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#230: The Case of the
Feather Cloak
Original Airdate: 02/11/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Perry and Paul are off to Hawaii, the land of sun, fun, expensive beachfront property—and murder. Perry is tending to the legal problems of a land sale for Jarvis Logan, who wants to lease his beach to the Pan-Pacific hotel chain. Trouble is, he needs to gain control of Kamehameha Point, a peninsula that splits his holdings in two.

The disputed property will soon belong to a local girl named Anona Gilbert, as part of her inheritance. Anona is engaged to shady beachbum-surfer Douglas Kelland, who breaks off their engagement, but then calls Anona and asks her to meet him at his beach cottage. She arrives and finds Kelland dead, skewered with a spear. Paul arrives just in time to see Anona run away. The police think the girl killed Kelland over the jilt.

Credits Edit

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


Directed by Jesse Hibbs
Written by Jonathan Latimer
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

Music Score Composed by Richard Shores
Music Supervision by Herschel Burke Gilbert


Jon Hall as Lt. Kia
David Opatoshu as Gustave Heller
John van Dreelen as Jarvis Logan
Michael Dante as Douglas Kelland
Wende Wagner as Anona Gilbert
James Frawley as District Attorney Alvarez
Miriam Goldina as Auntie Hilo
Joyce Jameson as Dolly Jameson
Keye Luke as Choy
Tony Scott as Jon Kakai
Tom Palmer as Attorney Roberts
Arthur Wong as Judge Kee
Bob Okazaki as Pet Shop Owner
Thomas Carlisle as First Man Surfer
Steven Blair as Second Man Surfer
Diane Swanson as First Girl
Gunilla Hutton as Second Girl


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 Production

Trivia Edit

Gunilla Hutton has a very small part in this episode as what is described as “Second Girl.” This would be her only Perry appearance, and also her first appearance in TV or movies. The next year she would go on to fame as Billie Jo Bradley on the long running Petticoat Junction. After the cancellation of Petticoat Junction, Miss Hutton went on to perform for 22 years on the bucolic variety show Hee Haw. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 21 August 2009.
+ Gunilla Hutton, however, was only on Petticoat Junction for one season. She left and was replaced by Meredith MacRae the following year. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 9/05/17.

Choy (Keye Luke) serves Perry coffee with the Curious Coffee Set, which seems to have survived the trip from Los Angeles (except for the cup that Choy drops). Submitted by gracenote, 4/22/2011.
+ An odd pairing of the chinaware coffee set with the clunky West Bend Thermo-Serve Carafe. And dropping that cup was horrific. Submitted by catyron, July 2nd, 2018

Choy (Keye Luke) played Charlie Chan's # 1 son in several of those movies. Am I sensing a Charlie Chan theme in these last 2 episodes? (See comments section below also.) Submitted by HamBurger 10/10/2016
+ Keye Luke first found work in Hollywood as an artist, doing pictures and murals for many early films. You can still see some of his work in the lobby of the Chinese Theater.

David Opatoshu (Professor Gustave Heller) had, a year prior to filming this episode, made a pilot for a spy series with Karl Held, who had portrayed legal assistant David Gideon four years earlier in several PM episodes. cgraul 11.30.11

No Della in this episode! I wonder why she missed out on the Hawaii trip; she's never mentioned. Ed Zoerner, 5/7/12.
+ It seems unfair for Della not to be in the Aloha Paradise with Paul & Perry; FC was her 11th/Final absence. Mike Bedard 3.18.15

Star Trek Alert: Apparently Starfleet likes Hawaii, because three actors in this episode will go on to Star Trek roles. David Opatoshu played Anan 7 in the original series Star Trek episode, "A Taste of Armageddon" (Kirk makes one of his best breathless speeches to him). Keye Luke was cast as Governor Donald Cory in the original series episode, "Whom Gods Destroy." He was considered for the role of Data's creator, Doctor Noonian Soong in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but Brent Spiner got the role. Finally, Michael Dante, a tall former professional baseball player, was a frequent extra on the original series, and also got a more-than-minor role as the tough-guy alien Maab in "Friday's Child." Submitted by MyFavoritePolarBear, 11/30/22.

