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Perry Mason: Season 5, Vol. 1 (1957)

Raymond Burr , William Hopper  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Perry Mason: Season 5, Vol. 1 + Perry Mason: Season 5, Vol. 2 + Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 2
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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Burr, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • 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: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 764 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00363WGJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perry Mason: Season 5, Vol. 1" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Times Change, but Perry Remains July 20, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The fifth season of this venerable series, first aired in 1961, gradually begins to reflect the cultural changes since its premiere in the late fifties. In an anticipation of the Perry Mason returns series of the eighties, Perry now has an occasional assistant, a young law student whom he once successfully defended (just like William R. Moses' Ken Malansky). More traveling is going on, reflecting the wider world opening to Americans with the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Lt. Tragg is seen less and less often, usually replaced by Wesley Lau's Lt. "Andy" Anderson. Hamilton Burger is also seen only occasionally (fallout from William Talman's arrest on morals charges a couple of years earlier), and other prosecutors go up against Perry with the same zeal and the same results. To us males who entered our teens in the sixties, the cars are one of the obvious tipoffs to the period. One of Perry's clients tools around in a '61 Chevy, and Paul Drake's ride is a '61 T-Bird (presumably red, though we can only guess in black and white). For a while, there's the ubiquitous '61 Buick convertible, serving characters in several episodes. Some reviewers have complained of CBS Video's decision to release the series in half-season packages priced for a full season. This is greedy behavior characteristic of big corporations, and no one should be surprised. Business, with its unerring eye for profit, is the most reliable barometer of what's popular. PM makes the grade, season after season. My wife and I relax almost every night with yet another episode. Though they are somewhat formulaic, there are just enough twists to keep us fascinated. Second half coming up.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Case of the Perplexing Plots May 17, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is really a very disappointing first half of the 5th Season (1961-1962). Despite this DVD having one of my all time favorite episodes ("The Case of the Posthumous Painter") it has numerous flaws. First, Ray Collins (Lt Tragg) makes only cameo appearances, no doubt due to his ill health. He is replaced by Wesley Lau (Lt Andy Anderson) in the Case of the Malicious Mariner, just 2 weeks after having been the defendent in the Case of the Impatient Partner. Figure that! Then there is Karl Held in a recurring role as David Gideon who was introduced in an episode in a previous season. The screenwriters just don't seem to know what to do with him, sometimes he is just hanging around, some times using Perry's law library, sometimes coming up with a remarkable suggestion ("thermacouple") to solve a problem regarding the age of a picture. Mostly, he just stops the normal flow of a scene and the interactions between Perry, Della, Paul, etc. That is probably why his tenure was so short. However, the biggest drawback to Season 5 is the very thin plot lines in many cases with the solution literally falling out of the clear blue sky. You can see it in numerous episodes such as the "Meddling Medium", "The Traveling Treasure","The Case of the Crying Comedian", and yes even in "The Posthumous Painter" [no explanation how he survived in full clothes out in the ocean for hours]. Big loopholes indeed. However, for all of us Perry Mason fans we will still buy it and enjoy the good moments, even though there are fewer of them than there should be.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Episodes less seen June 2, 2010
OK, now we're getting into the episodes that most of us haven't seen as often. I think with most syndicated shows (especially shows that were syndicated a long time ago), the syndication package is mostly made up of the first four seasons, and later episodes are shown much less often. I've loved the previous seasons, but I've seen most of the episodes many times before, and these seem less familiar. I don't think they are plotted as well as the earlier episodes, but the fact that I've seen them less often makes them feel a lot fresher.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shark jumping? June 11, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A phrase that has escaped from the vernacular of television production-land to the rest of the English speaking world is "jumping the shark." It refers to the episode on Happy Days in December,1977 when Fonzie, waterskiing in bathing suit and black leather jacket behind a boat driven by Richie Cunningham, avoids a Jaws-like attack by jumping over the Great White. From that moment, Happy Days went from being cutting-edge comedy to something close to self-parody.

So as we look at the first part of season five of America's greatest television lawyer, we have to wonder, when did Mason jump the shark?

There is a lot to suggest he did. For one thing, there is Karl Held. Held in the mid-1960's plays David , a law student reading in Mason's law library, who muscles in on all of the cases and spews legal maxims like a brownnosing 1L in Contracts class. He has beach boy good looks, and always wears a sports jacket and thin tie. It is not exactly clear why he reads law in Mason's law library. Perhaps they were fumigating the academic law library at UCLA. But on a series which has such an iconic regular cast of Della, Burger, Tragg and Drake, his earnest recitations and pretty boy looks are a total distraction.

The writing seems to be slightly off the mark as well. Perry Mason is primarily a legal detective, using the engine of cross-examination to solve crimes and to free the wrongfully accused. The real murderer is generally motivated by lust, greed, jealousy, or disappointment. These plots do not stray from the formula per se but Mason's methodology in exposing true criminals seems off.
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