DVD Review: Perry Mason (Season 9, Volume 2 – The Final Season)



All good legal runs must come to an end. Even Perry Mason had to put down his legal briefs. Why? Maybe after 271 episodes, Perry had defended all the falsely accused innocent people in the greater Los Angeles area. Perhaps it was the dropping ratings that bumped the show out of the Top 30? The romantic viewers should think that the impending arrival of color on CBS, the people behind Perry Mason didn’t think the show could work properly in color. There were quite a few shows that lost their edge when they embraced hues. Perry Mason: Season 9, Volume 2 – The Final Season contains the time they went color and a grand finale case.

“The Case of the Midnight Howler” demonstrates the dangers of calling into a radio show. Daniel J. Travanti (Hill Street Blues) is the radio DJ who airs what sounds like a shooting on his show. Sadly there’s no “Baba Booey” to make listeners think it’s fake. “The Case of the Vanishing Victim” dares to make Big Pharma a menace. An employee of the company is flying in a private plane and crashes. His wife gets arrested since she was seen giving him a flask. Did she kill him or was she a patsy for his corporate overlords. Only Perry Mason can find the truth. “The Case of the Golfer’s Gambit” shanks the local pro. He’s already suspected of stealing $300 worth of stuff from the pro shop which is probably a sleeve of balls at today’s prices. “The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise” gets both Perry and Paul Drake (William Hopper) in trouble with the law. He send Paul undercover as a trucker to get the truth exposed in an art theft and murder case. Perry better paint a masterpiece or they’ll both get hung. Allan Melvin (Sam the Butcher on The Brady Bunch) is part of the scheme.

“The Case of the Twice Told Twist” is also “The Case of Perry Mason in Color.” The producers loaded color film into the cameras to see how things would look. The lack of grey does change the atmosphere of the show. Perry gets his car stripped for parts by a youth gang. While he won’t press charges, he wants Paul to find the adult ringleader. Nothing good can happen when kids deal with Victor Buono (King Tut on Batman). While color doesn’t ruin the show, it’s a good thing that the show didn’t do a color season. It just wouldn’t feel right. “The Case of the Tsarina’s Tiara” busts a jewelry dealer for driving around in a stolen car. Things get worse when the cops find a dead hood in the trunk. This is the perfect time to call Perry Mason. “The Case of the Unwelcome Well” is all about murder in the oil drilling industry. James Best (Roscoe P. Coltrane on Dukes of Hazzard might have plugged someone. “The Case of the Dead Ringer” has Perry get in trouble for bribing a witness. Could he really do that? Sgt. Drumm (The Bionic Woman‘s Richard Anderson) isn’t sure what to do about Perry being fingered. “The Case of the Final Fade-Out” wraps up the show with an amazing inside joke. There’s two murders on the set of a TV series. Perry has to figure out if the real murderer is Dick Clark (Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year), Denver Pyle (The Dukes of Hazzard) or Jackie Coogan (The Addams Family). There’s a lot of suspects on the crew that help put together the show. What makes this an inside joke is that the people playing the fictional crew are really the crew members on The Perry Mason Show. It’s a sweet farewell to those that made the legal magic happen for nine seasons.

Perry Mason: Season 9, Volume 2 – The Final Season is the 19th Perry Mason collection that I’ve reviewed at InsidePulse since 2006. That’s 18 half season sets and 50th Anniversary Edition collection. At this point, I’m now qualified to defend litigants on The People’s Court. There’s no need to completely lament the end of Perry Mason. Burr revived the character in 1985 for 26 made for TV movies that lasted until his death in 1993. There’s no news as to when these later cases featuring a bearded Perry will be on DVD.

The Episodes

“The Case of the Midnight Howler,” “The Case of the Vanishing Victim,” “The Case of the Golfer’s Gambit,” “The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise,” “The Case of the Scarlet Scandal,” “The Case of the Twice-Told Twist,” “The Case of the Avenging Angel,” “The Case of the Tsarina’s Tiara,” “The Case of the Fanciful Frail,” “The Case of the Unwelcome Well,” “The Case of the Dead Ringer,” “The Case of the Misguided Model,” “The Case of the Positive Negative,” “The Case of the Crafty Kidnapper” and “The Case of the Final Fadeout”

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The black and white transfers bring out the harsh terms of the legal world. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. You’ll weep when you hear the final gavel slam down. The episodes are subtitled.

No bonus features.

Perry Mason: Season 9, Volume 2 – The Final Season wraps up the finest of legal mystery series. Perry Mason owned the courtroom in his black and white universe. The show wraps up with an astounding thank you to the people responsible for making the courtroom magic happen.

CBS DVD present Perry Mason: Season 9, Volume 2 – The Final Season. Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper and Richard Anderson. Boxset Content: 15 episodes on 4 DVDs. Released: August 13, 2013.

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