#167: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 01/10/63
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Barbara Hale’s actor-husband Bill Williams makes another of his Mason series appearances in this cow-tale involving a murder.
A woman named Linda Blake arrives in the town of Ladera seeking her inheritance as the daughter of a man who was never married, and who died seven years before in a hunting accident. When someone tries to kill her by turning on the gas in her motel room, Linda goes to Perry, who happens to be in town on business.
Against Perry’s wishes, Linda keeps an appointment with a shady character at the local dairy. The man has arranged for an explosion to take place at the moo-juice palace; amazingly, the explosion does not kill Linda Blake. Instead, the shady character himself is discovered bludgeoned to death with a walking stick that can be linked to Linda.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE BLUFFING BLAST
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins
Directed by Allen H. Miner
Written by Samuel Newman
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
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Bill Williams as Floyd Grant
Frank Overton as Deputy D.A. Nelson Taylor
Peter Breck as Clay Elliot
Antoinette Bower as Linda Blake
Mary La Roche as Donella Lambert
Robert Knapp as Charles Lambert
Frank Ferguson as Sheriff Orville Ramsey
Gertrude Flynn as Sylvia Lambert
Jonathan Kidd as Joe Italiano
Ralph Manza as Dr. Lieberson
Bill Zuckert as Judge
William Fawcett as Mr. Morescu
Bill Hampton as Cab Driver
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
Theme Composed by … Fred Steiner
Automobiles Supplied by … Ford Motor Company
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Location: The house with the address 1432 on its porch also appears in at least two other episodes: #171 as well as #218. Probably a location near the studio they could run to quickly. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 9 June 2011.
His face is never very clear, but it sure looks like Lee Miller in the back row of the courtroom in several shots. Perhaps Sgt. Brice simply likes to spectate on his days off! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 8/6/11.
I haven't been able to verify it, but I'm almost certain that Jonathan Kidd (Joe Italiano) did the voiceover for the Underdog cartoons! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 8/6/11.
+ I don't think so, Ed. Underdog and his alter ego Shoe Shine Boy were voiced by the great Wally Cox. JohnK, 7 December 2018
++ The OP may have been referring to the narrator of Underdog, who was actually George S. Irving. TriviaSleuth 8/16/19
CARS. (1) A circa 1948 ACF-Brill IC-41, Bus #129 of SOUTHWEST BUS LINES, Licence No X12 626, brings Linda Blake to Ladera ("IC-41" = InterCity, 41 passenger). ACF-Brill badge is on front of bus below the Right turn-signal arrow. An IC-41 is featured on the cover of Buses of ACF.
- (2) Upon leaving the bus, Linda goes to a 1963 Ford Galaxie Sedan TAXI, light color, should be 4-Door. Also note side-body trim & shape here. This is the First 1963 Model-Year Car to appear in Perry Mason. [ '63 Ford full-sized models: 300 (lowest trim), Galaxie (this car), Galaxie 500, Galaxie 500XL (loaded). The "300" should have a 'Ford' badge on the side aft of front wheel, not 'Galaxie' as explained in text at site.]
- (3) 1958 Chevrolet Impala 2-Door HardTop, light color, Clay Elliot.
- (4) Mr Morescu's 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 2-Door Sedan, 2-tone medium/white, Lic No XAU 316, is parked at the motel. Later, Morescu loans his car to Linda. The plate# is odd; a plate issued in the '57 model-year would have had an initial letter close to "N".
- (5) Perry's all-white 1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible, top up, Lic No XCF 012.
The LADERA FARMS delivery trucks could be early '60s Chevrolet P-10 Step Vans, similar Series 10 Chevrolets or another make. The 4-bar grill glimpsed as the truck flashes by at 6:30 indicates Chevy. Similar vans are still being made 50+ years later! Added by Gary Woloski, 7/11/13.
Opening Scene: Once again we see Perry coming into the empty courtroom, apparently wondering where everyone else is. Perhaps they all went up to Ladera? Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 31 October 2013.
