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Perry Mason: Season 2, Vol. 2

174 customer reviews

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(Nov 13, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Perry 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. Often relying on his outstanding courtroom skills, he often tricks or traps people into unwittingly admitting their guilt.

We strenuously object! Raymond Burr was conspicuously and criminally missing on Entertainment Weekly's list of the top 100 TV icons. This is a TV Land injustice, but this four-disc set of episodes that complete season 2 lays the groundwork for an appeal. Burr was honored with an Emmy for his commendable work this season as Los Angeles defense attorney Perry Mason, as was Barbara Hale, who portrayed his faithful secretary Della Street. Who knows how many impressionable viewers Burr inspired to become lawyers with his masterful portrayal of the unflappable, incorruptible Mason? No matter how much evidence district attorney Hamilton Burger (William Talman) and Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) collect, and no matter how damning it is, it will usually collapse once Perry gets the real guilty party to break down on the witness stand or, in one case, in a beatnik hangout. In "The Case of the Lame Canary," a woman is discovered over her dead husband's body, gun in hand, and burning a stack of letters. "If she has any sense, she's at the airport waiting for the first plane out of the country," someone cattily remarks. Nope, she has better sense than that; she's at Perry's office.

Filmed in black and white, Perry Mason has a seductive noir sensibility. Here in sunny California are convoluted cases involving corruption, blackmail, scandal, revenge, and greed. Perry, with the help of private detective Paul Drake (William Hopper), sorts it all out, and in the episode codas, further parses the evidence ("I still don't see what put you on the right track" is a typical query) in inscrutable ways that invite replay. Beyond the pleasure of watching an actor thoroughly embody his character, it's also fun to spot familiar character actors. "The Case of the Petulant Partner" stars Will Wright, who played mean old Ben Weaver on the early seasons of The Andy Griffith Show, and that's a rather fetching Marion "Mrs C." Ross from Happy Days in "The Case of the Romantic Rogue." The episodes crackle with some old-school, hard-boiled dialogue. Almost worth the price of the set is hearing Lt. Tragg make with the beat talk in "The Case of the Jaded Joker." "I'm one of the cool ones," he jokes with Della and Perry. "I don't dig slick chicks trying to goof me up, daddy-o." Once again, this set is guilty of providing no extra features, but we'll let them off with a warning. This time. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 15 episodes from the 1958-59 season on four discs

Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
  • Directors: Andrew V. McLaglen, Arthur Hiller, Arthur Marks, Buzz Kulik, Gerd Oswald
  • Writers: Barry Trivers, Don Brinkley
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 774 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UAE7VS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,958 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perry Mason: Season 2, Vol. 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Caton on August 24, 2007
Format: DVD
For nine seasons Raymond Burr ruled the courtroom in "Perry Mason." After serving for almost two decades as a "heavy" in Hollywood noir films, Burr was cast against type as the thoughtful, dogmatic Mason. Burr is surrounded with a first-class supporting cast here -- Barbara Hale as faithful "Della Street," William Hopper as the wise-cracking, woman chasing P.I. "Paul Drake," William Talman as long-suffering D.A. "Hamilton Burger," and Orson Welles favorite Ray Collins as "Lt. Tragg." Along the way you'll enjoy seeing classic T-Bird's and Corvette's, girls in tight-fitting sweaters, and dozens of plot twists and turns. In fact, you won't totally know "who done it" until Perry sweats a confession out of some oily character or shapely dame with about three minutes remaining -- the way crime dramas are supposed to play out. In this set you'll catch terrific character actors Hugh Marlowe, Leo Gordon, Ken Lynch, John Agar, Mala Powers, John Anderson, Dick Foran, R.G. Armstrong, and crooner Frankie Laine. Snap up more of "Perry" today!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on November 12, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perry Mason fans waited a long time for a DVD release of the finest courtroom drama ever to be broadcast into homes. It was entertainment that kept viewers glued to their seats, waiting for that moment when Perry would nail the killer on the witness stand and free his client. Once the first season was released it was only a matter of time until season two followed. As with the first season, it has been released in two volumes, this being the second half of season two.

Raymond Burr had some good roles in films, but will always be remembered for the tough defense attorney you wanted on your side in the toughest jam. Barbara Hale was his pretty secretary, Della Street, who kept Perry human and was in love with him. William Hopper was the dapper detective, Paul Drake. He had a playful and flirtatious relationship with Della but every viewer knew that secretly her heart belonged to Perry.

William Talman as D.A. Hamilton Burger was the perfectly cast guy you almost felt sorry for, as just when he was ready to gloat over his victory in court, Perry would spring his client by revealing the real killer, once again defeating poor old Burger. The relationship of these four people made the mood and mystery of the often gripping conclusion fun to watch. There has never been anything close to it in genre on television since. Its mix of drama, noir, and humor, and its truly likable characters, made for terrific viewing.

Erle Stanley Gardner's original creation of Perry Mason was a bit more two-fisted pulp type reading, but slowly grew into something resembling the show when it became so popular. Gardner's Perry Mason novels, begun decades before the show and continuing for decades more, are still fun to read. The same can be said of every single show in the series.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Too Cold in Madison VINE VOICE on November 28, 2007
Format: DVD
I remember watching Perry Mason reruns on local independent channels when I was a single-digit kid in the late '60s. I loved it then and I think it has held up well over the ensuing decades. I enjoy the flashback to 1950s culture, including the jazzy music.

I admit that the 1/2-season format is frustrating, but this seems to be becoming the norm with older series. I might be dead before all of the episodes are released. If I am still alive, they will immediately release the complete series in a box set at a lower overall price and with some nice extras, just like some other series are doing now. I'll be bitter of course, but I'll console myself with the knowledge that I didn't have to wait many years to see the early episodes. I am glad that they are using single-sided discs. This is much better than some other old favorites (e.g. The Outer Limits) that have all kinds of quality problems because the are on junky two-sided discs.

I just finished watching this set on my new 73" HDTV using and HD-DVD player that upcodes standard-def DVDs. Fantastic! The picture quality is incredible and truly is "glorious black and white."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By G. Ware Cornell Jr. VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am part of a whole generation of lawyers who first decided on a life at the bar while sitting in front of a black and white television set watching Perry Mason. Perry could always outwit Hamilton Burger and countless murderers who sat in the gallery just so Mason could get the real killer to confess.

So far only two seasons of Perry Mason have made it to DVD. This set the second half of Season Two is full of episodes that well-acted, carefully plotted and thoroughly enjoyable. By 1958 most Americans knew Perry, Della Street, Paul Drake, Hamilton Burger and Arthur Tragg. But each show had several of the best character actors of the day in the cast. While sometimes the plots were based on novels by Earle Stanly Garner (for instance "The Case of the Stuttering Bishop") the original teleplays were faithful to Gardner's vision.

Watching these shows on DVD is a real treat. While Perry Mason was a staple on TBS and Hallmark for years, the prints were pretty worn. These episodes are bright and clear (even in B&W) and the sound is crisp.

Now where is Season Three?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By on November 24, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perry Mason Season 2 Volume 2 picks right up where Volume 1 left off and brings more great mystery and courtroom drama.
Several of the episodes are based on the original Gardner stories but those that aren't are still great fun.
The picture and audio quality are both excellent.
As with the other Mason sets my only complaint is that the entire season isn't being released as one set.
Nevertheless, I look forward to Season 3 Volume 1!
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