Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Provocative Protege 

A renowned concert pianist with a disabled hand appears to commit suicide invalidating his life insurance. A fight starts over the future of his young protégé. When the suicide becomes a homicide, it is the protégé who is charged.


Laslo Benedek


Erle Stanley Gardner (based upon characters created by), Seeleg Lester (teleplay) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Virginia Field ... Anita Carpenter
Robert Lowery ... Andrew Collis
Kathie Browne ... Donna Loring Ross
Robert Karnes ... Deputy D.A. Chamberlin
Charles Cooper ... Eric Sturgis (as Charles D. Cooper)
Gregory Morton Gregory Morton ... David Carpenter
Harry Jackson Harry Jackson ... George Worthington
Donald Foster Donald Foster ... James Gracie
Barry Cahill Barry Cahill ... Police Sgt. Binns
Morris Ankrum ... Judge
Jon Lormer ... Autopsy Surgeon


Internationally known concert pianist David Carpenter has a irreparably disabled hand, the result of a tragic accident, and a disastrous cash flow problem. His business manager, Andrew Collis, suggests refocusing the career of David's protégé, brilliant pianist Donna Loring, into more lucrative musical fields. That evening David's car goes over a cliff, an apparent suicide. The life insurance on Carpenter is invalidated due to him committing suicide before the policy was in effect two years leaving his business still strapped for funds. Eric Sturgis, David's partner in artists management, tries to persuade David's widow Anita to guide Donna into the field of rock-and-roll. Anita is appalled. George Worthington tells Anita that he saw David's car being pushed over the cliff, making his death a homicide. Anita and George tell Perry Mason the tale, but Lt. Tragg finds that George was at a bookie joint at the time of David's death. However, Tragg believes it was murder and arrests Donna. ... Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

12 November 1960 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After providing testimony about the decedent's cause of death, a doctor testifies about the characteristics of glass. This is outside a doctor's field of expertise, so the judge should have stopped the questioning and forced the prosecutor to direct his questions to an expert on non-medical evidence (like Lt. Tragg). See more »


[last lines]
Paul Drake: Well, I, uh, wonder if she'll remember.
Perry Mason: What, Paul?
Paul Drake: To send us tickets to her first concert.
Perry Mason: Della, remind her to send us four tickets.
Paul Drake: Four? There are only three of us.
Perry Mason: Well, you should be able to find a blonde music-lover.
See more »

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User Reviews

Good episode with a good plot
21 June 2012 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

Here we have a nice refreshing story that is played well by the actors. Comes across very well on the screen and will have the viewer interested till the end.

David Carpenter was concert pianist that was involved in an accident that left one of his hands damaged beyond repair. He was so despondent that he drives in car over the cliff in what the police call suicide.

Before he dies, he calls his young protégé Donna Ross and advised her that he loved her. Seems Donna and Mr Carpenter was having an affair even though Mr Carpenter was married and at least 25 years older.

A few days later a man claims that it was not suicide but instead murder. He says he witnessed someone pushing the car off the cliff. But his story is filled with holes when Lt Tragg discovers that the man was in another state when the accident occurred. But with more investigation the claim of murder was just as the man had stated. So it seems that someone gave the man the story to lead police to murder but not enough to actually be a suspect.

Evidence gather by Lt Tragg points to the young protégé Donna Ross. And with the help of Anita Carpenter, wife of dead man, she retains Perry Mason to defend Donna in court.

This episode is a breath of fresh air for the viewer. A good who-done-it mystery that will have you guessing throughout the show. A good watch with an interesting plot.

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