Perry Mason (1957–1966)
7.8/10
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5 user

The Case of the Cowardly Lion 

Tony Osgood is accused of killing a dentist helping treat a lion after the dentist is found dead at the zoo. His girlfriend working at the zoo had been sponsored to enter the US from Germany by the dentist who has a mysterious background.

Director:

Arthur Marks

Writers:

Erle Stanley Gardner (based upon characters created by), Jonathan Latimer
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Carol Eve Rossen ... Hilde Fursten (as Carol Rossen)
Fred Beir ... Tony Osgood
Phyllis Coates ... Frieda Crawson
Leslie Bradley ... Dr. Walther Braun
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Boris Zelbowski (as Warren Kemmerling)
O.Z. Whitehead ... Harry Beacom
Betty Lou Gerson ... Trudie Braun
Paul Birch ... Security Officer Frank Crawford
Paul Langton ... District Attorney Telford
Eddie Quillan ... Bookkeeper Abner Keller
Mack Williams Mack Williams ... Second Judge
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Storyline

In San Diego on a case, Perry Mason is intrigued when he's contacted by Tony Osgood when a newly arrived baby gorilla Toto is kidnapped and his girlfriend Hilde Fursten threatens to return to Germany. He had just been examined in the zoo hospital nursery by Hilde and was in perfect health. Dr. Walter Braun, a dentist who cares for some of the animals, arrives to check Toto and is outraged at what has happened threatening Hilde. Zoo official Tony Osgood intervenes and he and another zoo employee Boris Zelbowski catch the thief: grounds keeper Harry Beacom, who claims someone in Mexico offered him $7000 for the animal. Perry visits Braun at his dentist office arriving just after Braun has a dispute with a woman over money and he threatens his dental assistant who dates the lion keeper after Perry leaves. When Braun is found lying dead in the lion enclosure however, it's Tony Osgood who is charged with murder and Perry agrees to defend him. There's far more going on that simply the theft... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

zoo | baby gorilla | germany | quota | cage | See All (14) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to the episode title's reference to "Cowardly Lion," other references to "The Wizard of Oz" in this episode include the name of the baby gorilla (Toto), a sign in the San Diego Zoo pointing to "Lions, Tigers, Bears," and the first two initials of actor O.Z. Whitehead, who plays a key supporting character. See more »

Goofs

The defense in court cases is customarily on the left side of the court, the judges right. With the prosecution on the right, the judges left. For some reason, they have reversed that in this story- line. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tony Osgood: Hello, Frank.
Sec. Officer Crawford: Hi. Funny time to be coming t work, Mr. Osgood. Nealy Five o'clock.
Tony Osgood: Well, I'm not going to work, Frank. I'm gonna pick up Miss Fursten in the hospital.
Sec. Officer Crawford: I should have guessed.
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Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Three timing dog done in
29 October 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

While in San Diego on a case that got a postponement Perry Mason picks up another client in Fred Beir. At first Beir is seeking assistance for Carol Rossen who is married to Leslie Bradley. Both are over from Germany and work at the San Diego Zoo, Bradley as a veterinarian and Rossen as his assistant. He's got something over her Beir surmises and needs legal assistance.

It's Beir that needs the assistance as he's charged with Bradley's murder after he's found in a lion's den quite dead with claw marks which later prove to be a red herring. It was the old fashioned blunt instrument whack that did the trick.

Bradley was quite a dog he married Rossen to get her into America to become a citizen. But he was already slightly married to Betty Lou Gerson so that second marriage was bigamous. And he was having Phyllis Coates on the side. Once again the Mason show gives the viewer a host of alternatives.

One hint for future viewers. It wasn't Bradley's love life that got him killed. It was a lucrative side venture supplementing his income as a vet.

All those animals as witnesses though and none was a horse named Mister Ed.


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