Location: Serra Retreat. One of the amazing things about Perry Mason is they don’t disguise location. This episode set at a retreat in a Francisan Order is in fact an actual Francisan Order in Malibu that does offer retreats. The 50-room mansion was first built by the Rindge Family in the 1920s. The Rindges owned all of Malibu at one time but got in costly lawsuits with the government and railroads over access through their property. Consequently they ran out of money and were never able to complete the structure, selling it to the Francisan Order in 1942. Serra Retreat as it is now known is closed on weekends but you can visit it for free during the week. Access is off of Pacific Coast Highway. There is a guard gate but if you tell them you are going to Serra Retreat they will let you through. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 8/13/2009. Edited by gracep, 12/1/2010.
+ The Rindges were also known for their Adohr Farms Dairy in Encino (Adohr is Rhoda Rindge’s first name backwards) and their world famous Malibu tiles. Rhoda Rindges’ home called the Adamson House is on the beach directly across from the entrance to Serra Retreat. It is now a historical landmark and well worth the $5 docent tour. Posted by Eric Cooper, August 13, 2009.
For the seventh time, Karl Held appears as dapper young David Gideon, law student and sometime assistant to Perry Mason and Paul Drake (and Della Street, come to that). He has two more appearances left. Submitted by gracep, 12/1/2010.
+ Seven appearances and he still calls Perry "Mr. Mason"; even allowing for the greater emphasis given to "respecting your elders - as well as your boss !! - at the time, this episode has element of formality that makes it seem stiff. Notcom, 011417.
Here we have yet another episode in which Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) is credited but does not appear. Good thing Lt. Anderson is around. Submitted by gracep, 12/1/2010.
Sightings: In the courtroom gallery, behind Osborn and Winifred Dunbrack on the prosecutor’s side, “Miss Carmody” and Quiet Old Man #1 sit together. On the second day of the hearing, the priest comes in and sits next to our taciturn friend. “Sasha Magaloff” is on the front row on Perry’s side. Little Old Lady #1 also shows her demure face in the gallery. Submitted by gracep, 12/9/2010.
+ "Sasha Magaloff" is now known to be the actor Mitchell Rhein. Submitted by catyron, November 16, 2020.
+ The Pencil Mustache Man sits in the gallery, too, and visibly reacts to the testimony. Submitted by gracenote, 7/13/2011.
CARS. (1) Harlan Merrill's 1961 Buick Electra 225 Convertible, medium-color body, white top up. In the interior shots you can read "ELECTRA 225" on the dash above the glove box.
- (2) Perry's white 1961 Lincoln Continental Convertible, top up, Licence No VUD 434.
- (3) 1962 Plymouth Savoy 4-Door Sedan Police B&W, parked beside the chalked outline of the murdered body (17:17). Sgt Brice gets out of the driver's seat and waves up to Drake, Gideon & Lt Anderson (wearing hat) looking down from Serra Retreat. More photos here. This is the First 1962 Model-Year Car to appear in the series. See Comments section for ID features.
- (4) 1961 Ford Fairlane 4-Door Sedan Police B&W, parked beside Car (3).
- Background Cars (a, b, c): three 1956 Plymouth Plaza 4-Door Sedans, Yellow Cab Co on rear doors, waiting in taxi line outside "LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURTHOUSE". These fleet taxis are a bit more austere (eg, missing some trim) than the general sales version.
It's no accident that Car(3) 1962 Plymouth Savoy Police Special is the first 1962 model-year car in the series. One year earlier, the first 1961 model-year car to appear was a police 1961 Plymouth Savoy 4-Door Sedan in Ep#106. Police departments and taxi companies were prime prospects for the automakers' Fleet Sales arms. I suggest that the '56 Plymouth taxis (suggesting high-use durability) could have been connected to the Product Placement of the Plymouth police car. I bet a lot of Police Chiefs watched Perry Mason! Added by Gary Woloski, 2/13/13.
Wrong Number: When David called Perry's office the sound effects didn't match Perry's number (Madison 5-1190). Submitted by H. Mason 11/15/14
Half Over (or is it half to come??) as determined by the Episodes listing on this site, this show represent the exact mid-point of the series. Submitted by Notcom, 122115.
This is the only credited acting role for Donna Atwood, who was an accomplished ice skater...MikeM. 10/7/2016
This was the only PM appearance for Jo Summers, who was an uncredited slave girl in the movie Spartacus...MikeM. 1/13/2017
TCOT Curious Coffee Set: At 31:53 Perry has a Curious Coffee cup on his desk and David uses the Space Age Metallic Carafe to pour himself a cup as well. A third cup sits empty on the round table. Submitted by catyron 02/17/2018.
Note the chalk outline on the dirt road where the body was found when the police investigate. jfh 25Oct2018.
“Please Murder Me” (1956) was on local TV today. It stars Raymond Burr (as an attorney!) and Dick Foran (the murder victim). There’s a plot twist I won’t reveal here. You’ll see many PM regulars, too. Quite the film noir. It’s almost like a PM prequel. Kilo 1/26/2020.