Perry Mason (1957–1966)
2 user 1 critic

The Case of the Rolling Bones 

Daniel Reed is forcibly placed in a mental sanitarium as incompetent. Mason takes the case to court and wins Reed's freedom on a writ of habeas corpus. Before the writ can be served, however, Reed escapes and is charged with murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Camden ...
Donna Knox
Arlene Scott
Daniel Reed
Willard Scott
Maury Lewis
Millie Foster
Simon Scott ...
George Metcalf
Richard Gaines ...
Judge Treadwell
Sid Tomack ...
Victor Kowalski
Judge Morrisey


Donna Knox cashes a check for $20,000 from the elderly Daniel Reed after Reed overrides his nephew and niece when the bank calls. The money is shared by Knox and her partner Maury Lewis with $500 for their helper Dave Kemp, a busted private detective. Kemp expected half the money. Perry Mason takes on the case of Daniel Reed after his friend, Millie Foster seeks his help. Daniel has been confined to a psychiatric institution against his will, with a diagnosis of senile dementia. It seems that the elderly Daniel's nephew and scheming wife, Willard and Arlene Scott, are behind it all. Perry files a writ of habeas corpus and gets the judge to agree but Daniel escapes from the institution before he gets the news. When Daniel finds his old business partner Monty Siwel dead, he is charged with murder and Perry defends him. D.A. Hamilton Burger seems to be getting information out of Perry's office and thinking his office is bugged, Perry tries to feed Burger false information. It almost ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

28 June 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The $20,000 check at the beginning would be equivalent to almost $165,000 in 2014 after adjusting for inflation. See more »


In the courtroom, Hamilton Burger refers to Millie Foster as "Millard Foster". See more »


[last lines]
Perry Mason: [about Hamilton Burger] How did he like the performance?
Lt. Tragg: [sarcastically] Loved it. But just make sure that you don't invite him the next time you're doing a benefit.
See more »

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User Reviews

Good watch
11 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode could have been one of my favorites had it not been for the poor acting of the guest characters. It begins when an older rich man is put into a mental facility by his family. Seems the older man is giving away money to people that he does not know.

The only friend the older man has is Millie Foster, played by Kitty Kelly, who gets Perry to have a court hearing on the mental condition of her friend. And as we know when Perry wants something he can usually get want he seeks. SPOILER AHEAD

The man is freed. However he is seen at the scene of a murder just a few hours after his freedom. This leads to Perry defending the man against an almost mountain high amount of evidence to hopefully free the man again - this time for the murder.

This episode has a good and bad complex. Lt Tragg, played by Ray Collins, gives one of the best performances of the Perry series. His action on the witness-stand and the arrest of Daniel Reed makes you proud to have a man like that on the streets of LA. Plus the ending makes Lt Tragg look like a regular human rather than a cop after only facts. And the doctor at the mental facility plays a good stooge as a clumsy doctor ready to put anyone away if the price is right.

However there are some poor acting jobs that make this episode, at times, laughable. Daniel Reed (Edgar Stehli) the main guest character, appears to be lost in the words. More like he is reading than acting. This makes me wonder if perhaps the mental facility may not have been a restful stop-over for the actor. And then Kitty Kelly, that played Daniel's friend Millie, was about as bad as one can get. Some of it had to do with the lines she was given. But one cringes when this 60 year old delivers a line meant for a teenager when we hear "I've got to spring Daniel out of that coop". I actually had to rewind the tape to make sure what she uttered was what I heard. The director must have thought the same thing because the second half of the show she was given the role as a court spectator rather than a main player.

This episode has a lot to offer. From bugging an office to airplane trips to Reno we get the full package. Even Lt Tragg makes a stop over in Reno for a little visit with friends. This episode, from the first season, has all the good things that make "Perry Mason" a great series. A good watch.

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