Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Singing Skirt 

In Rowena, CA where draw poker is legal, Manning Ennis pays a casino manager, Slim Marcus, $60,000 to settle his losses. The only witness to the game is the singing cigarette girl, Betty Roberts. When Ennis' wife is killed, she is charged.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Betty Roberts
George Anclitas
Sadie Bradford
Wilton (Slim) Marcus
Jeanne Moody ...
Vivian Ennis
Fredd Wayne ...
William Gowrie
Chris Warfield ...
Manning Ennis
Joe - Police Captain (as Robert B. Williams)
Frederick Halstead


Perry Mason defends Betty Roberts, a cigarette girl at a legal poker club, after she is accused of murdering Vivian Ennis. The dead woman's husband, Manning Ennis, had lost $60,000 in a poker game with Slim Markus the club's manager. Betty was the only witness to the game. Vivian was outraged when she heard of her husband's loss and let it be known that she had every intention of recovering the money under California's community property laws. Betty got in touch with Perry when she found that someone stashed one of the poker room's guns in her hat box. At the time no one knew Vivian had been killed so Perry switches her gun for one that he was holding in his safe for another client and gives it to Paul Drake to have it analyzed. In court, it's revealed that Vivian Ennis was shot twice but with different guns: the one Betty found in her hat box and the one Perry gave her five hours after Vivian had been killed. With DA Hamilton Burger accusing Perry of tampering with evidence, the ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

12 March 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The stock shot establishing the small town courthouse where the trial takes place is, judging by the people and autos seen, is very old, early 1930's or even late 1920's. See more »


Byron Morrow's character is listed in the credits as Thomas Ranger. However, when Hamilton Burger calls him to the stand, he call him George Ranger. See more »


Perry Mason: Mr. Anclitis, how do you account for this particular gun getting into the possession of the defendant? Did she steal it?
George Anclitas: Oh, 'steal' is a big word.
Perry Mason: 'Murder' is a bigger one.
See more »

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User Reviews

This episode is lacking substance
31 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was somewhat disappointed with this episode. The story never really got off the ground and the characters seemed somewhat uninterested with the plot. The writers seemed to want something different in this mystery but it failed to capture the intrigued that 'Perry Mason' episodes are so famous.

Betty Roberts is a singing cigarette girl who witnesses a card game where Manning Ennis loses $6,000 dollars. Instead of the story centering around the gambling business or Mr Ennis that lost the money, the story then follows Ms Roberts that may, or may not, have witnesses some illegal activity in the card game.

This may have been interesting if the story followed the working of the gambling activities but it take a left turn as we follow the cigarette girl minor roll with all involved. Plus we deal with a bizarre set of circumstances and some unsympathetic characters that is hard for the viewer to grasp.

Ms Roberts believes she is being set up by the gambling business when she discovers a gun inside her hat box. She takes the gun to Perry and he replaces the gun with another in his office safe. Later (and here is another odd situation) the wife of the man that lost the money is found dead- shot with the gun Perry got out of his office safe. This is the only interesting part of the entire episode. How did Perry's office gun kill someone that was already suppose to be dead? Other than that twist this show in lacking interest.

After Ms Robert is accused of the murder, we also get a confession from that gallery that is one of the saddest in the series. Without much evidence, other than Perry's courtroom cross-examinations, someone leaps to their feet to proclaim guilt. It was just a poor episode all the way around. Lacking substance and material.

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