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#203: The Case of the
Garrulous Go-Between
Original Airdate: 03/12/64

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Amy Scott has been paying good money to see a female clairvoyant named Madame Zillia. She’s also been paying Paul to find a drunken young man named Tommy Stiller. Paul can’t believe that a level-headed woman like Amy would believe in a fortune-teller, even one as prominent as Madame Zillia. But Amy has her reasons. First, her name isn’t Amy Scott, it’s Arnell Stiller, and Tommy is her brother. Their father, Leonard Stiller, committed suicide after having suffered through a divorce and bankruptcy. Arnell believes that sittings with Madame Zillia caused her father to make poor business decisions and ultimately led to his death. She’s been tape-recording her sessions with the seer in order to prove the woman a fraud.

After her tape recorder is stolen from her room, Arnell knows that someone is on to her. Then, her landlord is murdered and she’s arrested. The motive is simple. The dead man was secretly Madame Zillia’s partner in her dealings with Leonard Stiller.

Credits Edit

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Starring Raymond Burr
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Irving J. Moore
Written by Philip Saltzman
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
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson

Music Composed and Conducted by Richard Shores


Sue Randall as Amy Scott
Lori March as Madame Zillia
Jacques Aubuchon as Victor Bundy
Anthony Eisley as Howard Kern
Merry Anders as Joyce Carlton
Lillian Buyeff as Dora
John Napier as Tommy Stiller
Nelson Leigh as Judge
Charles Stroud as Court Clerk
Gilbert Frye as Apt. Hotel Clerk


“Perry Mason”
Director of Photography … Howard Schwartz, A.S.C.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … Al Schwartz, 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

This episode and the next are unusual in that Della does not appear at all! Apparently she is “visiting an aunt.” Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 10/11/2010.
++ GGB was Della's 8th overall & 3rd consecutive absence. Barbara Hale's "photo can be seen at the Dr Pepper Museum in Dublin, Texas (not to be confused with the Waco Dr Pepper Museum)," IMDb observes. Mike Bedard 3.18.15

Sightings: In a booth in the swanky hotel lounge sits Distinguished Gentleman #1, drinking and chatting with a friend. Submitted by gracenote, 3/16/2011.
+ As the preliminary examination reconvenes, we see the above Gentleman seated on the Burger’s side of the courtroom, and there is also Quiet Old Man #1 shuffling to his seat on Mason’s side. Submitted by gracenote, 3/16/2011.
+After court resumes, we find Little Old Lady #1 next to D.G. #1. Submitted by BigBill767, 6/17/2016.
++"Miss Carmody" is in the opening shot walking past the apartment complex with a friend. Later she is in court in the back row on Perry's side. Submitted by Miss Carmody, 7 Nov. 2023

In court, Burger introduces into evidence an envelope which is addressed to Miss Amy Scott, 1416 No. La Brea Ave. (37:30), the real-world address of Paisano Productions / Perry Mason studios when this episode aired. Added by Gary Woloski, 2/19/15.

CARS, in order of first appearance in episode. Cast Cars numbered, prominent background cars lettered. Minor background cars are not listed (there are too many).

  • (1) 00:54, black 1964 Lincoln Continental Sedan w/chauffeur, Licence Number DEM 265, awaits a wealthy young lady leaving Madame Zillia's parlour (First '64 Lincoln in series). Look for gas-filler hatch on Left-Rear flank and squared-off rear grill. The '63 Lincoln gas hatch was at center of its smiley rear grill.
  • (a) 01:02, Amy pauses beside a drab 1960 Chevrolet Biscayne 4-Door Sedan (looks like base model Fleetmaster), Licence Number QEJ 144 or OEJ 144.
  • (2) 08:03, Paul's black 1963 Thunderbird Convertible; front licence plate is missing throughout episode. Watch at 09:21 as he sets the steering wheel height.
  • (b) 08:03-08:31, a medium-color 1964 Buick LeSabre or Electra 225 trails Paul's TBird in the rear-screen projection. This Buick has a Manufacturer's (MFG) Licence Plate, number xxx MFG 015 , as did Car(1) in Ep#182. From these appearances, it seems that "015" might have designated the Buick assembly line at the GM South Gate Assembly Plant.
  • (3) 31:19, Perry leaves his OLD black 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 Sunliner (top down) & walks into the Courthouse (re-used footage from early Season 6: '62 TBird Conv behind Perry's car, white '59 Caddy moving Right beyond it).
  • (4) 48:35, medium-color 1964 Buick Wildcat Convertible top down, driver Tommy Stiller w/passenger Joyce.

Does anyone know the street in the process shot 08:03-08:31 (Paul driving) and the locations after 08:31? Note "The Original ARMY & NAVY Store", 08:32. Added by Gary Woloski, 2/18/15.
+ The Broadway Loan sign and the street addresses around it (219, 223, etc) indicate that this was the 200 block of Broadway in Los Angeles. Some of the buildings have been demolished to create parking lots. Others remain but have been re-faced. Submitted by catyron, June 5th, 2018

Business for Perry: Another story where Paul's client needed Perry's help after getting charged with murder. Submitted by H. Mason 3/21/15
+ Actress Sue Randall is probably better known to many of us as Beaver's teacher ["Alice Landers" jfh 16Jan2018] on "Leave it to Beaver". Submitted by BigBill767, 6/17/2016.

