What an amazing career Raymond Burr had as Perry Mason. First, it was nine seasons on CBS with a top rated show about the famed defense attorney. Then, he shuttled over to NBC for a few seasons as Robert Ironside. But, then people just couldn’t get over the way Mason handled himself in the courtroom. It was time to bring Burr into some very nicely conceived TV movies.
Add Barbara Hale as Mason’s executive assistant, Della Street, and you’re in nostalgia heaven. People loved these TV movies, despite the poor to mediocre writing. Who cares if the plotting is a bit obvious and not nearly as accomplished as in the CBS series. This is all about characters you love and seeing them in their twilight years.
“Perry Mason Movie Collection, Volume 1” has the first six TV movies: “Perry Mason Returns,” “The Case of the Notorious Nun,” “The Case of the Shooting Star,” “The Case of the Lost Love,” “The Case of the Sinister Spirit,” and “The Case of the Murdered Madam.” All of them are a bit clunky. The costumes and hairstyles are so eighties. Add some really memorable guest stars along with series regular, private eye Paul Drake, Junior (William Katt) and all is forgiven.
The six-movie set is on three discs and it’s priced way, way too high at $58.99. Hopefully, after it’s been out awhile, the price will come down. If it doesn’t, only hardcore Mason fans will pay that kind of money. C’mon. It’s not like these movies aren’t still being shown on television. Grade: B+
Street Date: December 31, 2013
Format: DVD only
Runtime: 571 minutes
Released by Paramount Home Entertainment