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#225: The Case of the
Ruinous Road
Original Airdate: 12/31/64

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
When a land development plan goes sour, Perry is called in to defend engineer Adam Conrad, who is accused of murdering his boss in an old house that has something very sinister buried underneath it.

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 Jesse Hibbs
Written by Robert & Esther Mitchell
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 by Richard Shores
Music Supervision by Herschel Burke Gilbert


Grant Williams as Quincy Davis
Barton MacLane as Archer Osmond
Joan Blackman as Hilary Gray
Allen Case as Adam Conrad
John Howard as Harley Leonard
Meg Wyllie as Marguerite Keith
Les Tremayne as Ed Pierce
Bert Freed as Joe Marshall
Willis Bouchey as Judge
Frankie Darro as Messenger
Patricia Joyce as Secretary

Uncredited Actors
Don Anderson as Police Officer


Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
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

Uncredited Actors: Don Anderson appears in one of his most familiar roles, a non-speaking uniformed policeman. As usual, we do not hear his reply. Submitted by FredK, 16 Nov 2010.
+ Don also appears in court in the back row behind Perry. Submitted by BigBill767, 6/17/2016.

Sightings: Three regulars make an appearance in the courtroom gallery: a pensive Pencil Mustache Man, a passive Quiet Old Man (#1), and an inscrutable Little Old Lady in a Hat. Read more about these recurring spectators. Submitted by gracenote, 4/17/2010.
+ Hallelujah! We finally see African-Americans in the courtroom gallery!!! And more than one!Welshwoman 01/15/15.
++ African American Man, African-American Woman, and the two of them together, as African-American Couple (plus African-American Woman #2, not a regular) have been appearing as courtroom spectators at least since Episode 143, according to my tracking. Sumbitted by catyron, May 19th, 2018

Although credited, Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) does not appear. Submitted by gracenote, 4/17/2010.

Meg Wyllie appeared in 4 Perrys: 2 with the same surname, Mrs. Margaret STONE, "Stand-In Sister" & Ninevah STONE, "Nebulous Nephew" [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 3.16.15.

Although Jesse Hibbs did not come on board to PM until late in the 1961-62 season, he more than anyone established the no-nonsense, no-frills directorial style with which we are familiar with the show, directing over 40 episodes over the last 4 years and being given the honor of directing the final episode, TCOT Final Fade-Out. cgraul 11.23.11

Marguerite's beaut-of-a-1959 Ford four-door hardtop is a Galaxie Town Victoria (Model 75A, $2654 base price new). 1959 was the first year Ford used the Galaxie model name. It denoted DeLuxe features including extensive chrome and stainless steel trim. Keys to the ID of Marguerite's car are the distinctive '59 grill and rear-end styling. The full chrome, including the "<" cut at the rear of the side windows ID it as a Galaxie (passenger side shown here(this link is broken)). In keeping with Ford's frequent practice of using model names with allusions to British royalty (eg, "Tudor"), Marguerite's model was sometimes referred to as a Fordor Hardtop. For the '59 model year the Fairlane and Galaxie models were essentially the same car except for the trim features and nameplates; their designs (size) diverged for '62 model-year. Added by Gary Woloski, 1/27/12.

The Curious Coffee Set: A cup from The Curious Coffee Set appears at Ms. Keith's Manzana House. jfh 09Feb2017.

It appears as though the coffee cup Paul hands Hilary Gray is empty. Submitted by Otto Gervaert, 3/25/21.

When Perry visits Adam and his girlfriend in Adam's apartment, what is that strange creature sitting on a shelf behind him??? Looks like some sort of weird alien dummy. Welshwoman 01/15/15

Allen Case makes his third and final appearance in the series here and, as with several other actors, seemed to be professionally typecast by the Mason production team. Back in episode 173, TCOT Golden Oranges he played home designer Frank Wheeler, who has a bullying boss played by Arch Johnson. This time he's a surveyor with Bert Freed as his boss. Submitted by FredK 12 December 2012.

Cold case / old case: Perry also solved the murder of Mrs. Davis - killed three years earlier. Submitted by H. Mason 9/27/14

Grammar Errors: 1. When Ms. Keith is showing the Manzana House to Hilary and Adam she points out a certain bas-relief wall hanging, mispronouncing it as "bah-relief"; 2. At about 12 minites in, Ed Pierce says to Joe Marshall that Joe had inferred something by statements Joe had made, but the proper word is implied.
+ Actually, "bah- relief" is the correct pronunciation. [unsigned]
++ I remember thinking she has said it wrong. I can't remember how she said it, but maybe it was 'a' as in 'bat' rather than 'father'. (she did not say the 's' sound, if I recall). I don't know which 'ah' pronunciation the original commenter meant. --yelocab 26JUL18
+++ She says bah like father. Merriam-Webster has three pronunciations, including ˌbä and bās. Kilo 7/7/2019.

Grant Williams: The actor played the part of Robert Scott Carey, the title character in the 1957 movie The Incredible Shrinking Man. He also played the part of Greg MacKenzie on the ABC show Hawaiian Eye. Submitted by H. Mason 4/18/15

Murder Weapon: In this story it was revealed for the third time that a person was killed with a crowbar (#117 and 202 [first victim]). Submitted by H. Mason 4/18/15

This is the only PM appearance for Joan Blackman, who was married 1968-1970 to Rockne Tarkington, the only African-American to have a credited speaking role on "The Andy Griffith Show"...MikeM. 2/9/2017
+ Ms Blackman was also married to fellow Perry singleton Joby Baker (TCOT Bogus Books). jfh 09Feb2017.

