When a Matisse painting is stolen from a museum, the finger is pointed at an assistant in the museum whose boyfriend is an artist as well as his estranged wife. The wife tries to blackmail the museum owner but is murdered after a fight.
At the Harkens Gallery, Sylvester Robey wishes to see Richard Harkens about a Matisse hanging in the gallery. Amelia Harkens, Richard's mother who owns the gallery, is incensed to see that the painting is a forgery and blames Richard's assistant, June Sinclair, and master copyist David Lambert of collusion. June and David are in love and ask Perry Mason to intercede with Amelia. David quarrels with his wife Liza, who paints cherubs, over their impending divorce and whether he should also paint commercially viable cherubs. Liza tries to extort money from Amelia in return for the genuine Matisse. Later, June confronts Liza and they struggle until Liza pulls a gun and forces June to retreat. As she leaves, June hears Liza scream and shots fired. She finds Liza dead, calls Perry Mason and flees the scene. Perry discovers Liza's body, the police arrive, and Perry clams up until he can talk to his client. June is arrested and Perry has to go to work. Written by
Actor William Talman, who played DA Hamilton Burger, was arrested in March 1960 at a party where everyone was found to be naked and marijuana was discovered. Shortly thereafter, CBS fired him from the show and Jim Aubrey said they would recast his part, which they did not end up doing.
Instead, they had a succession of Assistant DAs played by various actors- starting with this episode, which ran a few weeks after Talman's arrest.
Looking at the courtroom scenes carefully, I believe they did some re-shooting after Talman's firing with a different actor. Watching the courtroom scenes, you can see some changes in lighting.
Normally, the show worked about six to eight weeks ahead of air date. If so, this episode should have been filmed before the incident.
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