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#197: The Case of the
Ice-Cold Hands
Original Airdate: 01/23/64

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
After her older brother Rodney is charged with embezzling company funds, Nancy Banks tries to help him. She just can’t believe that Rodney would risk everything to gamble on the ponies as he was accused of doing. Nancy’s faith in her brother backfires when she’s implicated in a murder.

Credits Edit

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Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Jesse Hibbs
Teleplay by Jackson Gillis
Artur Marks \ 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


Joyce Bulifant as Nancy Banks
Dick Davalos as Rodney Banks
Lisabeth Hush as Lorraine Lawton
Dabbs Greer as Larsen Halstead
Arch Johnson as Marvin Fremont
Phyllis Coates as Inez Fremont
Paul Bryar as Burdett
John Goddard as Sgt. McClanahan
Henry Norell as Jarvis Nettle Gilmore
Willis Bouchey as Judge
Art Lewis as Man
Alex Bookston as Court Reporter
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Dorothy Edwards as Juror
Charles Stroud as Court Clerk
Jack Crowder as Officer

Uncredited Actors
Jim Healy as Himself (Radio Commentator)
Don Anderson as Courtroom Spectator


“Perry Mason”
Director of Photography … Howard Schwartz, A.S.C.
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 … Carl Biddiscombe
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … Marshall Schlom
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

The radio broadcast of the horse race is called by Jim Healy, who, while not credited for the part, does actually announce “this is Jim Healy.” Mr. Healy was a well known radio and television sports personality in the Los Angeles area for 30+ years. Submitted by D. A. Supernaw, 2/24/2005.

The radio broadcast of the horse race has "Turkish Dream" finishing third. The next day when Perry and Della return to the track, the P.A. announcer in the background gives "Turkish Dream" as one of the entrants. Thoroughbred horses rarely race more than once every two weeks. Submmitted by Teejay 6/14/2012

Burger presented a list of serial numbers of the $20 bills in the theft case. On the stand he had the detective Sgt. McClanahan & Rodney Banks compare the last number on the list to the $20 he handed them. If you look closely you’ll notice someone has pasted on 2 new serial numbers on the $20 bill .... K 0 0 4 9 _ _ _ _ A. The line of numbers on those 2 places are lighter paper than the rest of the bill. Submitted by Daniel Jones, 12/27/2007.
+ The serial numbers on the bill are K00460975A. They definitely appear to have been pasted on. Both numbers show the “border lines” one would expect from the thickness of the stick-on. Quick picture here (use browser’s back function to return). Submitted by daveb, 1/11/2011.
+ Had they wished to be a little more authentic, the writer and the props crew could have begun the serial number with the letter "L" to match the Federal Reserve District bank which issued the bill. The district seal can be seen in the close-up, showing the letter "L" corresponding to the San Francisco Federal Reserve district. If you could read the writing in the round seal surrounding the "L," it would identify the San Francisco Federal Reserve bank. The number "12" seen in four corners of the inner space also refer to San Francisco ("L" is the 12th letter). Letter "K" corresponds to the Dallas district (which should likewise show "K" in the district seal, and the number "11" in its corners). The redesign in 1996 changed some of these features for newer bills. Submitted by alan_sings, 1/1/2012.
+Perhaps there was some legal reason they couldn't use the serial number of an actual bill, because they easily could just have used a real bill with the real serial number. --yelocab 19JUN19

One more time: Ray Collins billed as Lt. Tragg, but a no-show. Submitted by gracenote, 3/5/2011.