Ruinous Road or Ruinous Redhead? My Frontier FIOS screen menu shows this episode as "The Case of the Ruinous Redhead". A number of websites also show "Ruinous Redhead" in the title. MeTV has "Ruinous Road" on their website. Wikipedia shows "Ruinous Road". The opening clearly shows "TCOT Ruinous Road"...MikeM. 2/9/2017
+ Frontier FIOS is still showing "Ruinous Redhead" on its menu for tonight's MeTV Perry Mason airing. That incorrect title mixes episode 1 (Restless Redhead) and this episode (Ruinous Road)...MikeM. 6/21/2018
++ MeTV is once again showing the Ruinous Redhead (sic) tonight. I wonder if it would be worth the effort to drop them a note and point out that the title they are using and the actual title at the head of the episode don't match? OLEF641 8/6/21

Unmarked Bills: Lt. Anderson tells Perry that he found an envelope with $10,000 in "small, unmarked bills". He says unmarked bills like it's some kind of meaningful clue. Marked bills are marked by police as a way to trace the money. If the envelope had contained marked bills, now that would be a tell-tale clue! Kilo 7/7/2019.

Was that a Bic pen Quincy Davis used as a map pointer with Paul Drake? Submitted by Otto Gervaert, 3/25/21.
+ When Davis shows Paul on the map where the Manzana Estate and "Osmand's new tract" are, the north-south through road is Roscoemare road, which the "highway" was going to be tied to with the access road. Just west of Roscoemare, the plain road with no side streets, is Sepulveda Blvd. through the Sepulveda Pass. The I-405 freeway had been completed through that pass two years before the episode aired. They obviously were using an old map. OLEF641 8/7/21

The IMDb entry for Patricia Joyce (as "Secretary") lists her birthdate as 22Nov1949, which would put her age as 15 in the episode. That can't be correct. jfh 14Nov2024

Comments Edit

Flub? About 40 minutes in Paul asks a messenger to drive to another block. As they pull away you can see 2 large square cement posts with an unusual design. As they pull up in the next block, there are the same 2 unique posts. I think they just returned to the same place they left. Submitted by Eric Cooper 30 August 11.

Yes, watch at around 35:50 on the 2012 Paramount DVD. Also the same manhole in the street, drainage on the curb, and cars parked farther up the street. I guess that Frankie Darro just made a U-turn despite Paul's saying, "Drive to the next corner, turn right, and pull up when I tell you to stop." Why couldn't the crew just have filmed the pull-up and stop farther back on the same street? Pressed for time, perhaps, despite Mercury Messenger Service (with non-union drivers?) being available 24/366. Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 12/17/12.

Sound Effect: We heard the doorbell ring twice at Adam Conrad's apartment. There was a chime beside the door that should have made a different sound. Submitted by H. Mason 4/18/15

Question: Which newspaper did Quincy Davis work for? There have been several papers introduced in the series: L. A. Chronicle, L.A. Star-News (#29 & 41), L.A. Bulletin (#139), The Evening Star (#156), and L.A. Clarion (#181). Submitted by H. Mason 4/18/15
+ It wasn't mentioned in the 4.23.15 MeTV broadcast; could it be named in the uncut DVD? Mike Bedard 4.24.15
+ It is not mentioned in the uncut DVD. Submitted by D. Tlougan 4/24/15.

While Ms Keith is describing features of her house, "Manzanna" is pronounced three different ways: Ms Keith first pronounces it "Mahn-Zahn-na", then Adam questions her as to whether this is the "MunZanna" house, and Ms Keith confirms that is, in fact, "Man-Zanna" house. jfh 24Feb2023

What a kick to see that last police car - a Dodge Coronet, the only new car my parents ever bought. It lasted almost 20 years, even with five teenagers learning to drive on it. It finally just sort of fell apart all at once. DOD 03/25/31

Best Line "When there's nothing anyone can do about something, I'm the one to do it" (Quincy Davis) - my new motto. Submitted by Bella Della 5 June 2021

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

To me this was one of the easiest cases for viewers to solve. The look on Adam Conrad's face when Hilary Gray told him the house was about to be moved just gave the game away right there. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 1/15/15.
+ I think that PaulDrake 33 meant Quincy Davis, not Adam Conrad. OLEF641 8/7/21

Another twofer for Perry - but hard to believe that second body would go, uh, unnoticed for so long.
+ Davis did mention that his dead wife was "buried here", so perhaps she was underground under the house? OLEF641 8/7/21

Same Prop? It looks like the same crowbar shown in court that Quincy Davis breaks into the house to be moved and starts prying floor boards. But then again they did mention there were a bunch of tools available at that place! Sunmitted by HamBurger 10/08/2016

He is prying up the floorboards, apparently to get under the house, but unless it's a really old house (not sure about building practices back then) but usually there's a sub-floor underneath the floorboards. They don't look nearly thick enough to support the weight of furniture. Not to mention that his previous ripping up would have ripped out the tongue of the tongue-and-groove used in floorboards. --yelocab 26JUL18

A c.1860 house of that style in that area quite likely would have had a simple floor of plain boards (not tongue and groove) on joists over packed dirt. A good friend lived in a old house built just that way. So, yes, it is conceivable boards could be pried up and a body buried underneath, but it is not likely no one would notice the floor had been disturbed, as is obvious here. And why do that when there were acres of land available? DOD 03/25/21

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