Writer Philip Saltzman was born in Mexico to Russian Jewish parents. He would write for and produce numerous shows. He became executive producer of Barnaby Jones...MikeM. 1/10/2017

This is the third of three PM appearances for Merry Anders, who was born Mary Anderson in Chicago in 1934. Her mother moved her to Los Angeles when Merry was 15. She became a teen model, and was given a contract by 20th Century Fox when she was 17. Merry Anders passed in Encino, CA, in 2012 at the age of 78...MikeM. 5/22/2018

This is the fifth of five Perry appearances for Lori March. jfh 25Aug2022

Hats: Dowdy Dora appears in court wearing the perpetually-in-style Rick-Rack-Hat Submitted by catyron, June 5th, 2018

Speaking of hats, click on the pic above to see Merry Anders looking heavenly in feathers as court resumes. Lili-beth 02.10.2020

Comments Edit

Why would Bundy invite Amy over right after he had burned her tape recorder? The smell of burning plastic is very distinctive isn't it? Wouldn't she be suspicious? And if it wasn't Bundy who burned the tape recorder, why would the murderer burn it at his place? Even the police using the burned tape recorder as evidence was ludicrous. Why would she burn her own tape recorder that had evidence she had painstakingly collected for months?

Once again we have a less-talented clone of someone more famous in the PM universe. The secretary Joyce is desperately channeling Marilyn Monroe without the charm or the womanly "features." Her outfit in court was absolutely ridiculous for someone who had gone out of her way to fly under the radar. She made a grand entrance and then acted annoyed that people stared at her. You had on a white fur cape and a ridiculous hat that plastered your hair to your head. How did you expect people to react? I was half expecting the judge to hold her in contempt.

Both Perry and Hamilton address the witness as Madame Zillia instead of her (unknown in the episode) given name, which seems odd since neither holds her fortune-telling in high esteem. I suppose it’s possible that she legally changed her name to Zillia! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 9/2/2011.

Both Merry Anders and Anthony Eisley would appear several times in another of my favorite shows, Dragnet. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 12/9/2013.
+ Anthony Eisley also apppeared on television in 98 episodes, from 1959-62, as one of the owners of the detective agency in the eponymous Hawaiian Eye, along with Connie Stevens, Robert Conrad, and Poncie Ponce. jfh 25Aug2022

We get scenes set in both “fleabag” and “swanky” hotels. And is it possible that only one of that particular tape recorder was sold in all of Los Angeles? DOD 02/23/21
+ According to Lt. Anderson: the model of tape recorder was "sold at only one store in Southern California." The "serial number [shows] that the defendant ... purchased that exact tape recorder." OLEF641 7/8/21
++ Why not just check the registration with the CA DTR (Dept of Tape Recorders)?? 😁 Seriously , tho, viewers might recognize this as being a precursor to what became a staple on Hawaii Five-O, with seemingly everything from typewriters and cameras all the way down to a wad of gum being magically traced to the point-of-sale...perhaps more plausible given the smallness and closed nature of Hawaii, but of course absurd for the amount of information that could be obtained. Notcom, 070821.

One of the best scenes in this episode is when Paul asks the hotel desk clerk if the clerk knows where Joyce Carlton is. The clerk looks directly at him and says, "Oh, I might." After Paul tosses a crisp bill on the desk, the clerk looks down at it and says, "And then again, I might not." Paul then forks over some more cash to complete the deal. Submitted by Dan K, 9/10/17.

When Amy finds her dead canary she lets out a blood curdling scream that can be heard through the neighborhood. Yet when she finds the body of a dead man (Bundy) the best she can do is a muffled "Oh". Submitted by Kilo 12/08/2017.
+ Well, she was attached to the canary . . OLEF641 7/8/21

Madame Zillia wasn't much of a seer if she couldn't see that the young woman was using a fake name! OLEF641 7/8/21

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

There is a point never cleared up (at least not in the syndication print I viewed). Who put the audiotape in the fireplace for Amy Scott to find? Was it Bundy or Madame Zillia? (I assume Dora had nothing to do with it, although there was a lot of hinting otherwise.) And was Dora telling the truth about her glasses? Queried by gracenote, 3/16/2011.

Good questions, which I for one did not see answered in the episode on the 2012 Paramount DVD. However, at 32:30, in court Madame Zillia tells Hamilton (run the cursor across the hidden text) that Victor said, " I was to tell the girl I would not see her anymore." So, possibly, Dora told Victor about the tape recorder. Also, no further mention about the glasses. Della needs to return, so that Perry can explain everything to her! Submitted by masonite, 12/5/12.
+Though the ending with Paul and Perry is a lot of fun. Submitted by Miss Carmody, 7 Nov. 2023.

Just watched this again, and no, we do not learn who took the tape reorder, who tried to burn it, nor why that person wouldn’t just destroy the tape rather than the whole machine. And Dora’s part in all this, if any, remains a mystery. Also a mystery - why would a single person in a one bedroom apartment need a maid? DOD 02/23/21

Madame Zillia had to have somebody helping her. Who killed the canary? Submitted by H. Mason 3/21/15
+Because Victor Bundy was working with Madame Zillia, as landlord he had a passkey and would have known everything that was going on. He is the most likely person to burn the tape recorder and tapes (though it's an odd thing to do), and to have killed the canary. He could even have moved Amy's ring to the windowsill, or at least have seen it sitting there and told Madame Zillia about it. Submitted by Miss Carmody, 7 Nov. 2023.

Another two-fer for Perry: he, of course, provoked a confession from the murderer in the case at the bar plus discovered the murder and murderer of a death heretofore ruled a suicide. jfh 16Jan2018.

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