IMDb > "Perry Mason" The Case of the Cautious Coquette (1958)

"Perry Mason" The Case of the Cautious Coquette (1958)

« Prev | 18 of 271 Episodes | Next »


User Rating:
8.2/10   126 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Erle Stanley Gardner (based on the novel by)
Leo Townsend (teleplay) ...
View company contact information for The Case of the Cautious Coquette on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
18 January 1958 (Season 1, Episode 18)
Elaine is being threatened and blackmailed by her husband, Harry Pitkin, so she consults Perry. In a complex series of moves, Perry is sent on a wild goose chase to Elaine's apartment, Harry ends up dead, and Elaine is charged with murder. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
Blackmail, marriage, divorce, murder---it has to be good See more (2 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason

Barbara Hale ... Della Street

William Hopper ... Paul Drake

William Talman ... Hamilton Burger

Ray Collins ... Lt. Tragg

Virginia Gregg ... Sheila Cromwell
Donald Randolph ... Stephen Argyle

Kipp Hamilton ... Elaine Pitkin
Harry Jackson ... Harry Pitkin
Chet Stratton ... Bates (as Chester Stratton)

Sidney Clute ... Frederick Arms (as Sid Clute)

James Seay ... Ross Hollister
Sydney Smith ... Judge Osborn
K.L. Smith ... Joe Raymond

Brett Halsey ... Robert Finchley
Ed Hinton ... Sheriff Mark Daley
Stephen Ellsworth ... Sgt. Kenny

Ralph Sanford ... Pat

Jeanne Bates ... Western Union Clerk
Paul Hahn ... Sgt. Davis
Weaver Levy ... Jimmy
Jack Gargan ... Court Clerk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Pollack ... Assistant District Attorney (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Laslo Benedek 
Writing credits
Erle Stanley Gardner (based on the novel by)

Leo Townsend (teleplay) and
Gene Wang (teleplay)

Produced by
Gail Patrick .... executive producer (as Gail Patrick Jackson)
Original Music by
Russell Garcia 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Maxwell O. Henry .... assistant director
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edward McDermott .... wardrobe supervisor

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Erle Stanley Gardner  creator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:60 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Did You Know?

Revealing mistakes: Harry Pitkin is still breathing after he has supposedly been shot dead.See more »
[first lines]
[Harry rings the doorbell]
Elaine Pitkin:Who is it?
Elaine Pitkin:Who is it!
Harry Pitkin:You know who it is. Harry
[Elaine opens the door]
Harry Pitkin:[entering room] You forgot to say "come in," Elaine. That's bad manners.
See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Blackmail, marriage, divorce, murder---it has to be good, 3 November 2011
Author: kfo9494 from United States

In this episode we get a beautiful Elaine Barton (Kipp Hamilton) that falls in love with business man named Ross Hollister. The only problem is that Elaine is already married to a really peachy person named Harry Pitkin. He is refusing to give Elaine a divorce so that she can marry Ross. Harry is blackmailing Elaine and states many times that he will get a divorce if only she provided enough money.

Ross also has a business partner named Shelia Cromwell (Virginia Gregg) that is in love with him from afar and does not seem to happy with the idea of Ross and Elaine possibly getting married.

Anyway the cad Harry Pitkin ends up dead in Elaine's apartment and was killed by a gun owned by Elaine. She just happened to meet Perry when he was investigating a hit-and-run case and calls him for help. Thus we go to the courtroom with Perry defending Elaine for the murder of Harry Pitkin, her estranged husband.

There are a couple of sub-plots that are keen to the story like the hit-and-run investigation. And we also have a problem with the books at Ross and Shelia's company. This will prove most helpful in finding the actual killer.

Even though this show was interesting and I considered a good watch, there is so over-acting in the show that could have been turned down a few notches. In one scene a person is on the witness stand and was asked a simple question. The next thing I know is that person is so upset that they cannot continue and court is postpone till the next day. I am sure that was written in the script but the actor seems to be taking it to new heights with the long shaking and crying.

One scene I thought was funny was when Elaine is waiting for Perry to come to her apartment. Perry asks why she feels the need to talk with him. Elaine says, "I'm in trouble". To which Perry says, "What do you call trouble?" Then she opens her bedroom door to reveal the dead body of Harry. Folks, that is trouble.

I considered this a good watch for everything that a Perry fan wants in an episode. Interesting story and a need to watch the entire episode because of the interest in the characters.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (2 total) »

Related Links

Main series Episode guide Full cast and crew
Company credits IMDb TV section IMDb Crime section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.