Sightings: At the racetrack, Distinguished Gentleman #1 might walk behind the angry Marvin Fremont as he yells at Perry. Then he walks a few seconds later behind Sgt. McClanahan, and then again (but this time with an escort) just before leaves the confrontation. But he definitely shows up at trial, along with Quiet Old Man #1. Submitted by gracenote, 3/5/2011.
+ At least four times during the courtroom sequences, beginning at 29:01, Perry is shown silently observing Burger's questioning of witnesses. These are re-used shots, not "fresh" to this episode, and the people behind him are actually those first filmed for Episode 183. They are the Asian Woman with Pearls and the African American man -- but his usual partner, the African American Woman #1, is behind Perry's head in these shots and cannot be seen, although she is fully visible in Episode 183, and the two are usually together as the African American Couple. In addition, there is an African American Man with white hair as a juror, plus another African American Man (older than the male member of the Couple) in the "fresh" (not re-used) gallery scenes -- and we also have Jack Crowder as a desk officer -- giving this episode the highest ratio of Black people to White people yet seen in the series. Submitted by catyron, May 31st, 2018 ++"Miss Carmody" is in the front row, middle, of the jury (30:47 on the DVD). Submitted by Miss Carmody, 26 October 2023.

Robert Wegner looks only a bit less scowling at his promotion from his usual bailiff to Burger's No. 2 in this episode. Submitted by FredK 3Feb12.

Hard to believe, but the beautiful Joyce Bulifant later played Murray Slaughter’s wife in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Submitted by cgraul, 7/12/2011.

Halstead and Paul have a rare extended conversation in Della’s office. Note the oddly empty bookcase we usually see only in quick glimpses when Della enters and exits Mason’s office. Submitted by cgraul, 10/13/2011.

Hamilton Burger delivers one of the few opening statements in this show (this might be the only one). This is rare because of (a) time, (b) money to pay more extras, and (c) the show (and books) rarely used juries, as Perry usually revealed the murderer at a preliminary hearing (also called “probable cause” hearing). Submitted by cgraul, 10/13/2011.

CARS. I've not listed any of the hundreds of background cars. Cast Cars are:

  • Nancy Banks' 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner, top down. In the opening sequence at the racetrack, it's readily recognized by the (dummy) hood scoop; taillights on the '58 Fords were also distinctive. There's a better view of the whole car at 22:12 when Nancy arrives at Valley Trout Farm ("Tackle & Bait Furnished - Open 10AM to 8PM Daily").
  • Perry's white 1963 Lincoln Continental Convertible, top down. It's still the '63 model; the 1963 rear grill is seen at 13:14 but lighting is dim. Confirmed as 1963 when we next see Perry driving it in ep#201.

For the second time in two consecutive episodes a beautiful Blonde driving a flashy convertible ditches her tail in L.A.! Added by Gary Woloski, 9/17/14.

Recycled newspaper: The newspaper Mr. Halstead was folding as Paul entered Della's office was made for episode 182 TCOT Nebulous Nephew but never used. Part of the headline...BABY...TUNE can be seen. The full front page was shown in 204 TCOT Woeful Widower. Submitted by H. Mason 9/29/14

Name: Actor Jack Crowder, the officer who returned Rodney's belongings at the jail, was probably better known as Thalmus Rasulala, the name he started using in 1971. Submitted by H. Mason 3/13/15
+ Crowder also appears in a pivotal role in the Twilight Zone episode, "The Brain Center At Whipples", where he plays a technician - a bold step for those days, when even a Black actor playing a judge on PM (albeit with no lines or screen credit!) could stir some to racial animosity.. Submitted by MikeReese 3/21/15

Cards: Perry seemed to give a business card to the police detective at the race track. That was the first time he gave out a card since episode 79 TCOT Lucky Legs. Submitted by H. Mason 3/13/15
+ He also happens to have a card with Della’s address. DOD 02/15/21

Latin: CAUSA SINE QUA NON literally means "a cause without which not" or a necessary condition. From Amo, Amas, Amat and More by Eugene Ehrlich. Submitted by H. Mason 3/13/15

The Bible: Paul Drake partially quoted Matthew 7:6/the Sermon on the Mount: "Do not give what is holy to dogs; and DO NOT THROW YOUR PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you [Full citation NRSV]." Mike Bedard 3.17.15.

