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Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Season Nine, Volume Two

August 12th, 2013

Perry Mason: Season Nine, Volume Two - Buy from Amazon

Its the final DVD release for Perry Mason. Season Nine, Volume Two comes out just two months after the Season One, Volume One came out. Does the show go out on a high note?

The Show

The DVD begins with The Case of the Midnight Howler. A radio host has a bit where he calls people who complain about his act. One call is to his boss, Kevin Steele, but while on the air, he hears two gun shots. Shortly after that, a woman, Holly Andrews, is seen fleeing the crime scene... she is seen by Perry Mason. Holly Andrews is the victims ex-wife, so she is immediately the prime suspect. When Perry Mason meets Holly, he's convinced there's more to the story and begins to look into the crime. In The Case of the Vanishing Victim, a plane crash kills a pharmaceutical chemist and his wife is accused of the crime. Perry Mason isn't convinced she murdered her husband. He's not even convinced her husband was murdered. The Case of the Golfer's Gamble starts at a golf tournament where the younger player, Jim Harrell, looks to upset the older one, Chick Farley, until the older one uses the rulebook to win by a stroke. When Chick Farley is later killed, it is obvious who the police arrest. However, there are a lot of people who wanted Chick Farley dead. The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise is actually based on the same story as The Case of The Moth-Eaten Mink, which came out during the first season.

In The Case of the Scarlet Scandal Perry Mason and Paul Drake are heading out for a fishing trip but they have to make a side trip for a client, Richard Bayler, to sign some contract. When they get there, Richard Bayler's wife was murdered and her rumored boyfriend, Donald Hobart, is arrested for killing her. Donald's real girlfriend, Cynthia Perkins, tries to find someone to help. Perry Mason is not interested at first, until Richard Bayler orders him not to investigate. In The Case of the Twice Told Twist, Perry Mason is the victim of a crime. His car is stripped for parts in under 10 minutes. One of the gang is caught, Lennie Beale, but Perry Mason refuses to press charges, because Lennie Beale is a juvenile. When the leader of the gang is killed, Lennie Beale is charged with the murder. On a side note, it is the only Perry Mason episode filmed in color. In The Case of the Avenging Angel, Perry is hired by a client to help an up-and-coming pop star, Sandy Chester, hire an agent, Clete Hawley. Clete Hawley is great at starting careers, but he also has a reputation for being cruel to his clients and ruining careers. He's made enemies, but when he is found dead, it is Sandy who is charged. The Case of the Tsarina's Tiara begins with a jewel heist in South America, but Perry Mason gets involved when a client demands he take her fraud case. It turns out most of the gems are fake, except for a tiara, which turns out to be part of the Tsarina treasure and worth $750,000. (Perry Mason had the jewels appraised by one of his other clients.) How does this tie in with the prologue? The partner of the jewelry store arrives back in Los Angeles, but it picked up when his car is declared stolen and the cops find the jewel thief, dead, in the trunk.

The Case of the Fanciful Frail begins with a woman, Ethel Andrews, waiting for her fiance, Bruce Strickland. When she calls the office where they work to see why he is late, he's gone. He's gone and $50,000 worth of securities were sold under her authorization. She panics and drives away. After a short while, she nearly runs into Peggy Sutton, another woman on the run. The pair decide to switch identities, and cars, to avoid being caught by their pursuers. However, Ethel finds a package in Peggy's car, a package with a lot of cash. She turns around to return it to Peggy, only to see Peggy die in a car crash. She then turns to Perry Mason to sort out this huge mess. The Case of the Unwelcome Well deals with a prospective oil well on Jason Rohan's land. Oil is found, but the owner of the oil company, Jerome Klee, decides not to drill for oil, because he has a better deal elsewhere. Mr. Klee ends up dead, there are a lot of people who wanted him dead. In The Case of the Dead Ringer, Raymond Burr plays both Perry Mason and a Perry Mason look-alike, who is being used by a courtroom opponent to discredit Perry Mason. It's a goofy setup, but a good episode. At the beginning of The Case of the Misguided Model, Sharon Carmody asks her friend, Duke Maronek, to walk her home, because she's being harassed by Art Grover. Duke walks into Sharon's apartment before her only to be attacked. He fights off the attacker in the dark and winds up killing him. It's Art. Sharon begs Duke to get rid of the body, but later of course Duke is accused of the murder.

The Case of the Positive Negative involves a retired General Brandon, who Perry Mason and others are looking to to help them stop a mob boss. However, the mob boss, Emory, blackmails the General into declining. When the mob boss is killed, the General is put on trial. The Case of the Crafty Kidnapper features a guest appearance by Cloris-Leachman. In the episode, a gossip columnist, Danny Shine, badgers a man, Alex Shine, while they are at a party. Later Danny Shine is murdered and Alex Shine is arrested. The series ends with The Case of the Final Fade-Out, which is about a hit TV show that is ending because the star wants to quit. Barry Conrad, the star in question, has to do a stunt scene where he is shot, but someone replaces the blanks with real bullets and he's killed. This episode includes a guest spot by Dick Clark.

The Extras

There is an intro by Barbara Hale, a.k.a., Della Street, for one episode, The Case of the Twice Told Twist, which was shot in color. Apparently it was shot in color as a test for a potential tenth season.

The Verdict

The second half of the final season of Perry Mason is arguably better than the first half and there are enough episodes that work that it is worth picking up. I can't wait till they start releasing the TV movies.

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Filed under: Video Review, Raymond Burr, Cloris Leachman