Talman returns! Hurrah, William Talman returns at District Attorney Hamilton Burger. He had been off the show since Episode #87, “The Case of the Singing Skirt,” 12 March 1960, a total of
22 19 episodes [see below]. His first witness back was Dr. Hoxie, and his first words were “and the time of death doctor?” Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 5/5/2009. Edited by gracep, 11/1/2010.
+ Correction: To be more precise, Talman did appear in #95-#97, but these were probably filmed before he left. After “Singing Skirt,” he was absent from #88-#94 and #98-#109 for a total of 19 absences. Submitted by gracep, 11/1/2010.
++ For more information about Talman’s woes and the story behind his departure, see related trivia items for episodes #87-89 and #95-97. Also read about the credits (link in the sidebar). Submitted by gracep, 11/1/2010.
Someone must have kept that money for quite a while. The 50-dollar bill pictured on this episode with Benjamin Franklin on the face was first issued in 1874. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 7/29/2009.
Richard Gaines makes his 13th of 14 appearances as the judge on Perry. His 12th appearance was on 22 October 1960. In the ensuing 3 months something remarkable has happened to Judge Gaines. If you go to episode #46, “TCOT Married Moonlighter,“ there is posted a picture of Judge Gaines. You will notice that he is quite bald, as he has been in all the previous 12 episodes. However in this episode he has a full head of light colored hair, either silver or blond. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 5 August 2009.
+ [Note: The actor picture at #46 is randomly chosen from those available. Click here for the available pictures from that episode.]
Cathy O'Donnell may be best remembered by her role in the 1946 classic "The Best Years of Our Lives" when she played the girlfriend of returning war veteran and double amputee Homer Parrish. That was her first credited role. Bill767, 1/3/16.
Goof: When Ralph Duncan drives up his driveway, pay attention to the background. Now, fast forward to when Duncan is stopped by the police or Perry arrives at the murder house. Observe the neighborhood. I think you will see that Ralph Duncan and Lloyd Farrell were neighbors! Kind of makes you wonder why Charley had to drive Ralph to Farrell’s when he could have just walked. Submitted by billp, 9 November 2009.
Actually, you can see Ralph Duncan’s two-tone Dodge across the street behind the policemen at Lloyd Farrell’s house. I also think if you compare Ralph’s clothes when he comes home with the groceries and when he’s at the murder house, you’ll find they’re the same. Clearly these two scenes were filmed at the same time. And it’s also really night-time! Not just daylight pretend night-time. We can probably forgive the Perry Mason folks for that. As I recall, those old black-and-white TVs did a pretty good job making day look like night all by themselves. Submitted by billp, 12 November 2009.
It seems no one back in the 60s expected people in the future to be able to improve the quality of the old shows and make daylight look more like daytime again instead of fake night time.
+ It still amazes me, however, how many people complain that it's obviously daytime, and criticize the directors for thinking we couldn't tell the difference. Obviously these people never watched PM back in the 50s & 60s on a new B&W TV. As you said, those sets made even daytime scenes look like night. Submitted by Arisia, 03/12/18
++ In all fairness, it should be stated:
1. Film and cameras in those days had a hard time getting quality images under true nighttime conditions, so it was common practice to shoot night scenes in daylight but underexpose them to a certain extent.
2. Filming at night certainly involved payment of overtime wages; an unnecessary expense in the budget, especially for a scene lasting a minute or two.
One more thing, there have been comments on other episodes about how the outdoor scene is obviously shot in daylight, but the scene from inside clearly shows it dark outside. ALL indoor shooting was done on sets on a sound stage; the "outdoors" could easily be underlit to make it look like nighttime. OLEF641 2/24/21
Objection!: The director more than made up for those slips at about 30 minutes on the DVD, when Perry, unseen at the defense table, pops up from behind a blathering Burger to object to a point. JohnK, 7 October 2015
Linguistic Lapse: At 31 minutes or so on the DVD, when the housekeeper is on the hot seat, Mason says "you inferred" -- when he surely means "you implied." One would think that with all the writers around, not to mention the urbane actors, they would sidestep such simple scripting slips. JohnK, 7 October 2015
Sightings: A trio of courtroom regulars appear in this episode. The Pencil Mustache Man sits in the first row behind the defense table. The Quiet Old Man (#1) can be seen during cutaways to Helen Duncan and the Little Old Lady in a Hat can be seen during cutaways of Charlie Nickles. Submitted by Kenmore, 9/21/2010.
+ Two more regulars appear. “Miss Carmody” has a gig as a waitress where Perry, Della, and Paul discuss the case. You can see her serving a table behind them. Later she shows up in the croutroom gallery, too, along with the “Thin Man”. Submitted by gracep, 11/1/2010.
++ The Thin Man works as the bartender as Miss Carmody serves. Bill767, 1/3/16.
