“Perry Mason” Season 9, Volume 1 certainly begins to show signs of fatigue for the long-running series but even so, each episode, as plug-and-play as they tend to be, are still entertaining. And with only the second part to go, the series will be complete to which point I hope CBS Entertainment will choose to release the TV movies onto DVD. But I digress, as with the other season sets, this is pricey given there are no features and it is only half of a season.
Paramount | NR – 776 min. – $45.98 | June 11, 2013
Directed by: Various
Writer(s): Erle Stanley Gardner (books)
Cast: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper
Number of Discs: 4
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English SDH
THE SEASON – 3.25/5
The formidable and brilliant defense attorney, with a conscience, Perry Mason returns for his ninth and final season playing by the irreplaceable Raymond Burr and is no doubt a big reason why “Perry Mason” lasted as long as it did running from 1957-1966. Later the character was resurrected for 25+ TV movies and a painful and thankfully short-lived new TV series in 1973-74.
This season we find Perry Mason once again tackling difficult cases and despite losing every time to the man, District Attorney Hamilton Burger (WILLIAM TALMAN) continued to be confident he had an air-tight conviction only to be foiled at the last minute with a witness on the stand and with ultimate dramatic form, reveals the evidence that he or she was the real killer. Of course, any normal person who deny it or plead the fifth but more often than not in the series, they blurt out their confession.
Now, in this 15-episode volume 1 set, this can get tedious with each episode only changing a few things but eventually resulting with the same ending. Now, this isn’t to say the episodes can’t be fun, and they are, with some good guest stars, some decent acting from the supporting actors (and more than a few over-the-top performances) and good writing even if it follows the same course. But in the end, the reason “Perry Mason” succeeded for 35+ years, is because of Raymond Burr and the charm and charisma he brought each and every time to the role.
Here is the episode list with an asterisk next to my personal favorites:
1. The Case of the Laughing Lady*
2. The Case of the Fatal Fortune
3. The Case of the Candy Queen
4. The Case of the Cheating Chancellor*
5. The Case of the Impetuous Imp*
6. The Case of the Carefree Coronary
7. The Case of the Hasty Honeymooner*
8. The Case of the 12th Wildcat*
9. The Case of the Wrathful Wraith
10. The Case of the Runaway Racer
11. The Case of the Silent Six*
12. The Case of the Fugitive Fraulein
13. The Case of the Baffling Bug
14. The Case of the Golden Girls*
15. The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0/5
As with the other season sets, no features have been included. The four-disc set is contained in a standard DVD case.
VIDEO – 3.5/5
Paramount/CBS DVD releases “Perry Mason” Season 9, Volume 1 and while it’s not an outstanding looking transfer, plenty of scratch marks show up, but for its age and probably not receiving much attention, it’s a fine transfer. The black & white video shows some stark blacks and bright whites and I can’t think it could look any better.
AUDIO – 3.0/5
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is serviceable, nothing more than that. Of course, the majority of the episodes are dialogue-driven and on that front, it sounds clear enough although when there’s yelling or screaming, the audio can top out at times. Also sounding resilient is the overly dramatic, yet still fun, score.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, “Perry Mason” Season 9, Volume 1 certainly begins to show signs of fatigue for the long-running series but even so, each episode, as plug-and-play as they tend to be, are still entertaining. And with only the second part to go, the series will be complete to which point I hope CBS Entertainment will choose to release the TV movies onto DVD. But I digress, as with the other season sets, this is pricey given there are no features and it is only half of a season. However, if you can get it at a good price, then it’s worth picking up especially if you already own some of the other sets.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman