Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Brazen Bequest 

Dr. Charles Cromwell is preparing to accept a large gift for Euclid College when a woman from his past makes a drunken appearance. He learns the donor's aide is behind her appearance. When the aide is found dead, Cromwell is charged.


Arthur Marks


Robert Leslie Bellem, Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by)


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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 (credit only)
Phyllis Avery ... Mary Cromwell
Alan Hewitt ... Dr. Marcus Tate
Karl Weber Karl Weber ... Dr. Charles Cromwell
Mort Mills ... Police Sgt. Ben Landro
John Wilder ... Dick Wilson
Barbara Stuart ... Maizie Freitag
Strother Martin ... Pete Gibson
Joseph Julian Joseph Julian ... Deputy D.A. Horner
William Allyn William Allyn ... Robert Haskell
Will Wright ... James Vardon
James Millhollin ... Prof. Grove


The new president of Euclid College, Dr. Charles Cromwell, is doing his best to ensure that a major donor to the college isn't offended in any way. James Vardon is going to receive an honorary degree at the upcoming commencement exercises and has promised the college a donation of $1 million. As a result, Cromwell is walking on egg shells and pretty well letting Vardon's assistant Robert Haskell, walk all over him. Cromwell is shocked when a woman arrives at he college in a taxi looking for someone named Curly. She is literally falling down drunk and the taxi whisks her away. She's soon in the hospital and it's revealed that Cromwell is the old friend she is looking for. He had met her long ago and she has left him a small bequest in her will. He visits Perry Mason worried that the will may become public and the impact it would have if Vardon or his assistant should ever hear about it. When Haskell is found dead however, Cromwell is charged with murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

2 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actor John Wilder years later became the producer of the series Spenser For Hire. See more »


[first lines]
Dr. Charles Cromwell: I'm sorry, Wilson, but, uh, you'd better use some other cover design. Something a little less... indiscreet.
Dick Wilson: Indiscreet? A drum majorette? Doctor Cromwell, this is practically prim, compared to the pin-up we had on last year's commencement issue.
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User Reviews

Sometimes too much information does not make for a better show
22 August 2013 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

After the episode ends and you have time to soak in all the information, this mystery was really not bad. However when watching, the show was filled with so many characters and so much testimony that it was difficult to keep each conversation separate. It was just an episode that was too crowded.

Dr Charles Cromwell is set to be the next president of Euclid College. And one of the things that will keep the college growing is a large donation that is to be given by the straight lace James Vardon. However it appears that someone is trying to discredit Cromwell when a woman, from his not so great past, shows up drunk at the college.

Cromwell learns that Robert Haskell, personal assistant to the donor Vardon, is the person that was behind the woman appearance at the college. When he tries to confront Haskell, he finds him dead and instead of going to the police he takes an item from the apartment making him look like the killer. Perry is called in to defend the college President.

There is much, much more going on in this episode. Perhaps too much since the story seemed to indicate everyone in the school was a suspect. When the story takes us back to a murder that happened in Panama City, the viewer feels bombarded with too much confusing details. For such a simple reason for murder, this show went too far trying to make the episode very interesting. All it did was make the episode confusing. A middle of the road show for sure.

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