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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perry, Della, and Paul, Back at It
Perry Mason is as much a part of American culture as apple pie and mom. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone of any age who doesn't at least recognize the name. Erle Stanley Gardner's books have millions of devoted fans. The television show it spawned was fabulous as entertainment, and today is widely regarded as one of the best shows the medium ever produced. Perry was...
Published on April 15, 2009 by Bobby Underwood

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85 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This just gets worse and worse
I guess Paramount thinks Perry Mason fans will wait any length of time and pay any price for these half-season sets. It's ironic, since nearly all the best PM episodes are from the first two seasons; by the fourth, the actors, writing and directing all slow down considerably. That snappy noir-ish dialogue is gone, along with the incomparable Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg...
Published on March 30, 2009 by B. Sloane


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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perry, Della, and Paul, Back at It, April 15, 2009
By 
Bobby Underwood (Tumut NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Perry Mason is as much a part of American culture as apple pie and mom. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone of any age who doesn't at least recognize the name. Erle Stanley Gardner's books have millions of devoted fans. The television show it spawned was fabulous as entertainment, and today is widely regarded as one of the best shows the medium ever produced. Perry was the attorney you wanted on your side in a jam.

Raymond Burr had some good roles in films, but will always be remembered as Perry Mason. It was Gardner himself who picked Burr, even though the studio only agreed to let him test for Perry if he would test for Burger too! 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 would almost be ready to gloat, Lt. Tragg (Ray Collins) not far behind, when Perry would spring his client by revealing the real killer on the witness stand. 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.

Season four was terrific. Releasing them in half seasons, the first half on volume one, the second on volume two, is indeed an effective but annoying marketing scheme. I agree the price should be lowered, but at the same time agree that entertainment wise, this is an incredible value. So, much like gasoline, you pay what you have to. Hopefully at some point, Amazon or Paramount will make an effort to still make a profit with a sure-fire hit, while giving fans a better purchase price.

Season four episodes, beginning in September of 1960 and ending in June of 1961, are as follows: The Case of the Treacherous Toupee--The Case of the Credulous Quarry--The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker--The Case of the Singular Double--The Case of the Lavender Lipstick--The Case of the Wandering Widow--The Case of the Clumsy Clown-- The Case of the Provocative Protege--The Case of the Nine Dolls--The Case of the Loquacious Liar--The Case of the Red Riding Boots--The Case of the Larcenous Lady--The Case of the Envious Editor--The Case of the Resolute Reformer--The Case of the Fickle Fortune--The Case of the Waylaid Wolf--The Case of the Wintry Wife --The Case of the Angry Dead Man--The Case of the Blind Man's Bluff--The Case of the Barefaced Witness--The Case of the Difficult Detour--The Case of the Cowardly Lion--The Case of the Torrid Tapestry--The Case of the Violent Vest--The Case of the Misguided Missile--The Case of the Duplicate Daughter--The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather--The Case of the Guilty Clients

This was one of the best dramas ever to hit the air. Seeing it today reminds us just how good television can be, but is often not. It's a bit of nostalgia and a lot of entertainment for TV fans. Fred Steiner's "Park Avenue Beat" remains one of the most recognizable themes ever heard. A must for any serious collector.
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85 of 106 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This just gets worse and worse, March 30, 2009
By 
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
I guess Paramount thinks Perry Mason fans will wait any length of time and pay any price for these half-season sets. It's ironic, since nearly all the best PM episodes are from the first two seasons; by the fourth, the actors, writing and directing all slow down considerably. That snappy noir-ish dialogue is gone, along with the incomparable Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg (Collins' successors were uniformly colorless).

It should also be pointed out that while the DVD transfer quality is excellent, these are NOT COMPLETE episodes! I own many Perry Mason tapes on VHS (the Columbia House series), and in several cases a brief scene from the VHS version is missing from the DVD. There is simply no excuse for this.

Given the incomplete episodes, and Paramount's usurious pricing policy, I would recommend all Perry Mason fans wait to buy any more DVD's until they are available used.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamilton Burger gone missing, September 3, 2009
By 
Christine (the Space Coast of Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
They should release these DVD's faster! Part 1 of Season 4 was as good as always, with guest appearances of all sorts of up actors on their way up (or down). Sort of like the Love Boat of the 50/60's.

For those of you who want to know where Hamilton Burger is during Season 4, Part 1 (he only appears in one episode) - here is an excerpt from Wikipedia.....

"William Talman was fired from Perry Mason for a short period. Sheriff's deputies suspicious of marijuana use raided a party in a private home in Beverly Hills, at which Talman was a guest, on March 13, 1960. The deputies reported finding Talman and other defendants in the nude. Even though a morals charge was made against Talman (and vagrancy charges and lewd conduct against others at the party), municipal judge Adolph Alexander dismissed the charge against Talman on June 18. "I don't approve of their conduct," the judge ruled, "but there has been no violation of the law established." Despite this, Talman was fired when a "morals" clause was invoked in his contract--producers were afraid this incident would damage the show's image. However, Raymond Burr and the rest of the cast demanded the CBS network rehire Talman, and there was a deluge of fan mail demanding his reinstatement. CBS ultimately did bring him back on the set in December, 1960. But the incident (and possibly his typecasting as the never-ending loser Hamilton Burger) somewhat damaged Talman's career--other than Perry Mason he worked very infrequently as an actor from then on."

