The Case of the Black Cat

The Case of the Black Cat is a 1936 mystery film, based on the novel The Case of the Caretaker's Cat by Erle Stanley Gardner. The film stars Ricardo Cortez as Perry Mason, and co-stars June Travis and Jane Bryan. The film is the first in the series not to feature Warren William as Mason.

The Case of the Black Cat
Original U.S. 1-sheet poster
Directed byWilliam C. McGann
Alan Crosland (uncredited)
Produced byBryan Foy (uncredited)
Written byF. Hugh Herbert
Based onThe Case of the Caretaker's Cat
1935 novel
by Erle Stanley Gardner
StarringRicardo Cortez
June Travis
CinematographyAllen G. Siegler
Edited byFrank Magee
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • October 31, 1936 (1936-10-31) (U.S.)
Running time
66 minutes
CountryUnited States

Ricardo Cortez and June Travis take over from Warren William and Claire Dodd as criminal attorney Perry Mason and his faithful secretary Della Street. Although the characters had been married in The Case of the Velvet Claws, they're unattached again here.[1]


Mason is summoned to the Laxter mansion in the dead of night to write granddaughter Wilma out of invalid Peter Laxter's will, to keep her from marrying suspected fortune hunter Doug. Peter dies in a mysterious fire and Laxter's two grandsons, Sam Laxter and Frank Oafley, inherit his estate on the condition old caretaker Schuster and his cat Clinker are kept on. When cat-hating Sam threatens Clinker, Perry steps in and learns Laxter's death was suspicious and the family fortune and diamonds are missing.


Home media

On October 23, 2012, Warner Home Video released the film on DVD in Region 1 via their Warner Archive Collection alongside The Case of the Howling Dog, The Case of the Curious Bride, The Case of the Lucky Legs, The Case of the Velvet Claws and The Case of the Stuttering Bishop in a set entitled Perry Mason: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection. This is a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Warner's online store and only in the US.


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