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RUNNING TIME: 758 minutes
A lawyer who never loses? Hmm.
Raymond Burr (Perry), Barbara Hale (Della Street), William Hooper (Paul Drake), William Talman (Hamilton Burger)
Perry Mason was a weekly television drama that ran from 1957 to 1966 and centers on defense lawyer Perry Mason who handles difficult cases involving a wide range of crimes.
Last month I was channel surfing and came across a marathon of Perry Mason episodes and what struck me was even though this series is over 50 years old the quality has not diminished. For the most part every episode I watched was simply solid television drama which only proves a show does not need high tech (CSI) or violence (CSI) to make for an enjoyable viewing experience. Perry Mason was as straight forward as it gets and yet still manages to keep one interested in what the outcome will be. In other words Perry Mason has stood the test of time.
Perry is a defense attorney in California who seems to get cases where all the odds of his clients guilt are set. With the help of his private detective Paul Drake, and sometimes his secretary Della Street, Perry has at his disposal the necessary tools to acquit his client. A little known fact to those who have never seen this series is that Perry never lost a case in the series 11 season run. Scratch that, Perry did lose a case but the studio received so many complaints from viewers that an unplanned episode had to be made where it changed the outcome of that case. Today a series could not get away with this (even Jack on Law & Order lost a few) but back then viewers took this series to heart and Perry could do no wrong.
Each episode is structured the same. Starts out with a back story on the client and what caused them to get caught up in a crime. Perry agrees to take their case, Perry sends out Paul to do some further investigation, remainder of episode is the trial. This is the same formula that Law & Order used throughout and hey, if it works run with it.
Season 7 Volume 2 episodes
- The Case of the Ice-Cold Hands
- The Case of the Bountiful Beauty
- The Case of the Nervous Neighbor
- The Case of the Fifty-Millionth Frenchman
- The Case of the Frightened Fisherman
- The Case of the Arrogant Arsonist
- The Case of the Garrulous Go-Between
- The Case of the Woeful Widower
- The Case of the Simple Simon
- The Case of the Illicit Illusion
- The Case of the Antic Angel
- The Case of the Careless Kidnapper
- The Case of the Drifting Dropout
- The Case of the Tandem Target
- The Case of the Ugly Duckling
Season seven aired in 1964 and as with everything else during that time, things were changing. In the case of Perry Mason Season seven the focus of every episode with the exception of two was centered on youth. Teenagers caught up in situations such as murder and your standard teenage rebellion. Although episodes like this can make for some great drama I had a problem with it being every single episode on this set. Halfway through I not only got bored but frustrated. Earlier seasons mixed things up with all types of people getting in trouble with the law which is more realistic and made for some compelling drama. I can understand the filmmakers wanting to bring in younger viewers (which never happened as this series has always been for older people) but this is not the way to go about it.
What has kept this series a favorite all these years are the actors. This is a solid group who have great chemistry and seem to be enjoying themselves without getting too wrapped up in themselves. Everyone has their moments where an episode focuses on them and yet no one steals the show so to speak. Raymond Burr is the star but without the other regulars Perry Mason would not have lasted as long as it did.
Noticeable grain is throughout the set and yet that is fine with me. The grain is not to the point where it diminishes the quality of the show and instead has a nostalgia feel to it.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars