TCOT Velvet Claws was published in 1933, the first Perry Mason book. If you haven't read it, you can find it available for purchase online. If you are financially challenged, you may find that you can read it online or borrow it from a library. This seems a good time to recommend that all PM fans should read as many of the books as they can. I think you will appreciate the PM television series more if you read the books. Remember, ESG not only wrote the books, but he was involved with the TV series from start to finish...MikeM. 12/1/2016
Hear, Hear! It is truly interesting to read the Mason books and to note how they were adapted, with varying degrees of success, to TV. The books contain more detail and more of Mason's ingenious tricks and traps for his opponents. Another factor is that in the books Mason rarely or never browbeats a witness into a confession while the Judge and the DA look on passively. Gardner himself accounted for the difference between TV and print in one of his late books about Donald Lam (a disbarred lawyer turned detective) by having Lam tell a policeman who asked how he turned up the murderer in a certain case: "It had to be so-and-so because, after all I only had 52 minutes plus commercials to solve it!". The cop tells Lam to get out of his sight.
Goof: About 16:30 into the episode after a heated argument between Perry and George Belter they head down a flight of stairs. It seems apparent that the actor, Richard Webb, stumbles on the stairs and pitches forward until Raymond Burr catches him. There is a moment when the actors look at one another …then back in character as Belter, Webb mutters “Get your hand off my arm.” Classic. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 21 May 2009.
+ That "stumble" was written into the script to enable other characters to respond to a ruckus in the hallway, and for Perry to recognize one of them. Submitted by francis, 6/9/12.
++ Agreed, no goof. The stumble does give the other characters the cue to enter the scene. But the stumble also follows plausibly from the dialogue: Perry has just started mentioning details, including a name, from one of Belter's other blackmail schemes and Belter realizes how dangerous Perry really is. Great directing and staging, and great physical acting. Bravo! OldDave, filed 5/19/20
What happened to the bruise on Eva's back? When she removed Carl's raincoat, her back was exposed yet the bruise had magically disappeared. Otto Gervaert, 1/14/21
TCOT Curious Coffee Set: The Curious Coffee Set makes a fleeting appearance. Norma Vickers wants to serve the officers coffee in the Curious Coffee Set because they are prettier than the kitchen cups, but Mrs. Vickers scolds her, saying, “Policemen are not guests.” The set stays in the cabinet. Submitted by g, 1/31/2011.
+ I'm starting to see that coffee set everywhere; J. Pat O'malley drinks from it in the Fugitive (Crack in a Crystal Ball) and several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including The Deadly and one where Ray Collins is served poison in it!!! (Conversation over a Corpse). Submitted by WJones 3/21/16.
++ It also appears in an episode of “Andy Griffith” in which Barney tries to catch a shoplifter played by PM regular Laurence Tuttle. DOD 01/14/21
+++ Holy moley! We've found the mother lode! There are, by my rough count, 24 cups, 24 saucers, eighteen 6" bread and butter plates, twelve 7" luncheon plates, four 8" dinner plates, and one 10" service plate or charger in that cupboard!!! WOW. Submitted, with awe and wonder, by catyron, May 9, 2018
Character Names: The “expert” in the credits should have been listed as “Handwriting Expert,” and Perry addresses him as Joe. Submitted by g, 1/31/2011.
Once again, Lt. Tragg appears only in the credits. Submitted by g, 1/31/2011.
"The name 'Perry Mason' dates to creator Gardner's childhood...[He] was a reader of the magazine Youth's Companion...best known for publishing the original Pledge of Allegiance in 1891...[It] was published in Boston by the Perry Mason Company (later renamed Perry Mason & Co. after the founder died)," en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Mason notes. Mike Bedard 2.11.15.
The Case of The Velvet Claws was the very first Perry Mason novel ever penned by Erle Stanley Gardner. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 8 June 2011.
+ It was made into a movie in 1936. It starred Warren Williams as Perry. It was the 4th and final Perry Mason movie before the modern age. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 9 June 2011.
++ It was not the final Perry Mason movie in the 1930's. it was followed by The Case of the Black Cat (1936) and The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937). This episode aired in March, 1963, 30 years after the novel was published (March, 1933). Submitted by Bill-W2XOY on 08/15/2013.
+++ Perhaps PaulDrake33 meant it was the final movie starring the original Perry Mason, Warren Williams. The final two movies featured different actors. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 8/20/13.
++++ All of the movies are available on DVD. Added by H. Mason 10/18/14
Turner Classic Movies has been showing the Perry Mason movies from Warner Brothers (March 2019). The Spicy Bits editor is played by Addison Richards, who appeared twice in the tv show - in two of my favorite episodes, The Angry Mourner and The Traveling Treasure. JohnK, 23 March 2019
Early on, the Photographer holds up his snapshot against a framed cover of Spicy Bits magazine. It features a conservatively but stylishly dressed woman, and standing behind her is a man carrying books in front of his face. This same cover was used in #108, Envious Editor, but as the cover of a professional woman’s magazine. Submitted by gracenote, 7/26/2011.
+ And next to the door is the same photo of a provocatively-posed leggy lovely that was in the bar in #160, Unsuitable Uncle (that image is burned into my memory). Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/15/2013.
When Mr. Locket is paged in the hotel lobby, he enters the telephone booth to take the call but then is shown at the house phone just outside of the booth. After his conversation, he somehow has been transported back into the booth, which he is shown exiting. Submitted by francis, 6/9/12.
+ The phones outside the booth are white. The phone Locket uses is black. Also, he sounds like he is in a booth. Submitted by 65tosspowertrap, 11/15/2013.
