Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Absent Artist 

Pete Manders is given a chance to buy the cartoon strip he works on for only $10,000. However, when he learns it is the booby prize for having his girlfriend leave with the seller, he is enraged and charged when the seller is murdered.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Daphne Whilom
Otto Gervaert / Gabe Phillips
Charles (Monty) Montrose
Alexander Glovatski
Jay Barney ...
Prosecutor Harry Clark
Fiona Cregan (as Arline Sax)
Wynn Pearce ...
Pete Manders (as Wynne Pearce)
Pamela Curran ...
Leslie Lawrence
Carl Don ...
Det. Arnold Buck


Gabe Phillips announces he's prepared to sell his successful comic strip for $10,000 and moving to Majorca to concentrate on real art. One of the cartoonists, Pete Manders, is offered the chance to buy it and invites Perry Mason and Della Street to a farewell party Phillips is having to finalize the deal. Perry wonders why Phillips would be willing to sell his cartoon strip for one-tenth of its value, but it becomes somewhat clearer when its revealed that Manders' girlfriend, Leslie Lawrence, is leaving him for Phillips. Perry also has concerns about the ownership of the cartoon strip plus Phillips receives a call forcing him to leave before the deal can be finalized. Manders doesn't take the news very well and, in front of all the party-goers, says he will kill him and hits him before he leaves. When Phillips is killed, Pete Manders is charged with murder. It turns out Phillips may have been living under a different identity and Perry must determine which one was killed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

17 March 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Don Anderson, sporting a tuxedo, appears as a guest at the going-away party. Like many of his Perry Mason stints, Anderson's appearance was uncredited. See more »


[first lines]
Alexander Glovatski: Logic.
Alexander Glovatski: Myer, you are a cretin. In art, logic is the assassin of intuition. Do I make myself clear, Myer?
See more »


A Walk In The Black Forest (Schwarzwaldfahrt)
Music by Horst Jankowski (uncredited)
[Played in a restaurant scene]
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User Reviews

One of the better written mysteries in the series
21 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From the first few minutes of the episode, the show was full of mystery backed up with a terrific storyline.

The first mystery happened in the opening scene when we see a man that was said to be Otto Gervaert walking along a run-downed area (Port Harmony) along the beach. He goes into a small apartment and picks up a painted picture and addresses the painting to Gabe Phillips.

Then the scene changes and we are in an office of Gabe Phillips who happens to be a well-known cartoonist with a very profitable strip. He has decided to move to Majorca and sell the comic-strip to one of his workers named Pete Manders.

Pete invites Perry to a farewell party for Gabe Phillips. There the real reason comes out about why he is selling the comic-strip at a very low cost. Mr Phillips is taking Pete's girlfriend with him to Majorca. This creates a situation where Pete slugs Gabe in front of many witnesses including Perry and Della. Then the next morning Gabe is found dead.

This sets up a strange connection of circumstances that involves the wealthy areas of Hollywood and the poor area of Port Harmony. It will reveal secrets that come to light during the investigation and courtroom testimony. Perry is tough in the courtroom scenes where he makes one person faint during cross-examination.

Even with the less than a surprise ending and poor confession, the story and mystery held up well. Victor Buono is well casted in this show- along with Wynn Pearce that plays the young cartoonist. The true murderer was somewhat obvious but that did not slow the pace of the show. Good Watch for viewers.

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