<< Surplus Suitor | Episodes | Lawful Lazarus >>

#173: The Case of the
Golden Oranges
Original Airdate: 03/07/63

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Perry is back on the job, and it’s a dog day when he must defend Amos Keller’s mutt for biting Gerald Thornton. Later he defends Keller’s granddaughter for murdering Thornton. Fans of Spaghetti Westerns will recognize Lee Van Cleef, who played Ugly in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, as Edward Doyle in this episode.

Webmaster’s Note: Knowledgeable fans know that Lee Van Cleef was the Bad (aka "Angel Eyes") in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Eli Wallach was the Ugly. Thanks to Susan McNeel for pointing this out.

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 Arthur Marks
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
Wiliam Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson


Arthur Hunnicutt as Amos Keller
Natalie Trundy as Sandra Keller
Erin O’Brien as Janis Carr
Allen Case as James Wheeler
Arch Johnson as Gerald Thornton
Mary Munday as Grace Doyle
Hugh Sanders as John Grimsby
Henry Norell as Courtney Osgood
Lee Van Cleef as Edward Doyle
Charles Irving as Judge Stanley
Vic Perrin as Assistant D.A. Rice
Nolan Leary as Judge Gray
Michael Fox as Coroner’s Physician
Wallace Rooney as Lab Technician
James Goodwin as Pound Attendant
Alex Bookston as Private Physician
Robert Rothwell as Earth Mover Operator

Uncredited Actors
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Don Anderson as:

  • Courtroom Spectator
  • Bailiff with Dog


“Perry Mason”
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

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

Trivia Edit

Natalie Trundy makes her first of two appearances here on Perry as Sandra Keller. Natalie Trundy was one of only two actors (Roddy McDowell being the other) who appeared in 4 of the 5 Planet of the Apes films. Ms. Trundy played both an ape and a human in the films, which her husband A. P. Jacobs produced. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 29 September 2009.
+ In May 1963(just 2 months after this broadcast), Natalie Trundy was struck by a car and had a serious back injury. She had to wear a back brace for 1 year, which affected her acting career. (Sources- Wikipedia, Submitted by Bob61571, 5 December 2017.

This is likewise the first of two (rather closely spaced) episodes for Arthur Hunnicutt. Coincidently - or perhaps not, given the type of character he played - in his sole Twilight Zone appearance, he also co-starred with a dog. Submitted by Notcom, 022416.

Uncredited Actors: Don Anderson does double duty again in this episode. He’s a spectator early in Sandra’s hearing, and then he plays the bailiff who holds the leash of the dog Hardtack near the end of the hearing. Submitted by FredK, 3 Nov 2010.
+ His appearance as the bailiff holding Hardtack is actually during the murder trial. The bailiff at the hearing about poor Hardtack the dog is Rudolph "Rudy" Salinger, also known as Distinguished Gentleman #1 as mentioned below. HamBurger 7/23/2016

Character Names: For completeness, Arthur Hunnicutt’s character should have been listed as Amos Kenesaw Mountain Keller. Additionally, in the first scene, Thornton addresses the Earth Mover Operator as Brian or Bryant. Lastly, the Coroner’s Physician played by Michael Fox is likely the same Dr. Hoxie that has testified in earlier episodes. Submitted by g, 1/29/2011.

Sightings: Some of our favorite frequent faces break out in some very different roles today. Our “Miss Carmody” has a new job as banker Osgood’s secretary; we catch glimpses of her as Grimsby and later Thornton enter the office. (It is unclear whether the voiceover on the intercom is the same actress.) During the hearing about poor Hardtack the dog, Rudolph "Rudy" Salinger, a.k.a. Distinguished Gentleman #1, who has played an elevator operator, restaurateur, and morgue attendant, is now, for the first time, a bailiff instead of a spectator in the courtroom. But then at Sandra’s hearing, he’s back in the gallery, along with Quiet Old Man #1 and Little Old Lady #1. Submitted by g, 1/29/2011.

Vic Perrin did many voiceovers for and appeared once on the original Star Trek TV series. Submitted by g, 1/29/2011.
+ Mr. Perrin was The Control Voice ["There is nothing wrong with your television set..."] on The Outer Limits television show. It originally ran on ABC for 49 episodes from September 1963 to January 1965. It is available on DVD. Submitted by H. Mason 1/22/15
++VP played the dovish planet leader in "Mirror, Mirror" (TOS 10.6.67 airdate); he may have had a Voiced part in the "Arena" episode of 1.19.67. Mike Bedard 5.29.16.
+++Vic Perrin was also credited in the 1967 Star Trek episode 'The Changeling' as the voice of Nomad. Third_Generation_Fan 1/15/2021
++++ he was also a prolific cast member in dozens of shows toward the end of radio’s golden age. Submitted by Wick 1/27/2022.

