Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Missing Button 

Dirk Blake is in a tug of war with his wife over their daughter Button. He feels she is an unfit mother. He asked Vince Rome to obtain info to be used to fight his wife. Dirk is charged with murdering Vince after they are seen fighting.


Richard Donner (as Richard D. Donner)


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Jonathan Latimer


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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
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg (credit only)
Wesley Lau ... Police Lt. Andy Anderson
Julie Adams ... Janice Blake
Ed Nelson ... Dirk Blake
Claire Wilcox ... Button Blake
Dee Hartford ... Lois Gray
Anthony Eisley ... Vince Rome
Otto Kruger ... Judge Norris
Alan Baxter ... Roger Gray
Lysa D'Anjou Lysa D'Anjou ... Naomi Sutherland
Mike Mazurki ... Cully Barstow


The button in this case is Button Blake, the young daughter of Janice and Dirk Blake who are going through a nasty divorce. After Janice refuses to let her soon-to-be ex-husband have Button for his two days of visitation, he takes her and puts her on his yacht, the Blue Nymph. It isn't a case of kidnapping per se and the judge in the case gives temporary custody to Roger and Lois Gray, friends of the family. Button is a young heiress having inherited $4 million from her grandfather and Perry Mason is the administrator of the trust. Keeping an eye on the girl aboard the yacht is Vince Rome who has been taking care of himself and hoping that Janice will marry him once the divorce goes through but she refuses. Vince has been asked by Dirk to find information he can use against Janice but Vince concocts a plan to blackmail either parent with the data he is fabricating. Dirk calls off Vince but in a fight Vince's gun goes off which is seen by a witness. When Vince Rome is killed, Dirk ... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

24 September 1964 (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?


Claire Wilcox (Button Blake) and David Macklin (Mike Sommers) were on a TV series at the time called "Harris against the World" with Jack Klugman. The series only lasted one year (season). See more »


In the scene where Perry and Paul row away from the boat where Button is, it can be seen that a stand-in has taken the place of Raymond Burr, and that the stand-in's build is quite a bit lighter than Burr's. See more »


[first lines]
Button Blake: [after riding her bike with training wheels] How was that?
Mike Sommers: That was very good, Button. Now it's time for your milk.
See more »

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User Reviews

Here's hoping Season 8 improves
4 November 2011 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

I have never really like a story that deals with a small child in a middle of a nasty divorce. Most of the time, I end up feeling so sorry for the child I could give a care about the other people involved. In this episode, the first show of season 8, the whole ugly situation returns and I am left with a sick feeling in my gut.

Button- in the show is a small girl, maybe 7 years old, and her parents are going through a divorce. Things are so bad that the father, Dirk Blake (Ed Nelson of Peyton Place fame)has hired a person Vince Rome (Anthony Eisley) to find out where his wife, Janice Blake (Julie Adams) has been seeing and where she has been going. The twist here is the small child is set to inherit millions of dollars and now Vince is playing both sides of the fence hoping to cash in on who ever finally gets custody of the child.

This finally become the end of Vince Rome when he is murdered on his ship out in the lagoon. And a witness can identify the father, Dirk, on the boat about the time of the murder. Perry is to defend Dirk in court on the charge.

From then on we are mainly in the courtroom as Perry is calling witnesses by the dozens in order to get his client released from the charges. And you will see a lot of testimonial evidence has to do with the ship and the tide. This is interesting when reading a book but always seems to come across as confusing when just words on screen. Perhaps if they had went to the boat and let the viewer see the changing tide and location of the boat instead of a cartoon cut-out in court. But that did not happen.

In this episode the writes tried to make Perry come across as a sweet old softy that loves children. To me it appeared more like in the movie 'Frankenstein'- when the monster meets the child by the lake. It looked uncomfortable and some what robotic when the child grabs Perry by the hand.

One performance was so bad that i just had to mention. The secretary of Dirk Blake is Naomi Sutherland, played by Lysa D' Anjou. I looked up her name on the date base and it claims she was only appeared on TV twice. After looking at her performance in this episode - it was one time too many. In one scene she enters wearing something that may have been leather (it was in B&W) and tells Perry that Dirk, her boss, is innocent. That was one of the worse acting jobs I have ever seen. Why it was put into the show I will not understand. The only thing I can think of is that someone on the set designed the outfit so they had to get it on screen. The entire scene should have been left on the cutting room floor.

This episode is lacking. The shows have to get better in season 8. I feel they cannot get much worse.

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