#199: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 02/13/64
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Ventriloquist Paul Winchell stars in this episode concerning a woman who killed her husband during an argument, only to hit her head in the struggle and lose her memory. She then disappeared, but Paul tracks her down at the request of her family. He finds her in a rest home. So do the police, and she is charged with the homicide.
Although Perry gets her freed from the charge, the trouble continues when her son is charged with killing a fellow worker who was behind an embezzlement scheme.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE NERVOUS NEIGHBOR
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Samuel Newman
Arthur Marks / Art Seid | Producers
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
Music composed and conducted by Van Cleave
Paul Winchell as Henry Clement
Richard Rust as Charles Fuller
Jeanne Cooper as Mary Browne
Katherine Squire as Vera Hargrave
Sheila Bromley as Alice Bradley
Les Tremayne as George Browne
G. B. Atwater as Karl Dickinson
Booth Colman as Doctor Younger
Francis X. Bushman as Philip
Jesslyn Fax as Little Old Lady
S. John Launer as Judge
Robert Wegner as Bailiff
(added by gracenote 3/10/2011)
Old time silent star Francis X. Bushman makes his final of three appearances here on Perry as Phillip. Francis X. Bushman would die on August 23, 1966, exactly 40 years to the day that fellow silent movie star idol Rudolph Valentino had died. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 21 December 2009.
+ As I understand it, Francis X. Bushman was known as the "most handsome man in Hollywood" until the arrival of Clark Gable. JohnK, 24 April 2018
++ If you're ever seen the silent Ben Hur, you would agree with that epithet. Bushman played the "bad guy", Judah ben Hur's childhood friend and later bitter enemy, Messala. Ramon Novarro played Judah. OLEF641 9/30/22
Sightings: We get to see where Quiet Old Man (#1) lives! It’s in the same retirement complex (Valley Gardens) as Charles’s mother, and he’s part of the Golden Age Club. We find him playing checkers with another resident. We also discover Distinguished Gentleman #1 among the Golden-Agers astonished by Alice’s arrest. (Didn’t think he was old enough yet.) We even catch a glimpse of the Quiet Old Man dancing in the final scene, but the Gentleman apparently decided to skip the party. Submitted by gracenote, 2/9/2011.
+ Distinguished Gentleman #1 and Quiet Old Man #1 show their support for their fellow Golden-Ager by turning up for the hearing. Little Old Lady #1 joins them, but she never appears at any Golden Age Club functions. Submitted by gracenote, 2/10/2011.
++ I believe Miss Carmody is seen leaving the courtroom from the last row after the charges against Alice Bradley are dismissed. Submitted by mesave31, 10/20/14
+++ We also see her sitting behind some of the principals, during Alice's trial. Submitted by Clothears 11th July 2020.
Goofs: When they give the keys to the house to Alice, there is a bird cage near the front door, but the bird never moves in any of the shots, and people walk by right next to it! I cannot imagine having a fake bird in a cage in the 1960's was stylish or common practice. ;-> Submitted by mesave31, 10/20/14
+ This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! He's expired and gone to meet his maker! He's a stiff! Bereft of life, he rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed him to the perch he'd be pushing up the daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig! He's kicked the bucket. He's shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT! Kilo 3/11/2020.
++ My guess is that a real bird was too noisy, and since the bird/cage was merely set dressing, and not a plot point as in previous appearances of avian characters, they made do with a phoney. OLEF641 9/30/22
Uncredited Actors: Standing by the door of the courtroom is Robert Wegner (scowling) as a bailiff. Submitted by gracenote, 2/9/2011.
Only ONE CAR appears: Paul's black 1963 Thunderbird Convertible, white top up at 03:14 and top down at 31:41. Added by Gary Woloski, 10/1/14.
Business for Perry: Another story where Paul's client became Perry's client. Submitted by H. Mason 3/15/15
Angry Paul: For at least the third time (episodes 75 and 125) Paul thought he was being used by a client and lost his temper. Submitted by H. Mason 3/15/15
This is the fourth of five PM appearances for Jeanne Cooper, who was in the cast of The Young And The Restless from 1973 until her death in 2013...MikeM. 1/4/2017
This is the fifth of six PM appearances for G.B.Atwater, aka Barry Atwater. In an episode of Star Trek, Atwater appeared as Surak, the father of Vulcan philosophy...MikeM. 1/10/2018
This is the second of three PM appearances for Katherine Squire. Her husband, George Mitchell, appeared in two episodes of PM...MikeM. 4/24/2018
Paul Winchell certainly toned down his distinctive voice for this episode. Usually it’s a little more exaggerated, a bit throatier and gruffer you might say, as in the Scrubbing Bubbles commercials of the 1970s and ’80s. Submitted by gracenote, 3/10/2011.
+ He played a children's show host in "Talk to the Snail": The Dick Van Dyke Show, 1966 [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 3.17.15.
++ Paul Winchell, with his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, was a fixture of my childhood. I had a copy of his 1954 book, "Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit." He invented an artificial heart, a battery-powered automobile, a better way to breed tilapia fish -- and, of course, he voiced Tigger in the Walt Disney "Winnie the Pooh" animations and Gargamel in the Hanna Barbera animated TV series of "The Smurfs." submitted by catyron, 2018
An unusual order of events. The only trial in the episode occurs early on, before halfway. The second murder is solved without the need for a second trial. Has this happened before? or is this a unique event? OLEF641 9/30/22
One of the sweeter endings to an episode, with Paul dancing. And, earlier in the episode, Hamilton sounded to me particularly noble. Outside of court, he was questioning Perry's client, with Perry present, and goaded the client into making some intemperate remarks. Hamilton then responded with, "I suggest you be a little less concerned with what *you* want to do, and a little more concerned with what your attorney tells you you *ought* to do." And all's well... Submitted by masonite, 12/4/12.
+ I liked Burger's and Mason's good cop/bad cop routine in that scene. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 12/5/2013.
+"[S]weeter endings" also with Della and Perry dancing together! jfh 04Jan2017
So where does the nervous neighbor come in?
\\+Too nervous to appear? Submitted by Rickapolis 03/04/22
I am glad to see that the Los Angeles Authority, Public Housing Administration, provides a clean and attractive environment for the Valley Gardens Senior Citizens Facility. However, Sheila Bromley is actually only 52 if IMDb is correct. Further she addresses Francis X. Bushman's character as, "And at 73, you are an incorrigible flirt, Philip!" Per IMDb, Bushman was actually 80. lowercase masonite, 3/29/16.
Pilot?: Anyone else think this story seemed like a tryout for a possible Paul Drake spinoff show? Submitted by H. Mason 3/15/15
Order, order once again the show summary leaves something to be desired: Alice killed her husband as a result of hitting her head - or at least the latter facilitated the former - not, as the summary suggests, was the fall an outcome of the homicide. Nit-picked by Notcom, 060619.
What's up with Mary Browne wearing a ring over her gloves? She does this both in the courtroom and in Perry's office. Otto Gervaert, 2/17/21
+Good catch, Otto. Miss Manners is particularly hard on women who wear a ring over gloves. Submitted by Rickapolis 03/04/22
++ and, oh my goodness, what an ugly hairdo she has under that hideous hat! jfh 24Aug2022