A Mistrial?! (Reprise): At approximately 39:30, after an unexpected courtroom confession by one of the witnesses, the judge says, “I agree, Mr. Mason, there are grounds here for a mistrial.” A furious and exasperated Hamilton Burger then shouts “A mistrial?!” but he is not shown during his exclamation. This same sound bite (with video) was used during Burger’s courtroom meltdown in Episode #139 TCOT Shapely Shadow. Submitted by Dan K, 6/28/16.

This is the second of two PM appearances for Joyce Bulifant who, according to Wikipedia, is currently married to actor Roger Perry. Wiki says that Bulifant and Perry were honored on the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs...MikeM. 1/2/2017

In two of the three PM novels published in 1962--"TCOT Reluctant Model" and "TCOT Ice-Cold Hands"--the murder victim's body was found in a shower stall/bathtub. (Both novels were adapted for TV during the show's seventh season.) One wonders how much ESG, in establishing the two unusually similar murder settings, might have been influenced by the Hitchcock movie "Psycho," which had been released in 1960. Submitted by BobH, 2 January 2017.

This is the third and final Perry appearance for Glenn-Close-lookalike Lisabeth Hush, whose first such appearance (The Case of the Lucky Legs (1959) Marjorie Cluny) was apparently her professional acting debut. jfh 07Jan2018.

This is the second of two PM appearances for Dick (Richard) Davalos, who played "Aron Trask" brother of James Dean's "Cal Trask" in the 1955 film "East of Eden"...MikeM. 4/30/2018

Not damp (but still all wet) Andy makes reference to the victims'c clothing being "damp", but dry ice doesn't "melt" into a liquid... it turns into a gas. Notcom, 060419.

Comments Edit

How is it considered First Degree Murder if Freeman was killed with his own gun in Nancy's motel room? Clearly there could not be premeditation if he was in HER room and she did not have a weapon. If anything, it should have been second degree or voluntary manslaughter. Even Burger's opening statement was pretty weak. He tried to wave away the fact that Freeman was harassing Nancy for things her brother did, broke into her motel room with a gun, and was killed for the effort.

The Valley Trout Farm that Nancy Banks works at in this episode actually did exist in the San Fernando Valley. It's the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City on Ventura Blvd near Laurel Canyon. I fished there myself as a kid and boy was it exciting. The fishing portion is gone now but the Lodge and Hotel remain. Here is the history currently on the Sportsman's Lodge web site: “The Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel has been a landmark since it opened in 1962. Adjacent to the original Sportsmen’s Lodge, a restaurant and trout-fishing lake where families and celebrities such as Clark Gable came to catch and eat their own dinners, cooked courtesy of the lodge. As the San Fernando Valley evolved, Studio City sprung up around the hotel and historic Trout Lakes. Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel has preserved its country charm and appeal to celebrities looking for a low-key atmosphere. Robert Kennedy stayed on the fifth floor at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel the night before his assassination. On the walls of our café, you’ll find many movie posters signed by Hollywood cowboys who stayed here. And, many a musician has been found improvising by the pool over the years as well. The Sportsmen’s Lodge truly is a quiet legend that represents the history of the entertainment industry’s roots.” The Sportsman’s Lodge is actually not too far from the Beverly Garland Hotel, which has the same vibe and whose former owner Beverly Garland, appeared in a 1960 Perry Mason episode. Added by Eric Cooper, 6/23/2009.
> Until this week: yet another link to the past is severed. Notcom, 090419.

In a dramatic moment, Perry Mason warns someone to “get the shrewdest lawyer in town.” Well, if that isn’t Mason himself, who could it be? Submitted by gracenote, 8/9/2011.
+ It must have been Jarvis Nettle Gilmore since that's who Rodney got to represent him. Added by H. Mason 3/13/15

<<<<<<< I'm impressed with Della's math skills. Submitted by DellaFan, 12/3/2013.

