Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Prodigal Parent 

Philip Larkin is killed, and his step-father, Joseph Harrison, is charged with murder. Joe is recently divorced from Larkin's mother, Ethel Harrison. With Joe in serious difficulty, Ethel asks Perry Mason to defend him but disappears.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Virginia Field ...
Irene Collaro
Herbert Rudley ...
George Durell
Ethel Harrison
Andra Martin ...
Lorraine Stevens
Claire Durell
Joseph Harrison
Philip Larkin
Morris Ankrum ...
Sarah Winslow
Chet Stratton ...
Mr. Alcorn


At an import/export company secretary Lorraine Stevens working a bit late is again asked by Philip Larkin for a date but she refuses after a heated argument about his intentions. Later, Lorraine goes to a jewelry store to pick up a package as asked in a note but they have no package. She tries calling her bosses with no luck as the store prepares to close. About the same time Joseph Harrison is in the hose of his ex-wife with the body of Philip who has been shot. He leaves but returns later to find the police investigating. His prints are found on the gun case for the WWI German gun used but not on the gun itself. After he is arrested, his ex-wife Ethel Harrison visits Perry to hire him to defend her ex-husband for her son's murder which Perry and Della find strange. A piece of film turns up showing Joseph hitting Philip adding to the evidence but Mrs. Harrison has disappeared with both Burger and Perry looking for her. No one will talk and Paul is having no luck as Perry must deduce ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

7 June 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

good watching
12 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This show starts out kind of slow but them hits high gear as a regular episode of the Perry mystery tour.

Along the way we see some classic actors that include Ann Doran (Claire Durell), Herbert Rudley (George Durell) and John Hoyt( Joseph Harrison) all were regular guest actors for many shows through out the 60's and 70's.

We can also tell we get the royal treatment as Fay Wray (Ethel Harrison) makes more or less a cameo in order to please the public.

Even watching Raymond Burr- we can tell that during filming of this episode that Ms Wray was treated with the utmost respect. Her duty to this show was slim but you would have never known since the entire show seemed to be finding her whereabouts. From what I get is that they worked around her one day schedule- making her feel like a queen for those nine lines.

Anyway this episode involves a family dispute which leads to a death. Plus throw in a child conceived out of wedlock and the mystery is afoot.

You also get to see Nancy Kulp (Sarah Winslow in this episode) which later plays Miss Hathaway in the "Beverly Hillbillies" doing her best, without make-up, begin her career as a 'plain Jane' no pun intended.

Good acting in this episode and a very good script. Season one is the best of the best as far as "Perry Mason" in concerned.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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