#86: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 02/27/60
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Mauvis Meade, author of the bestseller Chop the Man Down, sends her secretary out to a mountain cabin to pick up a package. Gladys gets lost and her car is stuck in the mud. She walks to a cabin looking for help and meets a mysterious man who seems to know her. While Gladys freshens up, the man leaves and Gladys finds--a dead body.
Perry has to find the mystery man in the cabin in order to clear Gladys, but several things are working against him. First of all, the cabin was rented in Gladys's name. And second, it appears that Gladys was unknowingly working as a courier for the underworld.
Louise Fletcher, one of the stars of the award-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, plays Gladys the secretary; Trekkies will also know her as the ethically challenged Kai Winn on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Also, watch for Norman Fell, who starred as the jerky landlord on "Three's Company," as Casper Pedley.
Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s
The Case of THE MYTHICAL MONKEYS
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Directed by Gerald Mayer
Teleplay by John Lattimer
Herbert Hirschman | Producer
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Produced by The CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
Seeleg Lester | Associate Producer, Story Consultant
Arthur Marks | Associate Producer
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
Beverly Garland as Mauvis Meade
Lawrence Dobkin as Gregory Dunkirk
Louise Fletcher as Gladys Doyle
Lew Gallo as Richard Gilman
Joan Banks as Mrs. Manley
Norman Fell as Caspar Pedley
John Reach as Dukes Lawton
Nelson Leigh as Judge
Bill Erwin as Morrison Findlay
Bill Boyett as Kelton
Frances Morris as Miss Carlisle
Paul Lees as Parking Lot Attendant
Ralph Brooks as Headwaiter
George E. Stone as Court Clerk
Art Seid, A.C.E. | Assistant to the Producer
Production Supervisor … Dewey Starkey
Director of Photography … Frank Redman, A.S.C.
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, S.C.H.
Wardrobe Supervision … William Zacha, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Charles Q. Vassar
Sound Effects Editor … Gene Eliot, M.P.S.E.
Music Editor … Gene Feldman
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … M.E.M. Gibsone
Sound … Glen Glenn Sound Co.
Perry Mason \ A Film Presentation
A CBS Television Network Presentation
+This is Joan Banks’ (Mrs. Manley) third appearance on Perry, (TCOT Negligent Nymph, and Fancy Figures previously) and for the third time she plays the wife of the murder victim. The difference this time is that she is not an alcoholic. Submitted by PaulDrake 33.
+ "Left-Handed Liar"& "Woeful Widower" were her 2 other Perry appearances. Mike Bedard 7.28.16
+ She was in all 4 of those mentioned episodes above including this one for five in all. The real question is was she an alcoholic in all 4 other episodes? HamBurger 7/29/2016
Location: About 10.5 minutes in we see a quick shot of Parker Center, 150 N. Los Angeles Street, before they cut to Tragg inside. Submitted by Eric Cooper 23 September 10.
Continuity Error: In the scene where Perry questions Mauvis Meade in her apartment, Mauvis has a cigarette in her left hand -cut- the cigarette now is in her right hand -cut-cut- the cigarette is back in her left hand. Submitted by Craig 4/24/10.
+ Another continuity error involving Mason and Mauvis shows Mason sitting then standing during their conversation. After standing, a brief close-up of Mason listening to Mauvis (@ 19:12) shows him again sitting. The shot which immediately follows shows him standing again. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 2/10/15.
++ Perhaps related to the continuity errors - or not - I found this episode to have a number of instances of curious filming: the picture going from a distance shot to a close-up, but for no obvious reason...not a (deliberate) zoom shot, but more like the camera had been improperly placed and some foreground object ended up in the way. Wondering, Notcom 011120.
Dead Ringer: The corpse that Gladys glimpses in the darkened cabin appears to be the same actor who also portrays the crooked lawyer, "Gregory Dunkirk", in that same episode (with the addition of a disguising mustache). Submitted by cspoleta, 11/24/17
Character Names: Mrs. Manley's first name is Viola. (Her brother Caspar Pedley calls her this.) Submitted by gracep 9/30/2010.
+Kelton's first name is Pete.
Sightings: (and Continuity Error) Several recurring spectators appear in the courtroom gallery. Behind Caspar Pedley, the Little Old Lady in a Hat peeks out at the proceedings, but she disappears in the middle of the trial. Two seats down from her sits a Quiet Old Man, although he ends up in different seats throughout the hearing. A Cute Young Lady looks on with interest, and Distinguished Lady #2 acts very surprised by certain revelations. Submitted by gracep 9/30/2010.
+ In court, we also find Miss Carmody in the back row and Little Old Lady #2 in the front with a hat. Submitted by Bill767, 10/31/15.
CARS. (1) Perry's white 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IV Convertible, top up (raining);
- (2) 1955 Ford Fairlaine Sedan V8, white w/medium-color roof, Drake's operative Pete Kelton;
- (3) white 1959 Buick Convertible, LeSabre or Invicta, registered to Richard Gilman, top up.
BACKGROUND CARS in restaurant parking lot:
- (a) 1959 Edsel Convertible, Lic No RWS 016, med color w/white top;
- (b) 1959 Chrysler Windsor 4Dr HardTop, med color;
- (c) beyond tail of Car(b), a white Volvo PV544 (intro 1958), read about it here;
- (d) a 1949 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe Wagon all-steel body, like this minus the "Woody" trim;
- (e) '59 Buick, probably the same car as Burger's in ep#83 and Huston's in ep#85;
- (f) a light-color 1957 Ford Custom 2-Door Sedan ("Tudor");
- (g) 1957 Chevrolet 210 Townsman Station Wagon;
- (h) a black 1959 Buick Electra 225 4Door Hardtop (the "FlatTop"), see roof and Panoramic Rear Window as the car enters "GLOBE FILM CORPORATION" here.