The exteriors filmed in Hawaii clearly show William Hopper as Paul Drake in scenes exiting cars like to go to the shack but any appearance of Perry was done by a double who usually had his head down or looking away from the camera.-- Perry Baby 10/13/13

The building shown is the Ali iolani Hale building. by DellaFan2 4/21/2021

Murder Weapon: For the first time a person was killed with a spear gun. Submitted by H. Mason 4/22/15
+ It was also the weapon - "cause of death" might be the better term since it turns out to be accidental - in an episode of Gilligan's Island. So if you're in Hawaii and someone suggests fishing, stick with a rod and reel! Notcom, 073120.

“Thunderball”, released the year this episode aired, also featured death by spear gun. DOD 04/18/22

Paul Drake - Witness: In his ninth time on the witness stand, this was the fourth time Perry Mason was shown questioning him in court (see episodes 45, 77 and 223). Submitted by H. Mason 4/22/15

Cranky Cockatoo: A few minutes in, Paul offers his finger in friendship to the cockatoo in Jarvis Logan's house, only to be rebuffed. I, too, share my home with one of those birds and they do not welcome strangers. That's why they are in cages, I suppose. Paul should have known this from TCOT Perjured Parrot. JohnK, 9 November 2015

The Case of the Out-Of-Place Case: At 34 minutes or so in the broadcast, when Perry and Paul are enjoying lunch in the hut, we see a musical instrument case in the corner. I'm pretty certain it's a case for a banjo, which seems several thousand miles out of place in a land where the sweet, lyrical strains of ukuleles and slack-key guitars fill the warm breezes. JohnK, 11 October 2021

This is the 30th of 32 PM writing credits for Jonathon Latimer, who supposedly met prominent gangsters while working as a crime reporter in Chicago...MikeM. 2/16/2017

This is the second of two PM appearances for Joyce Jameson. After divorcing songwriter Billy Barnes, Joyce Jameson became the girlfriend of actor Robert Vaughn. In his autobiography, Vaughn wrote that Jameson suffered from depression and had to take medication to sleep. Jameson died at age 54 in what was termed a suicide by pill overdose...MikeM. 2/22/2018

Along with another PM alumna, Jean Carson, Jameson was memorable as one of the “Fun Girls” on several episodes of the “The Andy Griffith Show“. DOD 04/01/21

This is the second of two PM appearances for Jon Hall (Lt. Kia), and it is his final television appearance. Also in 1965, Jon Hall had his final film role when he directed and starred in "The Beach Girls and the Monster". In 1979, suffering from incurable cancer, Jon Hall committed suicide at the age of 64...MikeM. 6/28/2018

The Hawaiian music was very nice -- two short instrumental pieces. then a live combo playing in the restaurant, and, finally, a ukelele solo. No credits for these talented musicians, alas. Submitted by catyron, July 2nd, 2018

Comments Edit

This episode had an international cast of supporting players, many with very unusual accents. Even the supposedly Hawaiian characters had a slew of different accents. In a pre-Internet world, most viewers would not have known the difference. The show played by the "any accent will do" rule so prevalent in TV and film of the time. Unfortunately, many of these supporting players gave stilted performances. Auntie Hilo's testimony in court sounded as though she was reading from cue cards. When Anona's cousin emerges from the ocean wearing rather unfortunate swim trunks, he delivers a short monologue about what he found underwater. Unfortunately, he also sounds like a robot. What should have been a passionate speech filled with wonder wound up sounding like a computerized voice. Perhaps it's the language barrier? Maybe these actors are uncertain about getting all the English lines correct so are unconcerned with their meaning? Very unusual episode. DM

The district attorney has such strange features that it's almost scary to look at him. He resembles an alien. He wasn't all that great an actor so not sure how he wound up getting on television. DM

