Perry Mason (1957–1966)
5 user

The Case of the Roving River 

Judy Bryant is an independent girl who becomes her own worst enemy. She is involved in a land dispute that her long lost stepfather can help with but he needs $10,000. When the package she delivers with the money explodes, she is charged.


Jerry Hopper


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Samuel Newman

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Sarah Marshall Sarah Marshall ... Judy Bryant
Bruce Bennett ... Matt Lambert
Paul Fix ... Prosecutor
Philip Ober ... Harvey Farrell
Karl Held Karl Held ... David Gideon
June Vincent ... Chloris Bryant
J. Pat O'Malley ... Seth Tyson
Harry Carey Jr. ... District Ranger Frank Deane
Kelly Thordsen ... Sheriff Ward Vincent
Robert Lowery ... Amos Bryant
Ray Boyle ... Neil Gilbert (as Dirk London)


Judy Bryant is upset when she learns that a valuable tract of land she inherited has been claimed by a land developer as she has an offer of $250,000 for the same land. The original land survey was conducted some 15 years before by her step-father, Amos Bryant, who abandoned them soon after. The root of the problem is that the nearby river is far narrower today than it was at the time of the survey. Judy consults Perry Mason who tells her that Amos' testimony will be essential if she is to win her case against the developer. Paul Drake is able to locate Amos who doesn't remember her name and is a drunk. He agrees to testify in her favor but only if she pays him $10,000 as he claims to have debts he owes people who will hurt him if they learn where he is. When he collects the money however, the package explodes, killing him as others watch. Judy is charged with his murder and Perry defends her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

30 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Much of this episode was filmed at the Green Tree Golf Course in Victorville, CA. See more »


Seth Tyson says that the position of the river was back at a line of stakes 10 or 15 years previously. But the area between the new riverbank and those stakes is populated with trees that are clearly much older than 15 years. See more »


[first lines]
Neil Gilbert: What about tonight? Can I see you?
Judy Bryant: Please, Neil, don't start that again. I told you on the way up, it's finished between us.
Neil Gilbert: Because you don't still care for me? Or because you're afraid to stand up to you mother?
See more »

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User Reviews

David Gideon (Karl Held) later married Judy Bryant (guest star Sarah Marshall)
6 July 2016 | by Cheyenne-BodieSee all my reviews

Karl Held and Sarah Marshall had appeared on Broadway in "The World of Suzy Wong" with William Shatner, France Nuyen, and Ron Randell. Karl understudied Shatner. That was back in 1958-1959, a couple of years before this 1961 episode. Karl and Sarah got married in 1964.

Karl was a Korean War veteran and graduated from Penn State phi beta kappa. He studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Sanford Meisner.

Karl said he was "lousy" in the role of David Gideon and the role was "unnecessary", but he must have improved as an actor. He later spent a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company of London.

Sarah was a popular guest star appearing on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour", "Twilight Zone", and "Star Trek", among many other shows. The "Little Girl Lost" episode of "Twilight Zone" is a classic with Sarah and Robert Sampson's young daughter lost in another dimension. Charles Aidman is a scientist who tries to help them get their daughter back.

Sarah's parents were Herbert Marshall (Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent") and Edna Best (Hitchcock's first version of "The Man Who Knew Too Much").

Before marrying Karl, Susan was married to Mel Bourne, an Oscar nominated art director ("Annie Hall", "The Natural"). That marriage lasted for five years during the 1950's.

Sarah and her father appeared in an episode of "Hong Kong" with Rod Taylor. Sarah appeared on the stage with her mother.

Karl and Sarah appeared together several times including on episodes of "Medical Center" and "The Strange Report" with Anthony Quayle.

Karl starred in two pilots. One was called "Ready for the People" (1964) directed by Buzz Kulick ("Brian's Song", "The Defenders"). Karl played a dynamic young assistant DA. In 1965 William Shatner starred as a dynamic young assistant DA in a series called "For the People", produced by Herbert Brodkin ("The Defenders").

Karl's other pilot was "The 13th Gate" (1965), a science fiction series. Karl played a government investigator looking into strange occurrences. Karl's partner was played by Alex Cord. They drove around in a cool sports car. David Opatoshu was their boss.

One of Karl's best guest performances was in the classic 1963 "Outer Limits" episode "The Man Who Was Never Born" with Martin Landau, Shirley Knight, and John Considine. Karl also appeared in a "Star Trek" working with Shatner again. But Karl never appeared in an "Ironside" or a Perry Mason movie.

Years later Karl was a regular on "Falcon Crest".

Karl and Sarah's last appearance together was in a 2012 horror film with Piper Laurie called "Bad Blood...the Hunger".

Sarah died in 2014 after 50 years of marriage to Karl.

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