Sightings: “Miss Carmody” appears, dressed unusually spiffy in a gorgeous hat and pearls, in the courtroom gallery. Read more about her and other recurring spectators. Submitted by gracep, 1/8/2011.
+ She also appears, all dolled up, with an escort as she strolls behind Joane Proctor as she makes a phone call. And another courtroom spectator is the Thin Man. Submitted by gracenote, 7/22/2011.

Location: The scene where a lake is being searched for a body was undoubtedly shot at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in the City of Arcadia -- a site for many film and television shoots. The lower archways of the old Queen Anne cottage can be seen in the background. More pictures here and here. Submitted by Fifty-Niner on 19 April 2012.

This episode begins another version of the two-part closing credits seen in the previous season. Now the main production staff and cast is seen in the first half and the rest of the production personnel in the second. As in the previous season the second half begins with the words "Perry Mason" written in quotes. In the syndicated version, the two parts are joined together. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 7/02/12.

CARS. (1) 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner, medium color, black soft-top down, Joane Proctor driving to DORADO HOTEL (10:44).

  • (2) at approx 20:30, a 1957 Dodge Lancer 4-Door hardtop, 2-tone light/medium, "Coronet" or "Royal" model, owned by Ernest Demming. It's Joane Proctor driving Demming's car to Kumagi's fruit stand. ("Lancer" = HardTop in Chrysler terminology)
  • (2a) Standing-in for the '57 Dodge, Car(2), a few seconds later (from 20:55-on), a look-alike '59 Dodge Lancer 2-Door with a bashed-in front end takes the final plunge into the ocean.
  • (3) Paul's black 1962 Thunderbird Convertible, top down, Licence No XCF 014 (number unclear), at Kumagi's fruit stand during the investigation.
  • (4) Perry's white 1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible, top down.

Background Cars. Parked on roadside as Joane drives in to DORADO HOTEL:

In the view of LOS ANGELES COUNTY COURTHOUSE from across the street @ 34:24:

The courthouse shot, 34:23-34:29, could be from Season 4. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/4/13.

Demming's Dodge [Car (2)]. 1957 Dodge cars came with a 3-speed Manual Transmission or with one of two optional Automatic Transmissions: either the 2-speed PowerFlite or the 3-speed TorqueFlite. The Manual Transmission was "Standard" but 96.5% of 1957 Dodges actually had Automatic Transmissions (ref here, p218). Gear selection was:

  • for the 3-Speed Manual, exclusively by Column-Mounted Lever, the lever being on the Right side of the steering column, just like in the linked image.
  • for both Automatics, exclusively by Push-Button Selector. Demming's dashboard is essentially identical to the linked image. The push-buttons are on Far-Left of the dash, away from unauthorized fingers (on the Left border of the image). The slender lever on the Left of the Steering Column is the Turn-Signal Selector. Under the dash toward the Left is the bright-red parking brake T-handle. The image here shows the Chrysler Corp layout of the five buttons R-N-D-1-2 for the TorqueFlite transmission (PowerFlite had four buttons R-N-D-L).

The story portrays Demming's car as having an automatic transmission, although this is not explicitly stated. The car was manufactured at Chrysler's Los Angeles Plant which Burger, technically correct, refers to as "the San Fernando plant". All I've written here applies equally well to the '59 Dodge, Car(2a), which bravely volunteered for the final plunge shot. Having read this paragraph, you now need to FORGET IT while watching the testimony of "Auto Engineer" who, in court, demonstrates the operation of a car which exists only in the Parallel Universe of Perry Mason. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/6/13.
+ The most glaring parallel universe error is that cars in gear do not roll! Kilo 10/10/2023.

Auto Engineer (Æ) is introduced to Court by Burger to describe the operation of Demming's car. Æ has with him a functional mock-up incorporating a complete steering column and handbrake actuator, supposedly duplicating the controls of the car in question. Initially, the gear selector lever is set to out-of-gear and the handbrake is applied. Two operations are shown to demonstrate an interconnecting mechanism between the gear selector lever and the "emergency brake" (handbrake):

  • Æ's Left hand (metal watchband) shifts the gear lever to "in gear", which causes the handbrake to simultaneously and automatically disengage.
  • Immediately thereafter, Burger (non-metallic watchband) re-applies the handbrake which causes the gear lever to simultaneously and automatically return to the out-of-gear position.
  • Note that Æ's Gear Selector Lever is located on the LEFT side of the steering column.

As Burger is re-applying the handbrake, the scene concludes with these lines:

  • Burger: "Then it would be possible for the defendant, having bent over and pulled on the emergency brake, to straighten up and still release it?"
  • Æ: "Yes, by simply brushing against the gear lever hard enough to put the car in gear."
  • Burger: "Thank you, sir." - End of scene, no cross-examination!

The whole demonstration is so contrary to Real World, safe automobile design & operation that viewers are bound to be totally confused. But the drama moves on so quickly to the next witness (the Druggist) that viewers don't even have time to think of asking why the Prosecutor would call an Expert Witness to testify so favourably for the Defendant. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/9/13.

Auto Engineer's Prop. The Steering Column and Steering Wheel of Æ's mock-up are those of an automatic-transmission-equipped 1957 Buick. The Column has been rotated 180° on its axis so that the gear selector lever is on the Left and the turn-signal lever is on the Right (ie, it's upside-down). A thorough comparison between the video of Æ's contraption and the '57 Buick interior will confirm that the Steering Columns and Steering Wheels are identical. Added by Gary Woloski, 6/9/13.

I want to thank GW for his thorough research on all these cars and car issues. --Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 27 August 2013.

All this courtroom business of gear selectors echoes the 1952 film noir classic Angel Face, starring Robert Mitchum and spooky Jean Simmons, where the story turned on expert testimony about whether the the shifter was working properly. JohnK, 3 January 2022.

Crash Consistency: Regarding cars, this episode is one of a few where the car that heads toward the cliff is the same car, more or less, that we see tumble down the cliff. JohnK, 19 January 2016

In the scene where the body is discovered, just after Timmy enters the room, the camera briefly shows the dead body again ... an eye on the body blinks. Submitted by Babo, 1/29/2015

This is the first of four PM appearances for Jan Shepard, who supposedly was Amanda Blake's roommate before Blake got the role of Kitty on Gunsmoke...MikeM. 11/3/2016

This is the only PM appearance for Evelyn Ward, who was married to Jack Cassidy and is the mother of David Cassidy...MikeM. 2/9/2017

Syndicated Cuts from FETV:
04:55 - 05:36 .. 0:41 At Carleton Gage's house, Joane Proctor and Nicholas Blake discuss the future of the foundation
17:27 - 19:24 .. 1:57 At the Dorado Hotel, Joane Proctor and George Gage discuss the missing Ernest Demming
21:10 - 22:01 .. 0:51 In Perry's office, Perry, Della and Paul discuss Ernest Demming's death and the Samurai armor
42:10 - 43:08 .. 0:58 Perry talks with Burger as police search for body in private lake
Total ............... 4:27
Submitted by DexterLakeClub, 02/24/22.
+ 18Dec2023 FETv cut scenes have been restored. jfh 18Dec2023