Perry Mason: Season 3, Volume 1 – DVD Review

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There’s a million ways to get framed for trouble. If you wanted to prove your innocence, you used your one phone call to contact Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). Any lawyer can get you declared not guilty. But Mason made it his mission to find the bastard that set you up. How many celebrities got sprung by their high profile attorneys, but the public swears they were still guilty? Can O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake or Phil Spector walk the streets without people whispering behind their back? The twelve clients on Perry Mason: Season 3, Volume 1 can safely stride in public as completely innocent.

“The Case of Paul Drake’s Dilemma” puts Perry’s right hand investigator at the defense table. Drake (William Hopper) accepts a simple gig of giving a woman cash. He’s told it’s from a friend of her husband. While talking to the lady, he realizes that he wasn’t hired by a friend of her husband. While unraveling the mystery, he becomes tangled in a murder. D.A. Hamilton Burger (William Talman) and Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) lick their lips with Perry’s main man ready for the slammer. Even though he’s handling the case for free, Perry won’t let his client plea. He can’t let Drake get turned into the cellblock’s fresh fish.

“The Case of the Violent Village” proves that Perry can’t take a vacation without getting dragged into work. He heads up to the snowy mountains for a hunting trip with Sheriff Norris. But instead of a peaceful weekend shooting Bambi, Perry finds himself having to put down a rabid district attorney. A local man (Ray Hemphill) returns from serving his prison time from a drunk driving wreck that killed the daughter of Sheriff Norris. Ray’s not welcome in the town even though he wants to set things right. He gets set up as the prime suspect of a payroll robbery that ends in the murder of Sheriff Norris’ other daughter. Perry risks his friendship with the sheriff to defend Ray. Even if Perry can get his client off, he’ll have to protect him from a lynch mob. It’s an extra tense courtroom.

“The Case of the Bartered Bikini” isn’t nearly as dirty as it should be. A high fashion house finds their upcoming pricey clothes being knocked off by a cheap manufacturing. Perry is brought in to help secure their swimsuits. Things get nasty in the designing feud when death becomes this season’s black. “The Case of the Garrulous Gambler” is a must watch for fans of Poker shows. During a card game, an upset Dick Foran cold cocks Wynn Pearce. The other guys tell Dick that Wynn’s dead. They suggest he pay them to forget about the night. One of the blackmailers ends up dead. It’s up to Perry to sort out the card sharks to find the maneater.

There was a murmuring that with the release of 50th Anniversary box set that Perry Mason season sets were being abandoned. Thankfully that wasn’t sworn testimony. For those nervous about split season box sets, the remaining 14 cases from Season 3 will be released on December 2. Perry Mason: Season 3, Volume 1 is a docket of courtroom drama that will keep you guessing till the final gavel. While you know that Perry’s clients won’t be found guilty, you won’t be left dangling wondering who really did it. Let’s see Allen Dershowitz do that for his paying customers.

The Episodes

“The Case of the Spurious Sister,” “The Case of the Watery Witness,” “The Case of the Garrulous Gambler,” “The Case of the Blushing Pearls,” “The Case of the Startled Stallion,” “The Case of Paul Drake’s Dilemma,” “The Case of the Golden Fraud,” “The Case of the Bartered Bikini,” “The Case of the Artful Dodger,” “The Case of the Lucky Legs,” “The Case of the Violent Village” and “The Case of the Frantic Flyer.”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers are sharp and clean. You can almost read the book spines on Perry’s desk. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. You can hear the footsteps of justice when he paces around the courtroom. There are no subtitles, but it is Closed Captioned.


Perry Mason: Season 3, Volume 1 maintained the high quality of performance and scripts. This show wasn’t about the simple exercise of legal games. Perry wasn’t satisfied with just putting doubt in a juror’s mind. This series reminds us of a time when legal cases were about answers and not merely shading the truth to spring your client.


CBS DVD presents Perry Mason: Season 3, Volume 1. Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman & Ray Collins. Boxset Contents: 12 Episodes on 3 discs. Originally Broadcasted: Oct. 3, 1959 to Jan. 9, 1960. Released on DVD: August 19, 2008. Available at