+ He looks like he is wondering why Della told him the wrong time and place!-Submitted by Welshwoman 04/05/15
++ I just noticed tonight how beautifully Perry’s movements are choreographed to the theme. The start of his movement forward through the gate perfectly coordinates with the start of the main theme in the trumpets, and, a few moments later, his bottom hits the chair exactly as the theme repeats, now in the strings. This is not easy to do, since the action is filmed long before the music is added to the sequence. OLEF641 5/18/21
Credits: The opening credits omit William Tallman, which makes sense since Burger does not appear in the episode; but they include Ray Collins, even though Tragg also stays behind in Los Angeles. - Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 31 October 2013.
Location: The first scene of the episode shows a bus terminal with a sign on the wall reading "Ladera El Camino County Seat POP 37,458 ELEV 932". Any appearance of the number 37 makes me suspect the number may be artificial. Sure enough, the only town I can find named Ladera was a 1944 private development far smaller than 37,458 people: its 2010 population was just 1,426, and its elevation 315 ft. Furthermore, its location just south of San Francisco Bay contradicts the advice of the local DA to seek redress from the State's Attorney in "Sacramento, or, better yet, Los Angeles." Finally, there is no El Camino County in California. -Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 31 October 2013.
Posh Ladera Hotel: we get a glimpse of a well-appointed room in the Ladera Hotel with live plants and ample lighting. Paul's seated on a large sectional sofa and answers the phone, the call is for Perry. The camera pans back to reveal Della and Perry seated in comfy wing-back chairs around a coffee table piled with papers. jfh 03Feb2023
Perry's World War II Service: Perry tells us that he served on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. -Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 2 November 2013.
+ In episode 131 TCOT Traveling Treasure Perry said he was on a minesweeper. Maybe he was transfered from one ship to the other. Also the explosion on the destroyer might have been connected to the "old service injury" mentioned in episode 105 TCOT Loquacious Liar. Added by H. Mason 1/13/15 + Actually, Perry didn't say he served on a destroyer. He says that the last time he heard such a similar explosion, he was "on" the deck of a destroyer. In other words, he could have served (worked on) a mine sweeper, but had some reason to be on a destroyer. The destroyer could have been used to transport him from one ship to another or any other reason. But either way, it was not uncommon for Navy personnel to serve on multiple ships. Submitted by Paul's Operative. 2/20/2024.
Paul Drake on the witness stand: For the fourth time we see Mr. Drake testify. Perry was not shown asking him any questions. Paul also testified in episodes 45, 77 and 109. Submitted by H. Mason 1/13/15
Misread Meter: There's a big fuss in the engine room about the dangers of pressurized ammonia above 212 pounds, yet the dial on the machinery reads "NITROGEN." (About 26 minutes in on the DVD.) JohnK, 22 October, 2015.
+ Ammonia is indeed explosive - which probably shouldn't suprise anyone since ammonium nitrate is a well know DIY bomb material - but we are later told it had been drained already....so why is there any pressure reading at all ?? (Prior to that non-explosion, Perry and Paul had heard the real thing, yet what was their response ?? They comment, then calmly go on about their business!) Notcom 061623.
This is the second of two PM appearances for Antoinette Bower, who was born in Germany in 1932...MikeM. 11/21/2016
This is the second of four PM appearances for Gertrude Flynn, who appeared on Broadway in the 1920s...MikeM. 2/27/2017
This is the second of four PM "Judge" appearances for Bill Zuckert, who also appeared in four episodes of "Ironside"...MikeM. 3/19/2018
This is the second of four Perry appearances for Bill Williams (Floyd Grant) who was, of course, the husband of Barbara Hale. jfh 07Dec2018
Star Trek Alert: There are two actors in this episode who go on to join the Star Trek universe. Frank Overton would play Elias Sandoval in the original series Star Trek episode "This Side of Paradise," where he gets taken over by alien spores which make him (and Spock) as chill as if he just toked a zip of Grease Monkey cannabis. Besides this episode, Overtone appeared in TCOT Renegade Refugee. Antoinette Bower appeared as Sylvia, a sexy witch-like alien, in the original series Star Trek episode "Catspaw." She had roles in two Perry episodes: this one, and the unalliterated TCOT Ancient Romeo. That makes four Star Trek alums in the last two Perrys. It's raining Trekkies in Perryland. Submitted by MyFavoritePolarBear, 11/10/22.
