#261: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 02/20/66
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
Perry and Paul want to go fishing, but a murder gets in their way. Elaine Bayler is a woman who has been serving as a “patroness” for a young musician named Donald Hobart. She’s also the wife of the Scarlet Center’s leading citizen, Richard Bayler, who is a client of Perry’s.
Elaine is being blackmailed. Someone wants $10,000 or else they’ll tell her husband that she’s been having an affair with Hobart. Elaine drives out to Scarlet Point with Donald to leave the money, but is brutally shot and killed. The sheriff arrests the musician, but the story twists when Hobart is released and his girlfriend, Cynthia Perkins, is charged with the crime. Perry successfully defends her, but pays a steep price: By the time he’s through, fishing season is over.
TV fans will recognize Will Hutchins of Sugarfoot, the successful Warner Brothers TV Western of the 1950s, in the role of musician Donald Hobart.
Starring Raymond Burr
in The Case of THE SCARLET SCANDAL
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper
Directed by Jerry Hopper
Written by Kenneth M. Rosen
Arthur Marks \ Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Ernest Frankel | Story Consultant
Orville H. Hampton | Associate Story Consultant
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
Music | Richard Shores
Will Hutchins as Donald Hobart
Gene Evans as Moose Dalton
Luana Patten as Cynthia Perkins
Mala Powers as Elaine Bayler
Lloyd Gough as Richard Bayler
Clint Sundberg as Aaron Chambers
Richard Devon as Ed Kesko
Dee Pollock as Howard Bayler
Connie Gilchrist as Natasha
Blair Davies as C. A. Woodmire
William Keene as Judge Seymour
Walter Stocker as Charlie Horgan
Carl Prickett as Mark
Jack Swanson as 1st Deputy
Alex Bookston as 1st Reporter
Paul Sorensen as 2nd Deputy
Pat McCaffrie as 2nd Reporter
Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … Richard H. Cahoon, A.C.E.
Casting … Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Irving Pringle
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Bob Wolfe, 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
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Location: The County Courthouse early in the episode is actually the Malibou Lake Clubhouse which still exists. The Clubhouse has been used in several Perry Mason episodes like episode #113. Malibou Lake is also featured in episode #45 and 195. Posted by Eric Cooper, 9/21/2009.
About 34 minutes into this 1966 episode, Paul, Perry, and Della go to Natasha’s and you can clearly hear the 1965 #1 hit “Downtown” play in the background. Posted by Eric Cooper, 9/21/2009.
+ Also playing in the background is "Bye Bye Baby", notably sung by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 movie "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". jfh 10Aug2018.
+ A snippet of "Bye Bye Baby" is also sung by 'Sandy Chester' two episodes later in "The Case Of The Avenging Angel". jfh 14Aug2018.
Location: At the same time that Downtown plays, Paul checks the car registration of Cynthia Perkins. Her address is listed as 1416 No. La Brea. This is an inside joke. That address was not only the home of Perry Mason’s production company Paisano Productions from 1961 to 1966 but also where Raymond Burr often slept during the filming of episodes. It was originally Charlie Chaplin studios but is currently home to Jim Henson Productions. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 5 October 2010.
+ Photograph of 1416 LaBrea in 1965. ----cgraul 6.25.16
Sightings: Even though the preliminary hearing is not in Los Angeles, both Little Old Lady #1 makes the trip out to the country to be part of the spectators. A somewhat older Distinguished Lady #3 might be there as well. More about these and other favorite frequent faces. Submitted by gracenote, 6/4/2011.
Character Names: ... or, at least, initial. Sheriff Moose Dalton's first initial is "A", as shown on the door to his office. jfh 10Aug2018.
Will Hutchins portrayed Dagwood Bumstead in the second Blondie sitcom in 1968. The first Blondie series (1957) starred Arthur Lake, the Dagwood of the movie series. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 6/15/12.
Gene Evans appeared as a race-track Security Chief in "Message From Beyond," Season 1/Episode 1 of IRONSIDE. A 2nd Ironside & a War Correspondent role in "Blood & Guts," M*A*S*H are in his IMDb Filmography. Mike Bedard 3.5.15.
It's interesting that Raymond Burr was already beginning to look like his Ironside character in this final season (just the wheelchair was missing). Submitted by HamBurger, 07/02/2017
This is the only PM writing credit for Kenneth M. Rosen, who was head writer for 37 episodes of "Days of Our Lives" in 1965...MikeM. 3/31/2017
This is the only PM appearance for Luana Patten who, at the age of eight, was featured with Bobby Driscoll in Disney's "Song of the South"...MikeM. 4/6/2018
Clint Sundberg was in several of the great MGM musicals, including "Good News" and "Easter Parade". Connie Gilchrist is best known as Nora Muldoon in "Auntie Mame". DOD 04/06/18
+ Connie Gilchrist shows her quick reflexes when her earring drops from her ear, and she manages to quickly trap it on the table. jfh 10Aug2018.
