Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Tsarina's Tiara 

Perry takes a client with questionable jewelry to another client in the building to have the jewelry appraised. Shortly thereafter, Gerard Van Ness a partner in the jewelry business, is found with a dead body in the trunk of his car.



(as Ernest Frankel), (characters created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Madame Sonya Galinova
Kendall Clark ...
Gerard Van Ness
Pauline Thorsen
Vyacheslav Gerznov
Joachim DeVry
Rolf Thorsen
Janet De Gore ...
Lisabeth Wells
Carlos Romero ...
Ricardo Arena
Barbara Perry ...
Girl Assistant
Lew Brown ...
Officer One


Jeweler and gem expert Gerard Van Ness returns to Los Angeles from South America only to be pulled over by the police as the car he's driving was reported stolen. More ominously, they find the dead body of Nils Dorrow, an international jewel thief, in the trunk. Perry Mason, who has acted as Van Ness and his partner Joachim DeVry's lawyer, agrees to defend him. Interestingly, Perry had recently been to their store with another client, Sonya Galinova, where DeVry was astounded to see that she was in possession of a priceless Russian tiara that had been thought lost. She had been given the tiara in payment for boarding another Russian, Vyacheslav Gerznov, who works in a circus. He swears his mother brought the tiara with her when they left Russia. Galinova and Gerznov eventually agree to split the proceeds from the tiara between them for two thirds and one third respectively. The two cases are intertwined and there is a very good reason why someone has tried to frame Van Ness for murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

20 March 1966 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wesley Addy's second appearance. As in his first, "The Case of the Weary Watchdog," he plays a dealer in precious antiquities. See more »


The episode begins with the theft of diamonds from the settings of a pre-Columbian statue. Pre-Columbian jewelry never utilized diamonds, as pre-Columbian civilizations lacked the technology to cut and polish them. See more »


[first lines]
Madame Sonya Galinova: Betrayed. I have been betrayed by my own countryman. It's not for the money alone I am weeping, but when a White Russian has survived the terrors of the Reds only to fall from honor, when I become a victim at the hands of my own countryman, I should be preserved from such a day.
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User Reviews

A crowded cast takes away from this otherwise nice mystery
5 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the things I dislike about some of the episodes is when they have a crowded cast. In this show, there are so many people that at times it was difficult to remember exactly who they were talking about without seeing a face. It can get complicated trying to keep up with who-is-who with those long Russian names during extended dialog.

Because of all the characters and their long names, I will sum this up quickly to make the story more clear. A long lost Russian Tiara is accidentally found when a old Russian magician pays a woman for lodging and food. The woman takes the tiara to Perry thinking she had been swindled. But by taking the tiara to the Devry/Van Ness Jewelry Company, Mr Devry says the tiara is real.

Meanwhile, Mr Van Ness is returning from a trip and upon driving home is stopped by the police and they find a dead man (who happens to be a jewelry thief) in the truck of the car. Van Ness is charged with the murder. Perry will defend him in court.

The best thing about the episode is the courtroom scenes. There we can to see the characters and can keep the large Russian names separated from confusion. Perry picks through the witnesses, plus the tiara, and comes up with the reason for the murder. Someone is left on the witness-stand thinking their plan was never going to be discovered.

If you can get pass the first half of the show then you will be rewarded with a very nice mystery. But with all the confusing names and a crowded cast, it will take patience to keep the interest going.

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