Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Golden Venom 

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Lucille Forrest returns home after a year in Europe. Her husband died a year earlier and her son was killed before that. She believes her son was murdered and wants revenge. However, she is charged with killing the man she thinks did it.


Jesse Hibbs


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jackson Gillis (teleplay) | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Lee Philips ... Kevin Lawrence
Noah Beery Jr. ... Tony Claus (as Noah Beery)
Frances Reid ... Lucille Forrest
Carole Wells ... Mirna Decker Lawrence
Frank Ferguson ... Walter Coffee
Mort Mills ... Police Sgt. Ben Landro
Arthur Malet ... Ralph Day
Cal Bartlett ... Joe Sullivan
Kenneth MacDonald ... Judge
Richard Reinauer Richard Reinauer ... Doctor


Perry Mason is hired by Lucille Forrest to look into the death of her son, Dick, some two years before. Lucille has been away for a year and most believe she went to Europe immediately after the death of her husband. She was his maid who he married ten years earlier and left her a wealthy heiress. In fact, she's been living in Chicago trying to earn enough money to live on without having to use one cent of the money her husband left her in his will. She's convinced that her son was murdered but her husband left a clause in the will stating that the trustee could withhold any of the proceeds if Lucille initiates any type of investigation about Dick's death. He and friends were on a hunting trip where he was found shot with his own gun, in a fence. She tells Paul Drake that Ralph Day is responsible and, when he is found to have been poisoned with rattlesnake poison, she is charged with murder as she kept the venom for her own use. Several people may have had reason to want Day out of ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

21 January 1965 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Joe Sullivan: Mrs. Forrest, is that you?
Lucille Forrest: Hello, Joe. Did Tony Claus...
Joe Sullivan: Yeah, Tony just called me. I guess he's out getting your house opened up. And your car's still in storage, too.
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User Reviews

Rattlesnake Venom does the deed
19 March 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I'm agreeing with the previous reviewer, this Perry Mason episode doesn't quite cut it. This one has the old crazy will clause at the root of the matter.

Widow Frances Reid hires Perry to look into her son's death from two years earlier. She has not touched a penny of an inheritance by her late husband because she believes her son was murdered and not a suicide like the coroner said. And the husband had a clause in the will saying that she would be disinherited if she opened any investigation.

Really, do people put stuff like that in wills in real life? But how many movies and television shows have a crazy will clause as a plot premise have you seen? And in this particular case I would think a will like that if it was filed would set off some alarm bells with some law enforcement.

Still a bottom feeding editor of a local rag is killed with rattlesnake venom and Reid is arrested. He was not a beloved figure so there are lots of alternate suspects. Do you doubt Perry turned up the right one?

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