Posted in: Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on June 7th, 2013
For nine seasons and several TV-movies afterwards, Raymond Burr was Los Angeles based defense attorney Perry Mason. This character’s verbal gymnasitcs and uncanny hounding for evidence makes his famous winning streaks seem not just plausible but rather entertaining to behold. His adventures have been well-reviewed by myself and my reviewing compadre Gino on this very site (http://upcomingdiscs.com/?s=perry+mason).
The formula (for lack of a better term) of each episode maintains in this first half of the final season. The primary suspect is profiled, caught and examined in the first half of each story. When things do to trial, the true guilty party is found out, often on the witness stand, as Perry’s uncanny winning streak gets the best of those who try to hide the truth from him. Said winning streak might spoil one’s enjoyment of the show since the outcomes can be predicted during the opening titles screen, but the crimes (most often murders) are elaborate enough to maintain interest for the most part. At the same time, I feel it should be noted that the pacing of the show can often be slow. Think of it being a closer relation to Matlock than the sexier modern Legal dramas like The Practice. Not to say that it is better to have attorneys with chiseled jaws or short skirts versus methodical investigation and character development, but you had better prepare yourself for a lot of men in suits standing in one spot speaking their thoughts aloud.
Fullscreen. A rather clean transfer for a footage that is nearly 50 years old. The dark tones have some haze and overall it could stand to be crisper. Not a bad presentation but the flaws are apparent when most of the scenes are black and white interiors containing dark suits that can occasionally look spotty, and straight lines of books and banisters that may look flawed.
English Mono. This type of track is par for the course when it comes to transfers shows that are this old. Compared to previous CBS releases this is a touch muddier in quality but still acceptable.
Subtitles in English.
None. Unless you count some previews for other DVD releases “special” anymore.
As Gino remarked in his previous reviews: “This is where the courtroom show started.” Indeed, Perry Mason was the launch point and remains worthy of return viewings to this day. The formula worked right through it’s final season, as demonstrated with this release. Oh, and I still get a rise from that killer theme song!