#191: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 12/05/63
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Tim Balfour is a troubled youth who collects speeding tickets the way other people collect stamps. Things aren’t entirely bad for him, especially since his wealthy grandfather has recently written Tim into his will. However, when the boy gets into a struggle with a guy named Chick over some shakedown money, Tim finds himself involved in a murder that only Perry and very few others believe he didn’t commit.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE DEVIOUS DELINQUENT
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Irving J. Moore
Written by Robb White
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
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson
John Washbrook as Tim Balfour
David Winters as Chick Montana
Virginia Christine as Edith Summers
Otto Kruger as Timothy Balfour, Sr.
Barton MacLane as Harold Minter
Frances Rafferty as Miss Adler
David Lewis as Luke Balfour
Kenneth MacDonald as Judge
Hal Baylor as Proprietor
Jon Lormer as Medical Examiner
John Harmon as Expert
William Benedict as Old Man
David Clegg as Greasy Neal
John Mitchum as Operator
John McKee as Officer
Character Names: Chick Montana’s real name is Charles. Submitted by gracenote, 2/26/2011.
+ A wealthy BALFOUR FAMILY is also featured in TCOT Lucky Loser (S2/E2, #41: 9.27.58). Mike Bedard 3.5.15.
++ Not only are the family names the same, but so are many of the plot elements, including an ailing grandfather and a staged auto accident. Notcom, 032216.
+++ Since grandfather is Timothy Balfour, Sr., son must've been Timothy Balfour, Jr., and Timmy must've been Timothy Balfour, III. jfh 23Jan2020
Beneath the businesslike, severe exterior of Miss Adler lies the face of '50s TV housewife and '40s pin-up girl Frances Rafferty! (Also scroll down here.) I momentarily thought that I was seeing a different actress but then realised that Ms. Kulp was otherwise occupied. Added by Gary Woloski, 4/1/14.
+ This is the second of two PM appearances for Frances Rafferty, who appeared as a pinup girl in "Yank" magazine during World War II...MikeM. 3/31/2017
Case of the B surnames In this episode, we have the Balfour surname. There are many episodes this season with surnames beginning with the letter B. Submitted by Perry Baby 9/2/16
This episode along with TCOT Grumbling Grandfather feature both Otto Kruger and Frances Rafferty. HamBurger 8/13/2016
Sightings/Uncredited Actors: That’s likely Bert Stevens walking with a lady in front of Hart’s Liquor Locker in the opening scene.
And the terrified proprietor (Hart himself?) may be none other than Distinguished Gentleman #1…sans toupee!
As for definite sightings, Don Anderson guards the door to the room where Mason confers with his client. Pencil Mustache Man is in his usual seat in the courtroom gallery, along with “Miss Carmody”, Quiet Old Man #1, and the long-absent Distinguished Lady #3. That’s not to mention a revisit by Distinguished Gentleman #1, this time with his hairpiece. Submitted by gracenote, 2/26/2011.
+Don Anderson guards the courtroom window as a bailiff. The Thin Man makes several appearances at the Balfour Industries Office as he is seen entering the building and later walking down the hallway. He later watches the courtroom activities from Perry's side. Miss Carmody must have had business at Balfour as she is seen leaving the building. Submitted by BigBill767, 6/18/2016.
Yet again, no Tragg despite billing. Submitted by gracenote, 2/26/2011.
At about 36 minutes, when Perry is meeting with his client in the hoosegow, Paul gives his signature 'shave and a haircut' knock on the door and walks in. I don't remember hearing that away from Perry's office before. Dutifully reported by JohnK, 02/22/22.
CARS. In Ep#185 Paul's new 1963 TBird could only be identified as a '63 by the interior upholstery. In this episode there are two '63 TBirds with lots of all-round views including their most distinctive feature, the three sets of hash-marks on each door.
- (1) Tim's light-color 1963 Thunderbird Convertible, top down. The LAPD Officer (12:24) and Paul (24:27) both recite the plate# as "Temporary Licence 0163704" although at 2:48 it can be read as medium-color numerals "0183704" on a light-color base (this is a mistake, not a clue).
- (2) 1963 Ford Galaxie 4-Door Sedan Police B&W with center siren & 2 side flashers on roof, Licence Number E 014. Front doors have "1034" & City of LA seal. It's the same car at 9:40, 12:09 and at the murder scene with Car(5).
- (3) Edith's 1956 Dodge Custom Royal 4-Door Sedan, 2-tone dark/light.
- (4) Paul's black 1963 Thunderbird Convertible, top down.
- (5) Lt Anderson's black 1963 Buick LeSabre 4-Door Sedan is at the night-time murder scene, 24:32. Look for the Left-Front headlights & their light reflecting off nearby chrome. Anderson had this car in episodes 185 & 187.
Background Cars. In the multi-car Balfour garage, next to Tim's TBird toward Screen Right is:
At the BALFOUR ENTERPRISES parking lot, 15:48:
- (b) Driving across the screen L→R, a dark color 1963 Jeep Gladiator pickup, with front bumper towing frame, Licence Number L95 570. 12-page 1963 dealer brochure, 4MB pdf download.
- (c) In the parking lot, long enough to hide all the cars behind it, a 1959 Buick Invicta 4Door HardTop Coupe, Model 4639 (the "flat-top" coupe), medium color w/white roof.
The "temporary license" plate on Car(1) seems to be a needless story feature that resulted in a prop/script anomaly. Added by Gary Woloski, 4/4/14.
