Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 17

The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary (11 Jan. 1958)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 117 users  
Reviews: 4 user

A gorgeous woman's trailer was stolen while she was sunbathing, so she asks for Perry's help in finding it. She claims it contains her diary, which details the truthful account of a notorious bank heist her father was convicted for.



(based on the novel by), (teleplay)
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Title: The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary (11 Jan 1958)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Morrow ...
Arlene Dowling
Carl Betz ...
Dr. Ralph Chandler
Gertrude Michael ...
Helen Rucker - Nurse
Peter Leeds ...
Bill Emory
Ralph Moody ...
George L. Ballard
Connie Cezon ...
Gertie Lade (credit only)
Kenneth MacDonald ...
Tom Sackett
Walter Reed ...
Detective Myers
Nesdon Booth ...
Mr. Hartsel


Perry Mason is approached by a beautiful woman, Arlene Dowling, who wants him to recover a house trailer that was recently stolen. It's an odd case from the beginning and when the trailer is quickly located, she's prepared to buy it off the vendor rather than just take possession. When Perry learns that Arlene's father is in prison having been convicted in the Mercantile Bank theft, he thinks there's far more going on than meets the eye. After Perry receives $1500 in the mail, he's pretty sure he's being set up. A meeting with Arlene's friend George L. Ballard confirms Perry's suspicions. DA Hamilton Burger soon has Perry in the Grand Jury room and when Perry's testimony contradicts that of a police detective, Burger charges him with perjury. Meanwhile, Arlene's dad's work partner Ballard is murdered and she is charged. Perry agrees to defend her but in a strange turn of events, is also called as a witness for the prosecution. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

courtroom spectator | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

11 January 1958 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Color of unmarked police car tailing Perry Mason's car changes color from dark to light repeatedly. See more »


[last lines]
Perry Mason: [At a restaurant, Burger has had to admit that he was wrong accusing Mason of perjury] The least I can do is buy you lunch.
Hamilton Burger: Oh, alright.
Perry Mason: Amy, one order of crow. He'll eat it here.
See more »

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User Reviews

Everything and more that makes the series great
4 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an episode that does not disappoint. It has nearly all the things that make 'Perry Mason' series a good watch for viewers.

We also get somethings in this episode that's not seen many times in the entire collection. In this show Perry has to testify to the Grand Jury plus charges are brought on Perry for perjury and he has to testify in court concerning the case. So as you can see this is an interesting episode for everyone. Oh, and I left out that we also get a nude sun-bather but thank goodness Perry is not involved.

The episode starts off when Arlene Dowling (Susan Morrow) is sunbathing out in a rural area. While she is on her towel, a man comes and steals her trailer. Thus she is left with only a towel to call for help. And for some reason calls Perry.

Here is the main problem- inside the trailer is a diary that contains information about her father, that is in jail, for money theft when he worked for a bank security company. So Arlene is wanting the trailer back ASAP.

Along the way- a person that Perry just visited ends up dead. Arlene is accused of the murder and Hamilton Burger goes as far as saying that Perry is an accomplice to the murder. At one point Perry has to testify for the state in the same courtroom that he is defending the accused.

But fear not my loyal viewers. We know Perry is getting out of this in his usual fashion. By the end of the show all has returned to normal with the world spinning in harmonious harmony.

But before we get to that point there are many adventures and turns in the episode that make it a great watch. This is one of the better episode in the entire collection. Enjoy

NOTE- bad thing is that on TV today, they have cut out the part where Arlene calls Mason's office from a golf course wearing only a towel. Not that there is anything great about the scene but why they cut that scene out was sad.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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