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Turner Classic Movies
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Perry Mason: 50th Anniversary Edition
Written by Diana Saenger   

perrymason_50th.jpgPerry Mason is an attorney who specializes in defending seemingly indefensible cases. With the aid of his secretary Della Street and investigator Paul Drake he often finds that by digging deeply into the facts startling facts can be revealed.  With Barbara Hale as Perry's loyal secretary Della Street; William Hopper as his loyal right-hand-man Paul Drake; Ray Collins as Lt. Arthur Tragg; Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice and William Talman as District Attorney Hamilton Burger rounded out the show every well. Following up on the release of the first two seasons of the iconic TV show Perry Mason, is the Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS  release of Perry Mason: 50th Anniversary Edition.

perrymasonphoto.jpgRelying on his outstanding courtroom skills he often tricks or traps people into unwittingly admitting their guilt. His formidable cast was strong and added a great presence to each mystery that played on television through the 1950s and €˜60s.

The four disc set includes twelve memorable episodes, and a disc of special features that include things such as Perry Mason's screen tests, cast interviews with Barbara Hale, Arthur Marks and Raymond Burr and a William Talman anti-smoking message.

The series included on the four discs include:

DISC ONE

The Case of the Wary Wildcatter (2/20/1960)

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Raymond Burr & Barbara Hale
In this episode Charles Houston (Byron Palmer) a shady entrepreneur is two-timing everyone. He's making deals with investors to buy into the same other half of his prospect. When he pushes his wife's car over a cliff, he's caught on film by freelance photographer Roger Byrd (Harry Jackson) who starts blackmailing Charles. He also approaches the wife's sister, Paula (Barbara Bain, Mission: Impossible), and tries to sell her copies of the photos. Byrd is found dead, and Paula is arrested for the murder. Perry much decipher from a list of people who wanted Bryd's hide. The story is compelling and cast is great.

The Case of the Treacherous Toupee (9/17/1960)

The fourth season opener begins when Hartley Bassett (Thomas Browne Henry) returns after two years to reclaim his company. His wife Sybil (Peggy Converse), who gave up on him after he left with no notice and has been gone for seven years, attends a stockholders' meeting to cast her husband's proxy vote with company president Peter Dawson to restructure the business. That's when Hartley walks in and plans go up in smoke. When it's revealed someone has stolen money form the firm and everyone blamed it on Hartley, the problems begin. Sybil's son (played by 24-year-old Robert Redford) and Bassett's stepson, Dick Hart, hurries home after a quickie marriage and news he might not inherit stock money. There's soon a confession of unexpected love, a disappearance by Dick's new wife, and of course a murder with several suspects for Perry to run through.

The Case of the Envious Editor (1/7/1961)

When Donald Fletcher (James Coburn), a seedy magazine editor decides to turn his house of family magazines into sordid girly mags, his board is not happy. One employee after another is fired including former editor-in-chief Edmond Aitken (Philip Abbott). At a party given by Fletcher insults fly, fists follow up and soon someone in this crowd is murdered. Never fear, Perry Mason is on the case.

The Case of the Barefaced Witness (3/18/1961)

Adam West (Batman) guest stars in this episode about a bank employee trying to clear her name of embezzlement, and maybe murder.  

DISC TWO

The Case of the Counterfeit Crank (4/28/1962)

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Raymond Burr &
William Hopper
A wealthy old man (Otto Kruger) wants to share his money with others but when he throws money out a window some of his relatives want him committed. Perry understands he just wants people to think he's crazy so he can get his dream of a land deal complete. His partners are opposed, and when someone ends up dead, Perry's must clear his friend. Burt Reynolds (Evening Shade) and Connie Hines (Sea Hunt) costar.

The Case of the Shoplifter's Shoe (1/3/1963)

A dizzy aunt (Lurene Tuttle) confesses to stealing diamonds but might be covering up for her brother. Which one might have killed the shady dealer who found the gems? Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) and Margaret O'Brien (Meet Me in St. Louis) guest star.

The Case of Constant Doyle (1/31/1963)

In Burr's absence because of a surgery, Bette Davis subs as recently widowed attorney Constant Doyle. She must clear her late husband's name and defend an angry young man (Michael Parks, Murder She Wrote) accused of murder.

The Case of the Deadly Verdict (10/17/1963)

This breaks the mold of "Perry Mason never loses a case." When his client (Julie Adams) is found guilty and sentenced to death, Mason must rethink his case.

DISC THREE

The Case of the Beautiful Beauty (2/6/1964)

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Ray Collins &
 Raymond Burr
A young writer turns a Hollywood starlet's life story that is told by the author's boyfriend (Ryan O'Neal, Love Story) into a best seller. told her. After the actress threatens to sue, she turns up dead and the writer is accused of murder.

The Case of the Twice Told Twist (2/27/1966)

This homage to Oliver Twist finds Perry uncovering a car-stripping ring and defending a troubled teen blamed for the murder of the ring leader. Victor Buono (The Mod Squad) guest stars.

The Case of the Dead Ringer (4/17/1967)

Perry Mason meets his match-literally; playing a double role as Mason and a greedy imposter set up to discredit the lawyer.

The Case of the Final Fadeout (5/22/1966)

A prop gun with real bullets leaves an arrogant TV actor dead. His producer, co-star, agent and screenwriter all have motives so Perry must find "the one" who committed the murder.

DISC FOUR

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Perry Mason Returns - a 1985 movie of the week reuniting Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale. Della is accused of killing her new boss so Mason quits his job a court judge to defend her.

€¢ Perry Mason Talent Tests - screen tests from several cast members filmed in 1956 and lost in the CBS vaults until recently.

  €¢ The Case of Erle Stanley Gardner - a featurette about Gardner, the writer of the book series from which the shows were adapted.

€¢ Syndication Promos

€¢ Raymond Burr's Interviews Charlie Rose - clips from Rose's CBS series Nightwatch.

€¢ Raymond Burr on Person to Person - Burr on the Edward R. Murrow show which in this case is hosted by Charles Collingwood.

€¢ Barbara Hale (actress) Interview

€¢ Arthur Marks (director/producer) Interview

€¢ Anne Nelson (CBS executive) Interview

€¢ The Cast Plays Stump the Stars - Mike Stokey hosts a game show of charades with cast members

€¢ William Talman (who died of lung cancer) in a P.S.A. about cigarette usage.

Photo credits: Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS  

 



                       

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