Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Crippled Cougar 

Mike Preston was crippled in an oil well accident he blames on Hugh Jamison who he believes also stole $100,000. He and his partner, Harlow Phipps, set a devious trap for Jamison but when Phipps is murdered, it is Preston who is charged.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Perry Mason
Della Street
Paul Drake
Hamilton Burger
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Rita Lynn ...
Sgt. Ben Landro
Harlow Phipps
John Bryant ...
Simon Scott ...
Elliot Dunbar
Abigail Shelton ...
Paula Hamilton (as Abbagail Shelton)


Mike Preston's oil well has come in but he and site manager Harlow Phipps have a plan. Preston announces that the well is dry, he's fired Phipps and is closing the operation down. He then asks his lawyer, Perry Mason, to arrange the sale of half of his leases, 1000 acres or so, at a paltry $50 an acre. Mike tells him he's just hedging his bets, but Perry is skeptical. Preston has a gimpy leg, owing to an industrial accident 7 years ago, that he blames on Hugh Jamison, owner of a tool and supply company, who he believes set a fire and stole $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in securities. The missing securities, which were registered, have never surfaced. Although outwardly pretending to hate one another, Preston and Phipps are working together to set up Jamison but when Phipps is found dead, it's Mike Preston who is charged with murder after his pistol is supposedly seen beside the dead body and he is heard threatening to kill Phipps. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

3 March 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill Williams (Mike Preston) and Barbara Hale (Della Street) were real-life husband and wife. Their son, William Katt (The Greatest American Hero), was featured along with his mother in the Perry Mason made-for-TV movies in the late eighties playing Paul Drake, Jr. See more »


[first lines]
Hugh Jamison: I think you hit him.
Arnold Keith: I'm not sure. He moved just as I fired.
Hugh Jamison: It'll be dark in an hour. I wouldn't want to tangle with a wounded mountain lion after dark.
Arnold Keith: It's rugged country up there. Not much chance of finding him anyway.
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User Reviews

Disappointing ending to a good show
20 August 2012 | by See all my reviews

Perhaps I was expecting more out of this show than I should- but for such a well written mystery- the ending was a bit of TV magic. Without any evidence or suspicion, Perry tells the courtroom that a person is guilty. And from the gallery, a person tries to escape only to be blocked by the bailiff at the doors of the courtroom. I know the writers are trying to find interesting ways to end a script- but please let us viewers enjoy the capture. Please let it be someone that we can look back, after the show, and say "Yes, I thought it maybe that person". However in this episode do not even try to guess.

Again not a bad story with two men Mike Preston and Harlow Phipps trying to get back at an old executive named Hugh Jamison. Seems Jamison was taking investments in an oil well some years ago when a strange fire engulfed the entire operation. Just so happened the investment money plus securities made by Preston, Phipps and many other people just happened to burn up in the fire. And with Preston receiving a crippled leg in the fire no part of the money or securities was ever recovered. Thus making Preston believe the fire was to cover up the theft of the investments by Jamison.

So Preston and Phipps hatch this scheme where another oil well is on the verge of producing. They shut the operation down and want to sell the property. They know that the information will soon leak out that the well is going to be a gusher and Jamison will buy the land with the stolen securities.

However something goes terribly wrong when Phipps is murdered and Preston's gun is the murder weapon. Their scheme backfired as Hamilton Burger believes that Preston killed Phipps to make sure that he gets control of the entire oil well.

The mystery is afoot as Perry defends Preston in court on the charges. But when the true murderer is revealed the entire show seemed for naught.

Anyway I was disappointed in the outcome of the show but was interested in the story. Sometimes you just cannot have all one wants.

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