Sandra Keller has agreed to sell her grandfather's orange orchard to a developer for mall parking. When the grandfather changes his mind, the deal is off but a lot of people will be hurt. When the developer is shot, she is charged.
Sandra Keller has given permission to a development firm to take possession of her grandfather's orange orchard but her grandfather, Amos Kenesaw Mountain Keller, changes his mind at the last minute and refuses to give them possession. Several people have considerable sums invested in the project and they stand to lose everything if it doesn't go forward. Keller's land is required for sufficient parking. It all ends up in court with Perry Mason suggested by architect James Wheeler to represent her and her grandfather. The first case involves Keller's dog Hardtack who Thorton claims attacked and bit him. Perry defends the dog and Keller against criminal charges successfully. It all takes on a far more serious tone when the developer, Gerald Thornton, is found dead from a shotgun blast. When the police find the shotgun on her property and with her fingerprints, she is charged with Thornton's murder and Perry defends her. Written by
Well, Perry... is business really as bad as that? I mean, chickens and rats and dogs and cats? Or did I detect an undercurrent here of something else?
There are always undercurrents where large sums of money are involved, Hamilton. In this case, let's just hope that nobody gets drowned.
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Arthur Hunnicutt who made a career in playing rustic characters plays yet another one in this Perry Mason episode. Ostensibly he's a Spanish American war veteran and that would in 1963 put him in his eighties. Although his hair is grayed up a bit and he does a good job, I couldn't quite believe he was in his eighties.
Arch Johnson is a developer who originally thought that Hunnicutt was going to sell him his orange grove for part of Johnson's project. But Hunnicutt under the influence of granddaughter Natalie Trundy balks at the sale and Johnson's development is in the toilet unless he changes his mind. And Johnson is pretty ruthless in his methods of persuasion.
Which also gives us a host of red herrings in this show. But it's Trundy charged with the crime of murder of Johnson. I will say that I didn't pick out the perpetrator in this episode, always the rule for me whether a Mason episode is good.
In fact the presence of one member of the cast who made a career of playing a lot of nasty villains might lead one to conclude this is the murderer. I'm here to say, it ain't so.
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