Is it just me, or is Auntie Hilo's accent awfully peculiar? Ed Zoerner, 5/7/12.
+ Auntie Hilo, played by Miriam Goldina, was born in Russia and definitely has a European accent -- Perry Baby 10/13/13
++ She was a Russian Jew, born on March 27, 1898 in Tsaritsyn, Russian Empire, as Miriam Goldstein. She studied under Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre, and she was the co-founder of the Los Angeles Junior Ballet with Irina Kosmovska. And, as if that was not strange enough, as a putative Hawaiian, she played the Christian classic hymn "Rock of Ages" on the harmonium. The mind boggles. Submitted by catyron, July 2nd, 2018 Not sure which hymn, but it does not sound like "Rock of Ages". Joe B. 11/29/22 There is no such place as Kamehameha Point, but there is a Fort Kamehameha, which is named after Kamehameha I. He conquered the Hawaiian Islands and formally established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi in 1810. He also made alliances with the major colonial powers in the Pacific and made it possible for the islands to remain independent. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 6/16/2014

The ʻIʻiwi bird is a real bird and it is red, but it is not extinct. In fact it is one of the most common native bird on the Hawaiian Islands. It was extirpated from the island of Lānaʻi in 1929, but is still found on the other islands of the chain. It is, however, currently listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of endangered species. Submitted by Neil Van Zile, 6/16/2014

Dolly’s room has two of our standard “swank apartment” features - that door with three decorative panels and the screen with the starbursts. Perhaps she borrowed her hair bow from Rose Marie? DOD 04/01/21

Perry assumed Auntie Hilo was the mother of Anona Gilbert. He usually doesn't make that type of mistake. Submitted by H. Mason 4/22/15

Wende Wagner, who plays Anona Gilbert in this episode, went on to play the athletic Casey Case in The Green Hornet a few years later. That girl really knew how to fill out a dress. Or in this instance, a sarong or muumuu. JohnK, 9 November 2015.

Hawaii Five-O aired an episode about the Theft of the King's Feather Cloak. Mike Bedard 4.30.15

Charlie Chan Suit? Is it me or does Lt. Kia played by Jon Hall appear to be wearing a suit worn by Charlie Chan in several movies? Funny how this happens in the very next episode after Roland Winters (Charlie Chan was a role he played) appeared in episode 229. Submitted by HamBurger 10/10/2016
+Maybe Jon Hall borrowed the suit from Warner Oland when he appeared in "Charlie Chan in Shanghai" (1935), and it took only another thirty years for him to grow into it. Submitted by BobH, 20 February 2017.

o ka hale paʻahao bound Though the producers made excellent use of that ancient Hawaiian custom - the post-trial luau (for both the defense and prosecution) they had to forgo one of PM's trademarks...the looming gas chamber: the Aloha State had abolished capital punishment in 1957 (as noted in this link, apparently Hawaii maintains "mainland facilities": truth can be stranger than pulp fiction). Noted by Notcom, 060117.

Surely a spear gun would pierce a body through. Too, it is never explained why the killer took the trouble to prop the body at the desk. And, for once, our suspect has the good sense to NOT handle the murder weapon.
Can't recall another episode with a microphone at the witness stand. DOD 03/18/20
+ If Doug were really dead and limp, his head would be down on his chest. Having the actor hold his head up is a common mistake made across the film world when someone is dead and propped up to look alive. OLEF641 8/14/21

Is this the only episode where Perry objects to the prosecution asking to have evidence entered into court? Submitted by Otto Gervaert, 4/1/21.
+ In one of the episodes where a tape recording is to be introduced - unfortunately I can't recall which one - Hamilton wishes to admit only a portion; Perry objects and asks that the whole tape be introduced (IIRC his objection is sustained and turns out to be key...naturally). Notcom, 040121.
++ In the immediately previous episode, TCOT Telltale Tap, Perry objects to Burger's introduction of the content of the wire recording, but not the actual spool of wire. Does that count? OLEF641 8/14/21

I don't remember the prosecutor having an Hispanic surname before (District Attorney Alvarez). Seems odd that that would happen first in Hawaii, not Los Angeles. DellaFan2

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

Ethical Exception: I'm no lawyer, so I could be wrong on this. But at the start of the episode, Perry's client was said to be a hotel chain (not the wealthy parrot guy Jarvis Logan). Still, along the way, in working for that client, Perry gathered information that he used against Jarvis in the trial. Surely there is some conflict at work here. JohnK, 9 November 2015
I agree with JohnK— I thought the same thing. Wouldn’t client confidentiality rules at least stand against Perry's using privileged information against his (former?) client? SoCalSis, 31 May 2023

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