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The Case of the Black Cat (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery, Drama | 31 October 1936 (USA)
An bedridden eccentric millionaire, anticipating his own murder, hires Mason to help him rewrite his will, and the lawyer ends up defending the caretaker's cat.

Directors:

(as William McGann), (uncredited)

Writers:

(story), (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Frank Oafley
...
Douglas Keene
...
Sam Laxter (as Gordon Elliott)
...
Garry Owen ...
...
Peter Laxter
...
Charles Ashton
Gordon Hart ...
Dr. Jacobs
...
Mr. Shuster
Guy Usher ...
Lottie Williams ...
Mrs. Pixley
...
Reverend Stillwell
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Storyline

Lawyer Perry Mason is summoned to the Laxter mansion in the dead of night to write granddaughter Wilma out of invalid Peter Laxter's will, to keep her from marrying suspected fortune hunter Doug. Peter dies in a mysterious fire and Laxter's two grandsons, Sam Laxter and Frank Oafley, inherit his estate on the condition old caretaker Schuster and his cat Clinker are kept on. When cat-hating Sam threatens Clinker, Perry steps in and learns Laxter's death was suspicious and the family fortune and diamonds are missing. Schuster's found dead in his basement apartment, Laxter's nurse Louise is murdered with Schuster's crutch, and circumstantial evidence brings Doug to trial for Louise's death. Mason's investigation produces a surprise witness who turns the trial around. Written by Sister Grimm <srgrimm@teleport.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clue Club #9: The Case of the Black Cat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, Erle Stanley Gardner, the author of the books, did not approve of the casting of Ricordo Cortez as Perry Mason. He was therefore replaced by Donald Woods after doing only one movie. Ironically, many feel that Cortez' performance and this movie in general is the best of the series. See more »

Goofs

The so-called "black" cat of the title is, in fact, a grey, brown, and white calico. See more »

Quotes

Perry Mason: [after announcing Wilma has been cut out of a will] So what are you going to do now?
Wilma Laxter: Do you like waffles?
Perry Mason: Come again?
Wilma Laxter: I've managed to save away some money from my allowance, that way I can be independent. And I'm going to open a waffle shop, what do you think?
Perry Mason: On one condition.
Wilma Laxter: What's that?
Perry Mason: That you have plenty of melted butter.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Perry Mason: The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Guilty, your Honor
26 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

For those of you who were convinced that Raymond Burr was the consummate Perry Mason, please take a gander at Ricardo Cortez in that role. You might be surprised at your reaction. This certainly doesn't mean that Burr was not great in the television series......it just gives us a different take on the character. Cortez, who is wonderful in most of his roles, truly shines as an urbane sophisticated Mason in a typical Erle Stanley Gardner tale of murder and mayhem. The Della Street (June Travis) and Paul Drake (Gary Owen) roles are very different from those portrayed on television and could have been fleshed out just a bit more, but I'm not complaining. It's Cortez, with those bedroom eyes and dark good looks who steals the show. I have seen the other Mason films with Warren William in the lead role and in my opinion it's no contest.

The story line gets a little convoluted at one point but it all works itself out in the capable hands of our hero. It's unfortunate that this was the only outing as Perry Mason for Cortez but it is worth the watch. Catch it on TCM which may be the only place where is will be shown. You'll like it!!!!


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