++ And it's good to see 'Continuity' is on the ball, as her earring is missing in the following close-ups at the table. Submitted by Tragg, 1st August 2022.
Interesting spin in this show. Don Hobart is the first suspect - but Perry makes it clear that he's going to get to the truth .. and boy, does he. So ... and this show is the first time I can think of that Perry is not only speechless, but pretty darn ticked off, as well, when it ends. Posted by MikeReese, 5/17/2013
+ The "spin" used in this episode is similar to the one used in #215, TCOT Sleepy Slayer. Submitted by Bill-W2XOY on 08/17/13..
If only Cynthia Perkins had noticed a gun missing in the gun case when she left to follow Hobart, it would have been a quick show but she should have known all a long. A little bit of police brutality and letting a non-law enforcement officer slap someone in the sheriff's office. Alas, just 10 more episodes from the DVD collection to watch. Submitted by Perry Baby 1/18/14.
OK people. How did the gun get back in the case? PerryFan Steve 4/5/20
Just watched this again, paying very close attention, and there is no explanation. Odd, because it is a major plot point. And if, as Perry says, Elaine knew Don was her ‘blackmailer’, why go through that charade about hiding the money? With some tighter plotting, this could have been one of the better episodes. DOD 04/30/20
RE: Gun. When Perry sees Cynthia in jail, she asks why the police wouldn't believe her. Perry rattles off a list of things and buried in the middle is the fact that she returned the murder weapon to the gun case, after finding it at the scene of the crime. Crunchy 12 Sep 2020
"Deputy" comes from an Old French word meaning "to assign authority, a function, etc. to" (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). Mike Bedard 3.4.15.
This CLASSIC combines the ECLECTIC features that made PM a 9-Year Phenomenon: a Country setting, a Small-town Sheriff's Dept. "Lab technician/Fingerprint expert/Ballistics man" & a high-Powered client Perry takes on. "Ballistics" comes from a Greek word, "to throw"/"an ancient machine for throwing stones or other missiles" (Webster's Unabridged Dictionary). The Tyrannical client reminds PM of his $10K Annual Retainer; Perry counters with his duties as "an Officer of the court, a Citizen & a Human Being" and upholds the "Benefit of Counsel," Amendment 6: "In all Criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy THE RIGHT...TO HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL FOR HIS DEFENSE." With Only 10 left to go, the series was Still HIGH QUALITY in its 261st episode! Mike Bedard 3.6.15.
There's also an explicit on-screen murder, a shot to the head of the victim through the windshield of her convertible. jfh 07Mar2023
There is a certain look and pacing to PM episodes, which most directors try to adhere to. The direction here is stilted, unimaginative and lackluster. Disappointing, and the extreme close-ups used do nothing to help. cgraul 6.25.16
+ I couldn't agree more: although (as Mike notes above) every imaginable cliché was squeezed in, apparently they had to cut things out to compensate, and what they cut out was continuity, plot, logic...it plays more like a Peyton Place highlights reel than a Perry Mason episode. Notcom, 062516.
The shooting range seems to be in a poor location. People that approach on the path end up being behind the targets as in the case when Howard Baylor makes one last shot with the pistol after being summoned his father - one errant shot and the butler would have got it. As I write this, we learn that Barbara Hale (Della) passed away yesterday. May she rest in peace. Submitted by Perry Baby 1/29/17
+ The butler was pretty meek for someone who was almost used for target practice!. Submitted by catyron, August 9th, 2018
Perry tells Richard Bayler that Hobart was assaulted while in custody, not mentioning that Bayler himself was the assailant. jfh 07Mar2023
Don mentions that Elaine came in, "screaming like Lucia". Not being well-versed in saints, I had to look it up. jfh 07Mar2023.
Interesting that when Aaron Chambers shines his flashlight on Perry, Paul and Della it's not turned on! In that same shot it also appears that the room lights are already on. (Thus negating the need for the flashlight.) In the next shot the lights are off and the flashlight is on. Kilo 11/10/2018.
Natasha's has an odd mix of customers. Tables of old men and women watching young people dance the Monkey, the Jerk and the Frug. Kilo 5/12/2020.
In the court scenes there were several close ups of Howard Bayler. For a young person he seemed to have the haircut of a man twice his age. Quite hideous! The hair that is!
Submitted by Hamilton Burger for Governor 07/03/2020
++ In mentioning "hideous" people, I've always thought Richard Devon (Ed Kesko), was a very strange looking actor, an aged man with very obviously dyed black hair and very bushy dyed black eyebrows. Submitted by Tragg, 1st August 2022
I love the way the judge uses a pencil as a gavel! It really gives the feel of a small-town courtroom. And then the sound effects make it sound much louder than it would have been. Submitted by IncompetentIrrelavantandImmaterial 05/20/2021
+ Actually, judges on Perry Mason almost always use the top end of a pencil to rap their desks instead of a gavel. In fact, I can't remember a gavel being used at all in I don't know how long. Has anybody done a study on which episodes a gavel was used? OLEF641 9/28/21