Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1 – DVD Review

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How do you care about a show when you know the main character isnt going to lose? When it comes to Perry Mason, you know that Perry (Raymond Burr) isnt going to end up a legal loser in the courtroom. He wont come up with excuses to his clients and the press while filling an appeal. What makes this series so compelling and entertaining when we know Perrys client wont be shipped of to death row? Because even though we know his client is innocent, theres plenty of suspects lurking around the crime scene. The writers dont merely let us know who did it, but how it was done. Nothing is too simple, otherwise why would they hire Perry? Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1 brings another 16 cases that keep you guessing.

“The Case of the Treacherous Toupee” has a vanished company president return after two years off the radar. He wants to take back control of his company. Things have gotten weird with his wife in charge. His comeback doesnt last long when his body turns up. The only clue to his murderer is hair from a toupee in his fingers. Robert Redford plays the deceaseds stepson. “The Case of the Credulous Quarry” brings in a slimy lawyer. He couldnt get his client a decent judgment. He offers to loan the client the cash, but things go horribly wrong when his secretary brings the cash over. Now the client has to hire Perry Mason to beat a homicide charge. Lawyers figure out evil ways to keep you paying. “The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker” scams a rich guy who keeps paying his nephews gambling debts. Except the guy isnt gambling. Hes sleeping with the rich guys wife. Things get out of control when the nephew claims hes being held hostage by gamblers for $80K.

“The Case of the Clumsy Clown” is epic in scope as the set up takes years. A circus clown marries an insane trapeze artist. When they get back from eloping, she drunkly opens a cage that lets a tiger maul the part-owner of the circus. She feels guilty and marries the part-owner without divorcing the clown. Years later, theres a power play at the circus with the part-owners wanting to buy each other out. Perrys brought in to consult on the contracts, but quickly finds himself in the middle of a murder case. Theres more suspects than clowns in the tiny car. “The Case of the Provocative Protege” tinkles the ivories. A big time concert pianist has hit hard times when a hand goes gimpy. His record label is tanking. The only thing that might save him is an offer from a casino to let his female protege perform her twist of classical music and rock. He refuses to let her talent stoop. In the midst of his downward spiral, his car drives off the side of a cliff. While everyone has ruled it a suicide, a shady character claims to have proof it was a murder.

“The Case of the Red Riding Boats” starts out with Perry being a divorce lawyer to rich ranching family. The ex-husband has already upgraded to Rita Conover (Shirley Ballard). His daughter and ex-wife arent too happy. The morning theyre supposed to race off to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding, Rita turns up in the trunk of a farmhands car. Who gave the worst wedding gift of the year? Cant be the busted ranchhand since hes got Perry at his defense table. Richard Deacon (Leave It to Beaver) plays the surprise witness who almost destroys Perrys spotless record. “The Case of the Larcenous Lady” proves evil politician wives are not a new thing. This time we get the mayor of a suburban town thats on the go. The governor wants the mayor to head his crime task force. The problem is that the mayors wife is a crook. Shes telling a real estate developer (Get Smarts Edward Platt) what property the town wants to buy so he can flip the land. How evil is she? She sends her husbands unsuspecting secretary to a hotel to collect her illegal gains. Surprisingly enough, the mayors wife ends up dead. “The Case of the Envious Editor” has James Coburn end up dead when he attempts to alter a magazines masthead. Although in todays publishing climate, this would merely be a mass suicide. “The Case of the Waylaid Wolf” nails a boss who messes with his secretarys car so she has to get a ride home from him. Naturally the guy ends up dead. In a shocking development, Lt. Tragg accuses Perry of doing illegal acts. Who does Perry Mason hire to represent himself on a contempt charge? Matlock? Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1 keeps him as the top lawyer in America without making him ho-hum in his courtroom antics.

The Episodes

“The Case of the Treacherous Toupee,” “The Case of the Credulous Quarry,” “The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker,” “The Case of the Singular Double,” “The Case of the Lavender Lipstick,” “The Case of the Wandering Widow,” “The Case of the Clumsy Clown,” “The Case of the Provocative Protégé,” “The Case of the Nine Dolls,” “The Case of the Loquacious Liar,” “The Case of the Red Riding Boots,” “The Case of the Larcenous Lady,” “The Case of the Envious Editor,” “The Case of the Resolute Reformer,” “The Case of the Fickle Fortune” and “The Case of the Waylaid Wolf.”


The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The black and white transfers look great. Youll be able to read guilt in the faces of the real culprits. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. The sound is clear with proper levels. Youll delight to the swagger of the theme song. The episodes are Close Captioned.


None.


Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1 keeps the legal excitement flowing. Perry Mason maintains his ability to crack a case and prove his clients are not merely not guilty, but innocent. The amount of suspects is always more than enough to keep things interesting. For those who enjoy the courtroom drama, Perry is still the king.

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CBS DVD presents Perry Mason: Season 4, Volume 1. Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, Ray Collins and William Talman. Boxset Contents: 16 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released on DVD: June 9, 2009. Available at Amazon.com

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