"Distinguished Lady #4" sits in the back row on the prosecution side. We get some good glimpses of her in the CUs of the murderer during the confession scene! Submitted by JazzBaby, 9/4/2019.
Uncredited Actors: At one restaurant scene is a heavy-built man in a dark suit, visible between Della and Perry. He reappears in the background behind Paul Drake in a later restaurant scene, where we also see frequently uncredited actor Robert Wegner dining. “Miss Carmody” (see item above) is still working there. Submitted by gracep, 11/1/2010.
+Robert Wegner then changes into his police uniform and appears as a cop holding the defendant at the murder scene. Bill767, 1/3/16.
Character Names: Michael Fox is listed merely as “autopsy surgeon” instead of his usual name, Dr. Hoxie (though he is never addressed thus). Nurse Hamilton’s first name is Ann. Submitted by gracep, 11/1/2010 and updated 7/5/2011.
+ The name of Vaughn Taylor's character (Ralph Duncan) was also the name of Thomas Browne Henry's character in episode 2 TCOT Sleepwalker's Niece. I know it's not impossible for two people to have the same name. That fact was mentioned in episode 43 TCOT Sardonic Sergeant. At least fifty other people in the USA and I have the same name. Submitted by H. Mason 11/5/14
Mr. And Mrs. Duncan enjoy breakfast and the morning paper with a coffee set that looks remarkably like the same one Perry and Paul use in a restaurant. (It is not, however, the Curious Coffee Set that has appeared in loads of episodes, but it is rather similar. The difference is a white bottom half in the knock-off.) Submitted by gracenote, 7/5/2011.
CARS. (1) 1956 Dodge Coronet 4-Door Sedan, Lic GBE 475, 2-tone white/med, Ralph Duncan.
- (2) Perry's white 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V Convertible, white top up.
- (3), (4) 1961 Ford Fairlane 4-Door Sedans, POLICE, Lic No's E 014 & E 904 ("E"s are inscribed in octagons). These are the first 1961-Model-Year Fords to appear in PM.
- (5) In this, the 4th appearance of Paul's black 1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible (white top up), we finally see more than just its upholstery. 1960 ID features: 3 groups of hash-marks on tail, 3 big taillights in each tail rocket-pod and Thunderbird script on the side-molding.
The "E-in-octagon" initial character on the Police plates is supported by the clear shot at 3:32 of ep#116, Car (6). "E-in-octagon" = a gov't vehicle exempt from Registration Fee. Later appearances of these cars also show that they are Fairlanes, not Galaxies. Added by Gary Woloski, 10/4/2012.
Recycled Newsprint. Below the "Death Reveals Fortune" newspaper article that Helen points out to Ralph at breakfast is another article which reads:
- "Plane Lost a Year Ago In Andes Still Untraced - Special Cable - BUENOS AIRES - A year ago this week the airplane San José, carrying United States . . . "
This article actually did appear in The New York Times on July 20, 1933. It reported the continuing mystery of the July 16, 1932 disappearance of a Pan American Airlines flight from Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eight months after the July 20 NYTimes article, the plane was found four miles south of Puente Del Inca, Argentina; see the March 22, 1934 issue of the Jefferson City Post Tribune, page 8. The plane, named San José, was a Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-C, registration number NC 403H. Other newspaper articles from 1933/34 have appeared in Episode Numbers 13, 67, etc. The doomed ship in the Ep#13 article was the Charles Jose. Added by Gary Woloski, 8/31/12.
Once again, we have the wildly inaccurate episode description in The Perry Mason TV Show Book by "two of his greatest fans" about an episode seen in syndication for 20 years before the book was published. No one said Ralph Duncan was "underpaid." That he didn't make so much so that stealing $153,000 wouldn't be tempting is not the same thing. And when did Ralph's wife hire Perry Mason? [To be fair, another Perry Mason book, The Perry Mason Casebook by David Martindale states that Ralph Duncan is accused of murdering the "woman" to whom the money "rightly" belongs. That woman wasn't murdered at all.] Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/20/14.
A police car radio message "Correction, Unit 3, come in" can be heard twice in this episode, once at 17:47 and repeated at 19:56. This same message can be heard in "The Case of the Gilded Lily" (#34) and "The Case of the Married Moonlighter" (#46). Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/20/14.
This is the first of three PM appearances for Liam Sullivan...MikeM. 9/1/2016
This is the first of three PM appearances for Virginia Christine, who was Mrs. Olson in commercials for Folgers coffee...MikeM. 12/8/2016
This is the only PM appearance for Eve March and, according to imdb, her final film or television acting role...MikeM. 9/7/2017
Perry lights up: One of the few times we see Perry light a cigarette, and one of the fewer times we see him actually take drag. jfh 28Dec2017.