It's for you, Mr. Mason: This time, it's Paul calling from Perry's office locating Perry at Luke Balfour's house. jfh 29Dec2017
Paul's Phone: For the third time we saw Paul Drake use his car phone. (See episodes 107 and 157). Submitted by H. Mason 3/5/15
Paul's Man: Paul called the operative helping him follow Tim by the name "Pete". In episode 86 TCOT Mythical Monkeys he used a man named Pete Kelton. Submitted by H. Mason 3/5/15
The Drunk: William Benedict was a prolific bit player. He was not one of the original Dead End Kids but appeared in some of their movie and the combination films as one of The Little Tough Guys. He reappeared later with the guys as one of The East Side Kids late in the series playing a member of the gang with his character's name changed in some of the films. He then appeared in the first 24 (of 48) Bowery Boys films as "Whitey". Submitted by H. Mason 3/5/15
This is the first of five PM directing credits for Irving Moore, who would direct 52 episodes of Dallas and 58 episodes of Dynasty...MikeM. 12/23/2016
This is the only PM appearance for John Washbrook who, like RB, was born in Canada. John Washbrook is best known as the 12-year-old son who cared for his beloved horse in the 1955-1956 television series My Friend Flicka, which ran for 39 episodes...MikeM. 4/20/2018
Virginia Christine (housekeeper Edith Summers) is best remembered as the "Folger's Coffee Woman" from a bazillion commercials. I kept waiting for her to offer the Balfours a delightful caffeinated beverage in one those Curious Coffee Cups -- but all she came through with was milk and sandwiches, Submitted by catyron, May 24th, 2018
David Lewis and Hal Baylor also appeared in TCOT Carefree Coronary Submitted by Steve Fox, 9/28/23
Hard to sympathize with ANYONE in this episode. First young "Timmy" Balfour. One of the most unlikable defendants Perry ever represented. Maybe it was just the actor's lack of skill, but he kept pouting his lips and whining to everyone about everything. It came off totally insincere. "My mom and dad would still be alive if it wasn't for you. I wish I had the courage to leave. Poor me!" He said this as he hugged the wall and kicked the ground. It's not just courage you lack Timmy. It's money and a job. For a kid who claimed his parents didn't have enough to eat or a place to stay, he was awfully careless with other people's money. He had only lived in LA for 3 months and already had a sports car, fancy house, and money for the asking. I couldn't help thinking that this kid NEEDED a stay in jail to show him how the world works. Then when he fired a gun and dropped it next to the "body," I started to wonder whether the script wrote the character as much younger than the actor actually was. When Timmy says, "what kind of person do you think I am," I wish Perry had answered him honestly. Timmy was irresponsible, stupid, unaccountable, and completely without street smarts. Totally unsympathetic character. It seemed like even Raymond Burr was disgusted by him. He wore a permanent angry face every time he shared space with "Timmy."
For the first time, we had someone complain that Perry took a call in their house. Luke Balfour was another one of the most unlikable characters we've seen on the show. He was downright rude to Perry (and everyone else.) He ordered Perry to watch Timmy, but then refused to tell him why. How did he expect Paul to know what to look for if he didn't know why he was there? On top of everything else he was a hypocrite. He called Timmy a juvenile delinquent for speeding tickets when he was one DUI away from losing his license for good. A person who gets behind the wheel drunk is far more of a menace than a leadfoot kid.
Even the housekeeper's "good intentions" were idiotic. Her solution to Timmy's problem was to steal money from her employer. She claimed this was to prevent him being upset by another family problem. But how did she think he would react when he found his money had been stolen? Incidentally, why should it kill the grandfather to hear the kid got into a fender bender? He already knew about the kid's speeding tickets and didn't seem to mind. Knowing what we know about her future plans, it wasn't clear why she even went through the charade of helping Timmy. Very few sympathetic characters in this episode.
The character name “Greasy Neal” must be a play on the name of the famous football coach, Alfred Earle “Greasy” Neale. Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 5/11/2009.
The Summary exaggerates a bit. As Mason points out to Luke Balfour, the sum total of young Tim’s police record is two speeding tickets and one charge of reckless driving. Submitted by gracenote, 2/26/2011.
Dollar Bill: Notice the Silver Certificate bill that Luke offered to Tim. This show was made just about the time the government started to issue the Federal Reserve Note in $1 denominations. Submitted by H. Mason 3/11/15 - revised 4/1/15
Unless I missed something, Della has no lines in this episode!
What was that opening bit all about? Did Chick and Greasy rob the store? Did they harm the owner? Why was the character of Greasy even introduced - he only appears again as a courtroom spectator.
It seems odd that just after blowing up in Mason’s office, Luke Balfour should call Mason to arrange for a detective to follow Tim. DODay 12/29/17
+ The opening gambit served to show the characters of those involved, and to implicate Tim in illegal activity in order to give Chick initial/additional leverage over Tim. jfh 23Jan2020.
"The Case of the Lucky Loser, Episode 2.0." This episode seems to revive plot elements from Episode #41, "The Case of the Lucky Loser." We are introduced again to a dysfunctional family named Balfour that includes a bed-ridden wealthy old man, his young ne'er-do-well relative and potential heir, and the possibility of the latter's involvement in a "hit-and-run accident" that winds up being a hoax. Submitted by BobH, 15 November 2017.
The conclusion is really frustrating. How in the world did Mason come up with all of Edith’s machinations? How did she alienate all those people? How would anyone, especially Mason figure that out? Too many questions are left unanswered. It feels a little phony. Submitted by gracenote, 2/26/2011.
Agree. The basic premise is intriguing, though, and really needed more time to flesh out. DOD 01/23/20