Harry Jackson makes his 7th, and final, appearance on Perry here playing Frank Locket. This episode was broadcast on 21 March 1963, Harry Jackson's 40th birthday. According to IMDB, Mr. Jackson had only been acting for films and television since 1956, and this was his last appearance of any type. Maybe illness had something to do with his retirement, since he died 10 years later at the young age of 50. Submitted by PaulDrake33. 10 January 2013.
+ According to IMDb, Harry Jackson died in an automobile accident. Otto Gervaert, 1/14/21
++ With that mustache, he looks remarkably like Paul Whiteman. DOD 01/14/21
CARS. Most cars have the new BLACK-PLATE and most convertible tops are up (rain). The only car still showing an old Yellow-Plate belongs to a lawyer.
- (1) light color 1963 Buick Electra 225 Convertible, white top up, black-plate license# OET 743. It's Harrison Burke's car but Eva demands the keys and drives as she & Burke flee the casino. Burke drives the car later (41:30). "OET" could be "QET".
- (2a), (2b) are two LA County Sheriff B&Ws, each a 1963 Ford 4-Door Sedan (300 or Galaxie). The cruiser blocking Eva & Burke as they flee the casino is fitted with "Exempt" Black-Plate number "octagon-E 014". This may be a little joke by the Prop Man: octagon-E 014 was the yellow-plate licence number of a police '61 Fairlane B&W in several earlier episodes.
- (3) Perry's white 1962 Lincoln Continental Convertible top up, Yellow-Plate License No XCF 012.
- (4) Carl Griffin wobbles back to the Belter place in his white 1958 Thunderbird Convertible, top down, Black-Plate Lic No CBS 769. The TBird has one flat tire and is missing the Front-Left bumper guard. It's followed by one of the police B&Ws.
Background Cars. In the opening location-setter in front of the gambling joint, the light-colored car nearest the camera is a 1963 Mercury Meteor; there also seems to be a white 1961-63 Lincoln Continental Convertible (top down) at centre-screen but the other seven(?) cars are too indistinct to identify. Parked near Car(1) as Eva & Burke flee the casino in the opening sequence are:
- (a) a two-toned 1957 Ford Fairlane 500, Black-Plate Lic No HDS 774.
- (b) a dark-color 1963 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan, Black-Plate Lic No JPX 368.
- (c) a medium-color 1960 Cadillac (Series 62?), only front-end seen as they pull out.
On the exit road where the police car blocks Eva (opposite F.R. Robinson's mailbox) is parked:
- (d) a light-color 1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe, probably with '63 black-plate.
In a location-setting shot at 11:28:
- (e) a 1956 Plymouth Plaza 4-Door Sedan, Yellow Cab Co Taxi No 309 is stationed outside the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (7000 Hollywood Blvd). The camera for this shot was across the street, a few steps from here, just about where this is now.
At 11:42 Paul tells Perry that the "dame" (Eva) was driving a car "ten miles long" when she was tailed from Perry's office. Car(1) is 221.7" long (18' 5.7"). One of the longest cars Eva could have had at that time would be a 1960 Cadillac Series 75 at 244.8" (well over 20 feet long). A 1960 Cadillac Series 62 (el cheapo model) is 225". The first Electra 225 (1959) was 225.4" overall length, hence its name. The longest Electra 225 was the 1960 at 225.9". Buick LeSabres, Invictas & "plain" Electras were about 6 to 8 inches shorter than the same year's Electra 225. The longest regular production car ever was the 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 at 252.2" (21'). Added by Gary Woloski, 9/19/13.
Goof: Compare Harrison Burke's exit from the ladies' room window, shown at 1:26, with the photo shown at 4:50. Harrison must have climbed out of the window twice, once for the TV camera and once for the still shot. While I'm at it, the lighting in the casino room was definitely not "very dark" as Eva Belter claimed. And what right would Lt. Anderson have to tell Perry Mason to leave the house of his client? -Submitted by 10yearoldfan, 30 November 2013.
+Andy is certainly feeling his oats in this episode: he summarily dismisses Perry from the Belter house, dispite the fact that the house belongs to Perry's client with whom Perry is consulting; and at about 45 minutes in, police Lt. Anderson barges into Perry's private office unannounced, AND while Perry is in an attorney-client conference. jfh 09Mar2017.
Goof: During the emotional scene where Eva is in Perry's office immediately preceding Andy's intrusive arrival, Eva's wearing a pinky ring on her right hand --- it appears to be one of those metallic mesh rings that looks like a tiny belt (I had one of them); when Andy bursts in seconds later, just before Eva slaps Perry, she is no longer wearing the ring. jfh 01Jan2020
Richard Webb:, the actor who played the part of murder victim George C. Belter, starred as Captain Midnight on the CBS television show from 1954 to 1956. SIDE NOTE: One of his assistants was a scientist named Aristotle "Tut" Jones played by Olan Soule who appeared in several episodes of Perry Mason, usually as a court clerk. Submitted by H. Mason 2/4/15
No Court: This was the fourth episode in the series with no scenes in a courtroom. Submitted by H. Mason 2/4/15
This is the first of five PM director credits for Harmon Jones who, like RB, was born in Canada...MikeM. 12/1/2016
According to Wikipedia, Patricia Barry passed away in Los Angeles on 11 October 2016 at the age of 93...MikeM. 12/1/2016
This is the only PM appearance for Cathie Merchant, who made four appearances on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour"...MikeM. 3/9/2017
The picture page for the cast of this episode contains two different pictures of the same actress, Cathie Merchant, which is odd, since she only portrayed one character in one episode in the entire series - "Esther Linten". Submitted by Carl S. - 03/27/18