The (notional) "restaurant parking lot" is the General Service Studios parking lot so some background cars are probably owned by Studio employees. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/29/12.
+ I spotted a Nash Metropolitan parked at Edgar Carlisle's sister's house (13:24 on the dvd). It could be a 1959 model but the car's design didn't change much year to year so it's hard to tell. Only the rear of the car is visible. Submitted by Kilo 07/28/2017.
Gilman's Registration Form. Perry checks out the ownership of the cars in the restaurant parking lot. The Registration form of the Buick Convertible is shown at 39:46 (CBS/Paramount DVD):
AUTOMOBILE REGISTRATION___235499x . . . ("x" probably is "4", see here) NAME..Richard Gilman___________Code--42 ADDR REGISTERED OWNER...350 Sierra Rd. Licence No...NFL 252___Engine No Xy547769 Make....Buick________Type....Convertable (sic) First Sold....1/8/59_____________Fee....$48.50 Date Issued....5/23/59 Registered Owner....Richard Gilman
Look! The last line is overprinted with "Denver Leonard"! Compare to Denver Leonard's registration from ep#83 here. The Buick is certainly the same one in both episodes but the cockeyed bull horns from Ep#83 have been discarded for this ep. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/30/12.
+ Instead of "Denver Leonard" being overprinted, it appears a new label with some of the same info has been pasted over the original. [The address number, although the same as the original, is typed further above the line than in the original.] Unfortunately, the new label comes up a bit short (Richard Gilman's name is a bit cut off) and doesn't completely cover the old label. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 2/10/15.
Costumes: Note that Mason wears rounded club collars for the first 26 minutes of this episode. But while visiting the cabin, he wears his usual button-down collar, which he still wears in the next scene. Then, when he appears in court at 30:18, he is again wearing a rounded club collar, which he keeps for the rest of the episode. Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 22 Sept 2012.
Closed-Caption Anomaly: After Dunkirk hands Mauvis' keys back to her, they jingle in her hand. At 6:52 the closed-captioning on the CBS/Paramount season set reads "coins jingle" although she is holding no coins. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 2/10/15.
Brilliant Deduction on the part of Perry Mason. Looking up at the coffee can (@ 28:30) he remarks "This looks like a coffee can." Since the only visible word on the can is "coffee" (written four times) one can only wonder how he came up with that reasoning. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 2/10/15.
In the novel Perry enters the cabin to look around and later finds the coffee can under the house. To expedite matters in the episode he doesn't enter the cabin and "finds" the can (already being told where it was) under the roof. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 2/10/15.
This is the first of two PM directing credits for Gerald Mayer, who was the nephew of Louis B. Mayer...MikeM. 11/4/2016
This is the only PM appearance for Beverly Garland, who also appeared in a single episode of "The New Perry Mason" television series in 1973...MikeM. 8/4/2017
It is rather amusing how offended Burger seems at the idea of the cabin being used as a “love nest.” His reaction, a whispered “Really!” is almost Victorian. Submitted by gracep 9/30/2010.
This episode aired a few weeks before William Talman was arrested at the so-called "nude pot party" at an apartment in West Hollywood. Talman was quoted as saying, "What can I say? This is going to ruin me." PM producer Gail Patrick Jackson was quoted as saying, " I don't think it will help his career any, if the report is true." Submitted by MikeM, 1/10/2013.
Hamilton says they found the fire "already lighted". Isn't the correct term "already lit"? HamBurger 7/29/2016
+ Probably both are correct but lit is preferred. https://writingexplained.org/lighted-vs-lit-difference Submitted by Kilo 5/18/2018.
>> And, as noted (above), even if Hamilton wasn't an expert on being "already lit", William Talman was... Ca-ching!! by Notcom 051818.
Mm..mm..good!! Mythical Monkies with Mauvis Meade: was PM angling to have Campbell's soup become a sponsor ?? Queried by Notcom, 112517.
Perry, or rather Raymond Burr sounds a bit hoarse in the throat, like his in the throes of a cold of flu. He still sounds hoarse in at least one scene of the following episode. [unsigned]
+ Raymond Burr certainly does seem to have a bad cold and a stuffed up nose in this episode. I wonder if having to shoot around him being sick is what led to the uncharacteristic number of continuity errors, especially in the Perry / Mauvis scene, which seems to consist of two quite different takes or set-ups badly grafted together. Submitted by catyron, February 4th, 2021.
In the scene with Gladys in Perry's office, Perry gives Tragg somewhat detailed directions to the cabin over the phone. Tragg must have a good memory because he doesn't write them down. Later in the scene, Paul enters the office. Perry tells Paul to have one of his operatives check on the cabin, but he doesn't give Paul any of the details on how to find it. [unsigned]
How Many Murders?: In how many episodes was Joan Banks not only the wife but also the murderer? This episode, and "Negligent Nymph" for sure. Does anyone remember who the murderer was in the other 3 episodes? Is there a page, either on this blog or elsewhere, where the names of the murderers are listed? Submitted by cspoleta, 11/25/17.