’s a hack) Harris. His PM episodes are among my favorites. Submitted by Rickapolis 01/07/22

Spoiler Warning! Do Not Read Below If You Have Not Seen The Episode

Okay, so perhaps Harris's repertoire wasn't among the widest, but I loved him in this role, though of course I wished that he hadn't turned out to be the killer. And I also thought he was great opposite Gregory Peck in "Mirage", and in and Submitted by dped 11/7/23

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