Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Prodigal Parent 

Philip Larkin is killed, and his step-father, Joseph Harrison, is charged with murder. Joe is recently divorced from Larkin's mother, Ethel Harrison. With Joe in serious difficulty, Ethel asks Perry Mason to defend him but disappears.


Arthur Marks


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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
Virginia Field ... Irene Collaro
Herbert Rudley ... George Durell
Fay Wray ... Ethel Harrison
Andra Martin ... Lorraine Stevens
Ann Doran ... Claire Durell
John Hoyt ... Joseph Harrison
Terry Becker ... Philip Larkin
Morris Ankrum ... Judge
Nancy Kulp ... Sarah Winslow
Chet Stratton Chet Stratton ... Mr. Alcorn


At an import/export company secretary Lorraine Stevens working a bit late is again asked by Philip Larkin for a date but she refuses after a heated argument about his intentions. Later, Lorraine goes to a jewelry store to pick up a package as asked in a note but they have no package. She tries calling her bosses with no luck as the store prepares to close. About the same time Joseph Harrison is in the hose of his ex-wife with the body of Philip who has been shot. He leaves but returns later to find the police investigating. His prints are found on the gun case for the WWI German gun used but not on the gun itself. After he is arrested, his ex-wife Ethel Harrison visits Perry to hire him to defend her ex-husband for her son's murder which Perry and Della find strange. A piece of film turns up showing Joseph hitting Philip adding to the evidence but Mrs. Harrison has disappeared with both Burger and Perry looking for her. No one will talk and Paul is having no luck as Perry must deduce ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

7 June 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


British-born actress Virginia Field, who was educated in Paris and Vienna, shows off her linguistic talent in this episode with a French/Italian accent. (Her character talks about working in Paris.) Field appears in multiple Perry Mason episodes, including Tsarina's Tiara, where her accent is Russian. See more »


At the conclusion in Perry's office Perry answers Paul twice. He answers him in the long shot, then in the two shot of him and Della, he answers Paul again. See more »


[first lines]
George Durell: Lorraine, I know it's after 6:00, but would you mind staying a few more minutes and filing this London correspondence for me?
Lorraine Stevens: Oh, of course not, Mr. Durell.
Lorraine Stevens: Thank you.
See more »

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User Reviews

Pays and skips
1 August 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Perry Mason client in this episode is John Hoyt more often cast as a villain. But because he's a Mason client we know he's innocent.

What's strange here is that his recently divorced ex-wife Fay Wray has given Raymond Burr a retainer and then promptly disappears. It's her son Terry Becker by a former marriage who's the victim. Yet she pays Burr to defend her husband and then skips. As we learn it's a bit more than conflicted loyalty.

From what little we see of Becker and what we hear about him he's a spoiled rich kid who probably no one even his mother really cares about. There is someone that a lot of people care about and go any length to protect even from the truth.

Some interesting aspects, but not one of the better stories.

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