Syndicated Cuts from FETV:
04:17 - 04:41.. 0:24 Clay Elliot and Mr. Morescu walk up to the hotel room of Linda Blake
24:22 - 25:08 .. 0:46 Perry visits the Lambert home and talks with Sylvia and Donella about Charles’ drinking
28:57 - 30:42 .. 1:45 Perry and Linda Blake visit the D.A.’s office … an offer of voluntary manslaughter is on the table
38:13 - 39:30 .. 1:17 Perry visits Donella Lambert to discuss her time as Addison Blake’s secretary
Total ............... 4:12
Submitted by DexterLakeClub, 02/28/22.
+ Fortunately, as of this viewing, FETv has restored all these cuts. jfh 21Dec2023
The state's case was totally dismantled by Perry even before he put on his own defense. From the revelation about the brain injuries that could not have been sustained if the victim's head was on the floor to the fact that the blows were so severe that it wasn't likely a woman of the defendant's size delivered them to the reality of the defendant's being left-handed. I can't believe the state's attorney didn't dismiss the charges. There was absolutely nothing to point to the defendant beyond her being seen holding the murder weapon (in her left hand) at the scene of the crime. Perry and Paul were also at the scene and they weren't charged with the murder. Also, the fact that a drunk guy didn't claim to see anyone else enter the house should not have mattered to the state since they knew Floyd had a back door. Their entire case really was a house of cards. And they accuse Perry of smoke and mirrors! Submitted by DellaMason on 11/25/23
In what possible context would a woman who discovered a murder pick up the murder weapon, then scream and fall backward onto her face? I have to wonder if this was the actress making this choice or did the director tell her to do this? I know it's the 1960s and women were infantilized sometimes, but it's comically unrealistic. Even if she was supposed to have fainted from the shock, she would not have turned toward the couch to do it. May be a candidate for the Robert H Harris Ham Award. Submitted by DellaMason on 11/25/23
I don't know why the Summary and Show Book state that Addison Blake was "a man who was never married". More precisely, at the beginning Floyd Grant claims that Blake never had any children and also was never married. Later in the first half Della provides more information about all this. And, there was an explosion early on at Ladera Farms, but the early plot exposition does not mention a bomb--the idea was to make the explosion look like an accident. Submitted by masonite, 10/20/11.
I've taken the liberty of correcting the plot summary. -Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 21 October 2013.
Hey! Is that the ceiling fixture from Perry’s office hanging in that motel room?
How foolish for a young woman to go roaming around unescorted in a strange town. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/8/2013.
+ And just as foolish for the motel owner to hand over his keys to Linda Blake. OK, she's really cute, I get that -- but she says her driver's license is "from England," where they drive all wrong. JohnK, 21 October, 2015
++ How foolish also for a young woman in a foreign country to litter (drop the telegram envelope on the ground), except that it allowed the hotel owner to pick up the envelope to find out where the young woman was going. jfh 20Dec2019
+++How foolish for the hotel owner to look at the telegram envelope AFTER she had dropped it. The address was on the outside of the envelope so if he was that curious about it he could have looked at it before he gave it to her. Her reaction was not all that telling so there was no real reason for him to be concerned. --DellaMason 11/25/23
When the DA is questioning Charles Lambert on the stand, it is taken at a strange angle--from below him, with a blank wall behind him. I wonder if that had to be re-shot later, and they didn't want to get extras in to fill the court again. --yelocab 26FEB18
First of two sequential episodes where the victim really had it coming. In this episode the killer confesses that she shot the victim on impulse after he had boasted of just having murdered her husband. Submitted by cspoleta, 5 March 2017
+ Correction: she did not shoot him, she hit him with a walking stick. jfh 15Apr2019.
Was that a black pocket square Charles Lambert wore on the stand? Unusual looking.