For Amos Keller to have been a veteran of the Spanish-American War (a.k.a. the War of 1898), he would have had to have been 80 or 90 years old. The actor Arthur Hunnicutt was only in his fifties at the time. Submitted by g, 1/29/2011.
+ It gets worse. If his father served in the American Civil War and was active in 1864, he could well have been in his thirties at the turn of the century. Submitted by pauloh1 21/11/14
+ Actually, in year 2014 there are around 35 children of Civil War Veterans still alive in America according to groups that monitor these things. This despite the conflict being over for 150 years. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 21 November 2014.

CARS. The new 1963 black-plates show up for the first time on some of the background cars in this episode (California completely replaced its vehicle licence plates in 1963, see here):

Background Cars in or near the parking lot at "Las Dugas & Sunset", 28:47 to 31:07. Paul, Perry & Sandra go there to meet Jim. Cars are all parked with noses facing away from the camera:

It's reasonable to conclude that this episode was filmed in early January 1963 during a transition period in which the old 1956 yellow-plates and the new 1963 black-plates were both valid. This timing is consistent with filming taking place following Raymond Burr's December 1962 hospitalization and six to nine weeks prior to the Original Airdate. Added by Gary Woloski, 9/12/13.

Perry's client on the stand: For the third time we saw Mr. Mason allow his client to testify in court. This time it was a dog bite case. The other two times were in episodes 150 and 162. Submitted by H. Mason 1/22/15
+ Perry's client also testified in episode #38, TCOT Terrified Typist. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 22 January 2015.

Office decor: At about 40 minutes in on the DVD, the spice jar that is ever-present on Perry's credenza goes missing. JohnK, 11 January 2018
+ Oh, no! Somebody stole the urn again! Submitted by catyron, May 7th, 2018

This is the only PM appearance for Erin O'Brien, who was born in Los Angeles in 1934...MikeM. 11/29/2016 + Erin O'Brien passed away May 20, 2021. Her obit on said this appearance was her last "TV acting role" although IMBD shows an appearance in 1964 on The Danny Kaye Show (perhaps she wasn't 'acting' on that one?). Respectfully, DellaFan2 6/9/2021

This is the only PM appearance for Mary Munday, who was a native of the LA suburb of Glendale...MikeM. 3/7/2017

This is the third of three PM appearances for "Judge Gray" Nolan Leary. Nolan Leary was also on the bench in his first PM appearance, but as "Judge Harry Meeham". Nolan Leary passed in Los Angeles in 1987 at the age of 98...MikeM. 3/27/2018

TCOT Curious Coffee Set: At 38:16 Della pours from the metallic carafe into one of the Curious Coffee Cups. Submitted by catyron, May 7th, 2018

The Dogs: Hardtack is an uncredited Labrador Retriever mix dog. The uncredited background dogs include a black and tan short-haired Dachshund, a small Wire Haired Fox Terrier / Sheltie cross, a large Standard Poodle / Airedale cross, a pale Corgi, a Smooth Fox Terrier, a Beagle, a cream Labrador Retriever, and a large fluffy Chow Chow or Chow / Standard Poodle mix. Submitted by catyron, May 7th, 2018
+ Hardtack definitely is at least half German Shepherd. Submitted by HamBurger, Jul. 20, 2019

Comments Edit

If Sandra Keller was smart enough to know about ballistics tests, why didn't she hide the shotgun a little better? When she went to return the check to Thornton, a man who had made a lot of trouble for her family, why would she accept a drink of anything from him? She had recently threatened to kill him. What possible reason would she have to stay in the trailer chatting and drinking water with him? The circumstantial evidence in this case was very flimsy and not very well thought out. When Lt Anderson was found in the architect's apartment, he claimed he didn't need to be invited in because he had a warrant for Sandra's arrest. Since Sandra was not hiding from the police and did not live there, how would a warrant for her arrest let him enter a private citizen's home? Submitted by DellaMason

In yet another example in Perry Mason of an attractive young woman disregarding her personal safety, we see Janis Carr, clad only in a bathrobe, answer the door. Luckily for her it was only a leering Paul Drake. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/13/2013.
+ She also appears to be wearing stockings as she gets out of the shower judging by the appearance of reinforcement in the toe area. Submitted by Perry Baby 6/7/16
+++ Reinforcement in toe area? I saw no evidence of stockings.
++ Her spitcurls, in Hardtack's courtroom scene and again at the construction trailer talking with Andy and Paul, are amazing, apparently glued in place following a line just under her cheekbones --- the left one curled up similar to a man's old-fashioned handlebar moustache, and the other one more straight. They were more symmetrical during Sandra's trial. jfh 30Dec2019

Closed Captioning Anomaly During his testimony on Hardtack's behalf, Amos states that he once had worked as a beeherder. Though the line isn't spoken (may have been edited out during production or edited out during the MeTV airing), the closed captioning displays the line, "Carried the queen in a jar ... " jfh 30Dec2019
+ He says the line “Started out with the queen in a bottle for the others to follow.” off camera. (DVD version.) Kilo 11/12/2020.

