Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Season Seven, Volume Two
We get to the second half of the seventh season of Perry Mason this week, or to be technical about it, a couple weeks ago. (The screener arrived late.) I thought the first half was amazingly consistent. In fact, the entire series has been that way. Will the final 15 episodes be as good as the first 15?
The first disc starts with a strange case. A woman buys tickets for a long shot horse at the race track, goes to Perry Mason, and asks him to collect the winnings, if she wins. She doesn't want to answer any questions about why she needs this to happen. The long shot wins, but when Mason goes to pick up the money, he's accused of being the accomplish to an embezzler. When the guy who accuses him winds up dead, the case takes another series of twists. In The Case of the Bountiful Beauty, a mysterious woman comes to Perry Mason wanting to sue the author of a book, which she says is about her. However, when she winds up dead, Perry Mason ends up representing the author, who just happens to be the girlfriend of the dead woman's stepson. Proving she's innocent could be hard, but proving reasonable doubt should be a breeze, as she had countless enemies. In The Case of the Nervous Neighbor, Paul Drake (William Hopper) is hired by a man to help find his ill mother. Drake finds her, but learns she wasn't ill, but on the run after killing her husband and when Drake finds her, she has no memory. She's still arrested for the murder, which is where Perry Mason comes into the picture, but that's just the first twist to the tale. Ducky has a guest appearance in The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman. It's cool seeing him in the episode, but it isn't one of the better ones this season.
Disc two starts with The Case of the Frightened Fisherman. In this episode, the development of a new antibiotic is at the center of a financial battle. Already we can tell this is an old show. Pharmaceutical companies don't develop antibiotics anymore, because there isn't a high enough profit to be made before too many diseases evolve resistances. The development of a new antibiotic is threatened by corporate takeover and a cheating wife, but Perry Mason gets involved when one of the top researchers is framed for a hit and run against an unidentified woman, who later turns out to be his cheating wife. In The Case of the Arrogant Arsonist, a retired fire chief is accused of being an arsonist, in part to get back into the action, and in part to collect on the insurance money. Perry Mason comes in to file a libel suit against the journalist, but when the journalist is murdered, Perry has to defend him. The Case of the Garrulous Go-Between has Paul Drake helping a woman who he thinks is addicted to a psychic, but she was actually investigating her to expose her as a fraud. But when the psychic's assistant is murdered, she's charged with the murder. In The Case of the Woeful Widower, a housekeeper is convinced her employer is trying to poison his invalid wife. It turns out she's wrong, but shortly after that, the husband and the wife's step-brother (Jerry Van Dyke) accuse the housekeeper of stealing some jewels. There's not enough evidence to charge her, but she's still fired. Then the wife is actually poisoned.
The Case of the Simple Simon has Perry Mason helping an old friend, an actress who gave him up for adoption years ago. A young man claims to be her lost son, but she knows he is wrong, because she's already found her lost son. That issue takes a backseat when a critic and nemesis of the actress winds up dead and the actress is the prime suspect. The Case of the Illicit Illusion starts with an author talking to her doctor. She's doing things she can't remember and what she remembers doing never happened. When she comes home, she sees her desk was rummaged through, but she's smacked on the head and is knocked out. That's just the beginning of the craziness, as she learns her soon-to-be ex-husband is wanted for murder and had been embezzling from a client at work. When his business partner and co-conspirator is killed, she's arrested. In The Case of the Antic Angel, Perry Mason gets involved in a case of mistaken identity. A man sees what he thinks is his wife, who died last year in a plane crash. Later he sees her again, but she's dead. When he calls Perry Mason and Paul Drake goes to the scene of the crime, there's no body. That's just the first twist. The disc ends with The Case of the Careless Kidnapper, which is one of the weaker episodes, so we will move on.
The Case of the Drifting Dropout focuses on Barry Davis, who works for Mort Lynch. Mort Lynch and Barry Davis's uncle were partners till the latter died. Barry and Mort get into yet another argument and Barry quits. However, he's approached by the editor of the local newspaper for a job. His first story is to look up as much information on Mort and his deceased uncle. What he finds leads to Mort's murder, and he's the prime suspect. In The Case of the Tandem Target, Sumner Hodge tries to break up the relationship between his step-daughter and her boyfriend. He goes so far as to fake a murder attempt. When he is murdered, the boyfriend is the logical suspect. The season ends with The Case of the Ugly Duckling. In the episode, Alice is a young lady whose father passed away in the past year. His will stated that unless she showed she had settled down by her next birthday, by getting married or something like that, the toy company her father helped found would be dissolved. Her uncle tries to set her up to save the company, which he now runs. She finds out and shortly after her uncle is dead. Needless to say, she's the prime suspect.
On a side note, Barbara Hale wasn't in a few of these episodes, so we actually see Gertie played by Connie Cezon.
Again, there are no extras on the DVD.
Perry Mason: Season Seven, Volume Two is again amazingly consistent. There are only two episodes that are not very strong. I still don't like the split-season sets, but there is still good value for the money here.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2012-11-03