Perry Mason (1957–1966)
6 user

The Case of the Drowning Duck 

Perry Mason, Della Street, and Paul Drake head to a small town to defend a young man who is charged with poisoning a blackmailer. They learn the man's father was executed for killing a man in the same town eighteen years earlier.


William D. Russell


Erle Stanley Gardner (based on the novel by), Al C. Ward (teleplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger (credit only)
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Carol Kelly Carol Kelly ... Lois Reed
Nolan Leary ... Judge Harry Meeham
Victor Sutherland Victor Sutherland ... Clyde Waters
Carolyn Craig ... Helen Waters
Don Beddoe ... George Norris
Paula Winslowe Paula Winslowe ... Martha Norris (as Paula Winslow)
Gary Vinson ... Marv Adams
Harry Landers ... Donald Briggs
Olive Blakeney ... Mrs. Wilma Adams
Rusty Lane ... Police Chief Glass


Donald Briggs has brought Lois Reed back to a small town in his attempt to blackmail multiple people. He was hired by Clyde Waters to investigate the background of young Marv Adams. Adams is a college student with a knowledge of chemistry engaged to Clyde's daughter Helen. Briggs has contacted several people including Mrs. Wilma Adams and Mr. Waters from whom he wants additional money as Marv's father was executed for murder. Clyde Waters contacts Perry Mason to check out Briggs and the information he has obtained. When Perry and Paul Drake attempt to talk to Briggs, they find him dead. When the police determine Briggs was gassed, they assume Marv Adams is guilty due to his knowledge of chemistry. Perry who has looked into the trial of Marv's father, believes the father did not receive a fair trial due to poor representation and the unwillingness of the both the prosecutor and defense to involve a Miss X who was the daughter of the local minister. In order for Perry to prove his ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

12 October 1957 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The "bench" in the court room is just a desk on a pedestal. See more »


The sign in front of the Waters farm reads "Water's Dairy Farm". See more »


[first lines]
Donald Briggs: Welcome back to Logan City, Mrs. Reed. I'm Donald Briggs. I've got a cab waiting over here.
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User Reviews

Another great episode that should be watched.
29 November 2011 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

I really liked this episode. It was like getting a double scope of ice cream when you only paid for one. It was something good and it had a lot to offer.

The story starts out in a rural town called Logan City. It is a small town where everyone knows the background of everyone else. Back 18 years ago they had a murder and a Ben Devereaux was found guilty of the crime and put to death.

Now Donald Briggs (Harry Landers) has been doing some research and comes to Logan City to blackmail people he feels had something to do with the crime 18 years ago.

Marv Adams (Gary Vinson) is the son of Devereaux but he has no knowledge of his father's crime or how he was put to death. And Mr Briggs is trying to blackmail Ms Adams (Olive Blakeney) to keep the secret away from Marv.

It seems that during the trial a secret witness was used to convict Mr Devereaux and Mr Briggs had brought Ms X ,Lois Reed (Carol Kelly) to town to shake down the residence.( I thought the acting by Carol Kelly was some of the best work I have seen in a Perry episode)

During this time Mr Briggs ends up murdered and all the evidence points to Marv Adams as the killer. So Perry defends Mr Adams in this small town where big city lawyers are not welcomed.

Along the way we meet some interesting characters. And it seems all have some secret to keep and do not want old stories being brought back up some 18 years later. With the characters and the good acting the viewer is captured in the story to the point of total interest. The episode had so much going for it that the hour went by fast. I was totally caught up in the story and the goings-on in the small town.

And we get to see Perry, in this early episode, doing all he can for his client. It was very enjoyable and I am sure that you will find this episode to be all one wants in a Perry mystery.

By the end of the show, Perry has not only got his client freedom but also wrapped up a case that will haunt the town for years to come.

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