Wednesday, August 20, 2008

El on "Perry Mason"

So I am finally beginning this blog about El Brendel by starting with one of his last filmed appearances.

On April 14th, 1962, CBS Television aired the popular Perry Mason show, well into its fifth season. The episode was “The Case of the Borrowed Baby” (episode 26) and according to the synopsis from the website

“Perry (Raymond Burr) and Della (Barbara Hale) return to their office to find that someone has left a four-month-old baby on Perry's desk. Soon thereafter, Ginny Talbot (Kaye Elhardt), claiming to be the child's mother, shows up--and not long after that, Perry receives evidence that the infant may be heir to the celebrated Kerrick fortune. The key to the child's true identity is the St. Christopher medal around its neck, but before this matter can be cleared up, Perry must defend Ginny on a charge of murdering one Lester Menke (Corey Allen). “

The episode also featured Kenneth MacDonald as the Judge who had a long film and television career but this author will fondly remember him for his appearances in some Three Stooges and other shorts for Columbia.

I was pretty disappointed with El’s part in this show. When I first read on IMDB that his character was the court manager, I thought he would have a beefy role but while viewing the episode, it is revealed that Ginny Talbot lives at the Bungalow Court and Brendel is the manager of the place.

His part comes about 25 minutes in when Perry and Lt. Arthur Tragg (Ray Collins) enter Ginny’s apartment and find Lester Menke dead on the floor. We then hear El speak out of shot:

“You…, stop or I’ll shoot”.

The scene then cuts to El and Ginny entering the scene as El says:

“All right, Miss Talbert, let us see what did happen in there and remember I…..”

and that’s it. We get to see him standing next to Ginny holding a shotgun with a shocked look on his face. His screen time is less than 10 seconds and he never appears in the show again. I tried to see if he was in the courtroom scene at the end and I can’t spot him anywhere.

Some screen captures from his brief scene:

According to some sources, El speaks in his normal voice in this episode but I can confirm he does not. First, it “sounds” to me like his later Swedish voice where he was pouring it on a little stronger (maybe he was out of practice) and in his line where he refers to Ginny’s name as “Talbert” instead of “Talbot” is a practice he used to do to make a name or word sound the same but slightly different.

So, the search continues for the ELusive "Brendel's real voice". Until next time!


Stacia said...

You found it! Ah, too bad it's not his natural voice, but it's nice to see him late in his career. Should be easy to narrow down what shows might have him with his natural voice, because you can eliminate all the ones where he plays "Sven" or "Olly".

By the way, I'm still looking for that webpage of the guy selling the radio programs. It's taking forever.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't El do the brief narration in the beginning of Just Imagine?