The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Perry Mason Returns: The New TV-Movies

The Case of the Notorious Nun
The second revival film. Perry is called on to investigate the murder of a young priest (Timothy Bottoms) in "The Case of the Notorious Nun." Copyright 1986 NBC photo/courtesy of Jerry Ohlinger's Movie Material Store

The second Perry Mason made-for-TV movie aired on NBC on Sunday night, June 1, 1986. The episode, which also found itself in the top ten Nielsen ratings, features the same dynamic trio of Perry, Della, and Paul, Jr., and a very modern murder mystery.

The viewer will know right away that something is wrong when in the opening sequence, a priest enters a church--and flashes a stiletto switchblade. We soon meet Father Tom O'Neil (Timothy Bottoms), a bean counting priest who has been sent by the church to clean up an archdiocese's economic problems. Tom Bosley, Mister C of "Happy Days" fame, plays wise old Father Chris, an older priest who is ready to serve up advice any time Father O'Neil appears to need it.

Michele Greene is the young, downright bouncy Sister Margaret. She's about to take her final nun's vows, but like it or not, she is attracted to Father O'Neil. Their "forbidden" relationship starts with her helping the good father in his investigation, which is aimed primarily at embezzlements at the archdiocese's hospital. Soon, the priest and nun seem to be inseparable, although they are on the up and up whenever they're together. Nevertheless, people start whispering about them.

When someone sends a "love" gift to the priest in the nun's name, Father O'Neil knows the relationship has to end. He tells this to Sister Margaret, who is both angry and hurt. Nevertheless, she accepts an invitation to visit him in his hotel room. Another "priest'' is on hand when she arrives, though, and she accepts his offer of a glass of sherry. But there's a mickey in the wine, and when the good sister comes to, she finds the dead body of Father O'Neil in the next room. She is eventually arrested for his murder.


The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.