Perry Mason: Season 7, Episode 28

The Case of the Drifting Dropout (7 May 1964)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 59 users  
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Barry Davis is a young man trying to find his way in life. He has been working for a partner of his dead uncle who rides him to work harder. Fed up, he quits and is hired to investigate his uncle and the former boss who is murdered.



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Title: The Case of the Drifting Dropout (07 May 1964)

The Case of the Drifting Dropout (07 May 1964) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Cynthia Pepper ...
Annalee Fisher
Dell Harper
Carl Reindel ...
Barry Davis
Sanford Harper
Natalie Norwick ...
Miss Standish
Mort Lynch
Grove Dillingham
Blair Davies ...
Harry Holcombe ...
House Peters Jr. ...
Don Haggerty ...
Police Chief


In Southern California, Perry Mason defends Barry Davis against charges that he killed his former boss, Mort Lynch. Barry is a mixed-up young man and he and Lynch had recently argued resulting in young Barry quitting his job. Barry's uncle had been an associate of Lynch long ago. Lynch was also running for Mayor and trying to shake up the local power structure in the town, controlled by Dell Harper who runs the local newspaper. Barry is hired by Dell to dig up dirt on Mort Lynch and specifically how he got the money to start in business in the first place. Barry learned from having hired Paul Drake to look into his uncle's background, that he was quite a crook. Barry then learned from the local insurance agent that Lynch received $40,000 from a life insurance policy on his uncle. Barry finds a plate for printing $10 bills in a tool case Lynch has. An old counterfeit 1940 $10 bill found on Lynch is the clue that points to blackmail and a motive for murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

7 May 1964 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the persons involved in this case is being blackmailed for having circulated counterfeit money in the 1940's. The statute of limitations for counterfeiting is 5 years, and the blackmail victim gives the impression of being intelligent enough to find this out, so it is not clear why the blackmail is still being carried on in 1964, the year of this episode. See more »

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User Reviews

A Pleasant surprise
1 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After watching the last few "Perry Mason" episodes, it seemed the stories were getting old. Afterall nearly all scenarios had been written about and performed on the series. However, I found this particular episode to be a good surprise.

It centered around a fatherless young man named Barry Davis (Carl Reindel) who was working at his uncle's Mort Lynch (Ted de Corsia) junkyard. Mort was the only family that Barry had left and it becomes clear that Mort is riding the young man hard.

Mort is also running for mayor of a small southwest California town and is trying to beat the newspaper owner Dell Harper (Malcolm Atterbury). So Dell Harper is trying to dig up some dirt on ole Mort before the election.

Anyway we learn that Barry's uncle worked for Mort and that the uncle had been in jail for a number of crimes which included counterfeiting. And when Barry finds a copper counterfeit plate the story takes off.

Mort ends up dead and a bloody pipe-wrench is found in Barry's trunk. And Barry is seen by a neighbor leaving Mort's apartment before the murder. And that is when we meet Perry. Here is when we come to the conclusion that Mort was actually protecting Barry because he had retained Perry before his death.

With the character's listed we are introduced to a few more people with some type of motive for murder. From the newspaper owner's brother to the spinster women that worked at the junkyard. We also get to see Neil Hamilton, that plays a friend of Mort's, he later will become Commissioner Gordon on the 'Batman' series.

We end up with Perry defending Barry with the usual flare that is accustom to any "Perry Mason' show.

This episode was better than most. A strange turn of event after you believe that the murderer is known. So I rate this as a better episode than most from the same period in 1964.

One odd thing in the show. Barry and Mort get into a little push fight and Barry knocks the older man to the ground. This happened in the junkyard and at night. The next day the newspaper owner has a picture of the event and looks like it was taken during the day under the best light conditions.


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