======= In the tradition of alliterative titles, this should have been"The Frigid Fists". With her white gloves, cigarette holder, tall hat, and expressive hands, Phyllis Coates, in her first scene, reminds me of Phyllis Diller.

Phyllis Coates played Lois Lane in the first season (26 episodes) of Superman on television. And, Dabs Greer appeared with Phyllis Coates on the first of those 26 (George Reeves) Superman television episodes. Otto Gervaert, 2/15/21.

I'm impressed with Della's math skills. Submitted by DellaFan, 12/3/2013.

We get another good look at Della’s unique filing system - a single drawer for each letter A to J. DOD 03/02/22 >>>>>>>

It's for you, Mr. Mason: Perry received a call at Rodney's apartment house from Paul. Ms. Laughton took the call and announced it. jfh 08Jan2018.

Question: How did Nancy get Perry's home phone number? Submitted by H. Mason 3/13/15

Perry-mutuel betting ?? How do Fremont and the sergeant know who to look for?? The latter acts surprised when he encounters Perry, so it doesn't seem they know to look for him specifically - and why would they ?? - but it makes little sense they would stop every one who claimed a winning ticket...there would probably be hundreds of people. Queried by Notcom, 060419.
An excellent point. If they were following Rodney, he had no contact with Perry. If they were also following Nancy, she could easily show the tickets were bought with her money. Another one of those plot holes we just have to forgive. DOD 01/31/20
TIME TUNNEL Perspective: Original viewers of Ice-Cold Hands may have hear that day about the Ratification of the 24th Amendment: "The right of vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice-President, for electors...or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax." Mike Bedard 3.16.15.

I must be missing something. After the race Perry, Della and Nancy Banks are at Nancy's motel room to give her the money won at the track. At one point Perry says "Because when you came into my office you already knew your horse had won, didn't you?". Nancy answered "Yes. I guess that's how it was". How is this possible since they listened to the race on the radio AFTER Nancy had visited Perry? Kilo 3/8/2020.

No, you’re not missing anything. Just watched this episode again, and that bit makes no sense at all. DOD 02/15/21

In the book ESG has Della explain, "There's a broadcast of the races at five-thirty ... It's very realistic. They tape it right at the track and then broadcast it on the radio later on. We can listen and find out what horse won." Another Case of the Missing Dialog? terrys 02/06/23

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

This episode has one of my all-time favorite scenes in Perry Mason! Every time I see that witness on the stand, upon being given immunity, promptly confessing to the murder, I laugh out loud! D.A. Burger has the right note of incredulity and exasperation! Very well done! I enjoyed it in the book too. Submitted by DyNama, 3/5/2014.

The dialog in that scene says that granting immunity was a new-fangled practice of prosecutors. I'd like to find out more of the history of granting immunity. The book was published in 1962 so it was contemporary with this episode. That may explain why Mr. Burger didn't know what was going to happen. Submitted by DyNama, 3/5/2014.

+ According to the (California) SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY, 2009, from the section "History of Transactional and Use-Derivative Use Immunity in California": "Penal Code Section 1324 was codified in 1953 and was not amended again until 1996....Before 1996, felony prosecutions required a grant of transactional immunity for compelled testimony that was self-incriminating." lowercase masonite, 3/19/16.

California previously had witness immunity during 1911-1917, when this Section 1324 of the California Penal Code was repealed. See for example the 1917 book The Codes of California as Amended...: "Witness Not To Be Prosecuted Upon Testimony Of Himself...a witness can no longer refuse to testify in a criminal case though his testimony may incriminate himself...". lowercase masonite, 3/19/16.

1954 is the date of the Federal Compulsory Testimony Act, providing "for a grant of immunity to a witness before one of the Houses of Congress or a congressional committee upon the approval of a federal district court." See for example the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 46, Issue 5, 1956. lowercase masonite, 3/19/16.

Good rule of thumb for me....If character actor Dabbs Greer appears on a PM episode, his character is up to no good!.... Bob61571, 30 April 2018

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