Paramount // 1964 // 773 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // January 9th, 2013
"Your Honor, the prosecutor is making gratuitous asides." -- Perry Mason (Raymond Burr)
Hear ye! Hear ye! Perry Mason: Season 8, Volume 1 includes fifteen episodes:
* "The Case Of The Missing Button"
* "The Case Of The Paper Bullets"
* "The Case Of The Scandalous Sculptor"
* "The Case Of The Sleepy Slayer"
* "The Case Of The Betrayed Bride"
* "The Case Of The Nautical Knot"
* "The Case Of The Bullied Bowler"
* "The Case Of A Place Called Midnight"
* "The Case Of The Tragic Trophy"
* "The Case Of The Reckless Rockhound"
* "The Case Of The Latent Lover"
* "The Case Of The Wooden Nickels"
* "The Case Of The Blonde Bonanza"
* "The Case Of The Ruinous Road"
* "The Case Of The Frustrated Folk Singer"
Perhaps growing sensitive to criticism about going over the same ground once too often, Perry Mason: Season 8, Volume 1 seeks to rectify matters by turning the world's most famous defense attorney into something of a globetrotter. Over the chartered course of these collected cases, our man traipses through Paris, Acapulco, and Switzerland, and even finds time to stop off for a bit of action in Nevada's sin city.
Some developments happen offshore altogether -- anything to move things out of that stuffy Los Angeles court room, apparently -- and others beggar belief, like Perry being made to take the stand as a witness for the prosecution on a case he's defending!
And then there's the caper revolving around Nazi treasure hunters, or the one involving a petite fashion model (played by former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley), who'll land the big money contract if only she gains twelve pounds. Perry's steadfast secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale) and stalwart private eye Paul Drake (William Hopper) also earn more screen time this go 'round, as their personal involvement with certain clients becomes a strong contributing factor to Perry taking certain cases.
Such departures from the tried and true Perry Mason episodic formula may irk purists of the series, but as a mere fan (whose duties at DVD Verdict have exposed him to no less than seventy three installments in a period of just over a year), I found these detours -- daffy as they are -- quite refreshing.
Just in case you're a creature of habit who's beginning to worry, let me assure you that you'll find yourself perfectly at home among this slate of legal challenges. You may, however, notice that some of the furniture has been moved. Furthermore, there's no cause for alarm once you discover attorney Joe Kelly (Michael Connors, Mannix) handling the defense arguments -- it's just that (as often is the case during the fall of 1964) Perry is "out of town."
Regarding the technical details: Paramount has delivered another set of sparkling standard definition, full-screen transfers in glorious black-and-white, paired with crisp mono audio mixes. English captions for the hard of hearing are also on hand.
Faithful followers of this series are sure to pick up on some deceptive practices. In addition to those previously mentioned, I noticed a number of gratuitous shots featuring Perry in action (i.e., taking the stairs, hastening to this place and from that one, etc.) that I began to suspect were an attempt to compensate for the fact that Mr. Burr had been steadily gaining moss about his trunk over the past few seasons. No matter: He ain't heavy, he's my lawyer.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 773 Minutes
Release Year: 1964
MPAA Rating: Not Rated