Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Capricious Corpse 

Joane Proctor and her boyfriend are concerned what will happen to a home for disabled children when Carleton Gage dies. When they find one of the heirs dead, the boyfriend concocts an idea that backfires with Joane is charged with murder.


Arthur Marks


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jonathan Latimer

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Wesley Lau ... Police Lt. Andy Anderson
John Howard ... Dr. Guy Omstead
Jacques Aubuchon ... George Gage
Lee Farr Lee Farr ... Nicholas Blake
Lori March ... Olive Omstead
Jan Shepard Jan Shepard ... Joane Proctor
Jean Engstrom Jean Engstrom ... Claudia Demming
Dennis Rush Dennis Rush ... Timmy
Evelyn Ward Evelyn Ward ... Nurse Evelyn King
John Pickard ... Detective Boykins


Joane Proctor and her boyfriend, Nick Blake, both work at a home for disabled children. The Gage Youth Foundation in Palos Verdes is funded by the elderly Carleton Gage who, on his death bed, asks Joane to contact Perry Mason to change his will. Concerned that his life's work, the Foundation, will be destroyed, he now wishes to disinherit his son-in-law, Ernest Demming, and nephew, George Gage. He has proof that they are plotting to split the entire estate, no matter who inherits. When Nick Blake finds Demming dead of an apparent heart attack before Carleton Gage dies, he conceives of an elaborate plot to try and protect the Foundation assuming Gage will die very soon. Unfortunately, the old man does not die until later the next day forcing Nick to dispose of the body in a lake. Nick and Joane then execute a plan in which the body of Demming supposedly goes over a cliff into the ocean after a heart attack after Joane exits the car. In doing so however, Joane is charged with his murder... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

4 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The role of Nurse Evelyn King in this episode is played by Evelyn Ward. She is the mother of the late David Cassidy. It happens that the Perry Mason show is mentioned in season 3, episode 16 of "The Partridge Family," See more »


The car Joann Proctor drives up to the Vegetable stand in is a 57 Dodge 4 door. The car that goes over the cliff is a 57 Dodge 2 door. It clearly has been mashed in in the middle front end and hood before going over the cliff, most likely they got it from a junkyard. It also has the fuel filler door open for no apparent reason. See more »


[first lines]
Nicholas Blake: Remember, Timmy, eye on the ball all the way up to the plate.
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User Reviews

"Ze plane. Ze plane!"
30 March 2019 | by gkimmarygleimSee all my reviews

The opening scenes were not, as noted on the orphanage sign, in Palos Verdes. The filming was done at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, formerly known as The "Lucky" Baldwin estate. Made very famous for the opening of the TV series "Fantasy Island". "Ze plane. Ze plane." The Arboretum is still used as a filming site today (2019).

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