When Sandra is awakened by Hardtack and runs out to check on him, we get a brief glimpse of that Renoir print “Girl With a Watering Can” that appears so often. DOD 01/27/22

Sandra (called "Sondra" once by Perry) has very well-manicured, very long nails, seen when she's handling the shotgun at the murder scene. jfh 29Nov2016

Hamilton handles the shotgun very carelessly during his cross-examination of Amos. jfh 29Nov2016
+Lt. Anderson also handles it carelessly (when he discovers it during a search) by picking it up bare-handed and spoiling potential fingerprints. Third_Generation_Fan, 1/15/2021

Mr. Grimsby wears Hamilton Burger's hideous spotted bowtie in the banker's office, and again in court while on the witness stand. jfh 17Dec2018.

Pick up the phone!: Why didn't Perry check-in with Della when he was away from the office for long periods of time? In this story she said she had been trying to reach Perry for almost two hours. In many episodes she (or Paul) would find him at somebody's home or office. It would make more sense if he had called the office every hour. Submitted by H. Mason 1/22/15

Lee Van Cleef makes a pre- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly appearance. Van Cleef served on a mine sweeper during World War II. I wonder if he saw Raymond Burr while serving his country? After the war, he became an accountant of all things! He started out in community theater and was discovered when he got a non speaking part in High Noon. Submitted by Paul's Operative. 2/28/2024.

The Spanish-American War was waged from April 25-December 10, 1898. 110 Medals of Honor were awarded, including one to Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt 103 years later! Mike Bedard 2.10.15.

DA Burger tells the S-A War veteran that the Prosecution contacted the "WAR" Department about the legitimacy of the Medal of Honor award; the WAR Department became the ARMY Department in 1947 when the DEFENSE Department was created. Paul Drake's reference to the "Pentagon" is more accurate. Mike Bedard 2.11.15

Call my agent !! In yet another example of a major role going uncredited, we're not told the actor - actress??...I didn't look that closely - who played Hardtack. It was a fine performance, displaying both breadth and nuance...or at any rate, better than some of those of Virginia Field ! Submitted by Notcom, 022416. // + It is my opinion that Hardtack was trained by Frank Inn, the trainer of Higgins (Dawg on Petticoat Junction and Benji in the movie of the same name). He supplied all the animals for Petticoat Junction and Green Acres, and he liked staging scenes with multiple animals, such as appeared in the dog pound scene here. His dogs tended to act quite naturally, as Hardtack does, not showing "hard" training of the old school. He favoured "mutts" and trainable dogs from the Los Angeles Pound. He also trained cats and a series of piglets who appeared as Arnold Ziffel. He was rarely credited.

Vic Perrin is credited as "Assistant D.A. Rice," but wasn't he called the CITY ATTORNEY in the script? "The LA City Attorney is an elected official who serves as the city government's attorney & as a criminal prosecutor for Misdemeanors. The LA County District Attorney prosecutes Felonies," notes. Mike Bedard 5.29.16.

Whippersnapper! Hamilton Burger gets called a "whippersnapper" by Amos Keller. CLASSIC!!! HamBurger 7/23/2016

As Burger waves those slippers about, it is clear the soles are not only free of blood stains, but show no signs of any wear at all. Besides, given the position of the body, I don't see how blood could have gotten on them. DODay 12/04/1

Burger says that the oranges in the grove are so valuable that they can literally be described as golden. I think that he meant to say figuratively. Submitted by vgy7ujm on 6 June 2020.

Coincidentally, Great American Family TV channel aired this episode (in order) today which happens to be the day before Mdmorial Day this year. While this is not my favorite episode, it always brings tears to my eyes when I watch Amos (and Hardtack) leave for the parade. jfh 26May2024

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

When Courtney Osgood makes his dramatic confession, he whines that, as an officer of his bank, he was banned from investing in the bank's customers. Why couldn't he use his financial skills to invest elsewhere? Submitted by vgy7ujm on 6 June 2020.

<< Surplus Suitor | Episodes | Lawful Lazarus >>