And CBS DVD/Paramount/or whoever owns the rights to this series - step up your release schedule.
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49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive but worth it, March 25, 2009
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
No doubt the price for this half season release is high and raises the eyebrows of potential buyers. I think we must assume that this price increase is the result of low sales volumes on previous releases. I don't like the price but I would rather have the DVD's at the higher price than no release at all. Please don't let the Perry Mason series follow the lead of Ironside where the studio released two season and then quit!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable, July 10, 2009
This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Have to agree with others here who have written how excellent this batch of stories are. They are believable, well acted, and don't seem nearly as dated as a show from 1960 should be. The stories are clever in many instances and the ways Perry is brought into these situations are really well done.

I have no problem paying $34.99 for this set. I have all the Perry Mason sets released to date and I want the rest of these episodes and I want them soon.

Thank you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Mason, Rare Redford but not enough Ham Burger, June 17, 2009
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
During the last few months of the third season and for the first half of the fourth season Bill Talman, the quintessential Hamilton Burger was off the show for violating the morals clause of his contract for having been arrested during a raid at a "wild nude party."

So when the fourth season opens with an episode with Talman in the DA's chair I had to wonder. The answer was clear as soon as my wife started screaming, "That's Robert Redford". Sure enough it was Redford six years younger than he was in Barefoot in the Park in one of his first roles. And Redford was good even if I won't say if he did it or not.

But the inclusion of the Redford episode tells the viewer that this compilation is not exactly a chronological recreation of the fourth season. The tryouts for the new DA have a few assistant district attorneys with some fire and personality but for the most part they were reading lines writen for Talman. His absence clearly detracts from the series.

The many superb character actors that appeared on the series is one of primary strengths of the show. These actors never walked the red carpet at the Oscars but they worked year in and year out in Westerns, B-movies and sitcoms. A face like Dabbs Greer's could never bring a leading role, but he appeared on screen and on television in 288 roles (some of them continuing characters) during his career. Greer is one of many just like him that inhabited the Perry Mason set.

In short, this volume has its limitations but it remains one that any Perry Mason fan will want to own.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Original Courtroom Drama, November 9, 2009
This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
Perry Mason Season 4 Volume 1

These sixteen TV films from 1960 are based on the novels of Erle Stanley Gardner. The original books are more complete and informative and tell stories about life that is unknown to most people. The books can tell you why certain things are done, the films only show you what happened. The books tell you about "ropers", rough or smooth shadows, and how to evade surveillance and avoid leaving a back trail. Some may question the legality and ethics of Perry Mason's tactics but most stories were written before the modern legal rules of the 1960s. The backgrounds tell about life in Los Angeles. It is difficult to film a scene at night but easy to describe it in a book. Erle Stanley Gardner was the founder of the "Court of Last Resort" which sought to free many unjustly convicted persons. Gardner, among others, sought to use scientific means to find the guilty, rather than using hunches or guesses alone.

Often the original stories were modified for TV. The theme music is typical for the late 1950s. Note the style of clothing and culture; ladies wore white gloves. People seldom lock their doors. The prices date these films. One advantage is seeing the many automobiles from that era. How many can you identify? Note the slimness of people, the smoking, and the familiarity with firearms. Smoking was very common [a tobacco sponsor]. The seeming reality of these stories is due in part to characters who don't look like Hollywood actors. Watch how the actors express their emotions by their facial expressions. The camera sharpness and quality is excellent on these films. There is nothing like these dramatic stories on today's broadcast TV. When was the last time you saw a trial lawyer as a hero? These stories often use the misinterpretation of circumstantial evidence to provide dramatic effects. The courtroom scenes are usually the Preliminary Hearings (no need for a jury). A story adapted from a novel has the year.

Treacherous Toupée 09/17/60; Credulous Quarry 09/24/60;
Ill-fated Faker 10/01/60; Singular Double10/08/60.

Lavender Lipstick 10/05/60; Wandering Widow 10/22/60;
Clumsy Clown 11/05/60; Provocative Protégé 11/12/60.

Nine Dolls 11/19/60; Loquacious Liar 12/03/60;
Red Riding Boots 12/10/60; Larcenous Lady12/17/60.

Envious Editor 01/17/61; Resolute Reformer 01/14/61;
Fickle Fortune 01/21/61; Waylaid Wolf (1960) 04/04/61.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Long Term Value, March 26, 2009
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
This is my all time favorite TV program. I'll admit it "ain't" cheap. However, I spend more than this at any restaurant for one meal which gives a one time temporary enjoyment. Since I watch PM over and over, in my humble opinion, this is money well spent because it keeps on giving enjoyment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perry Mason 4-1, October 19, 2009
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This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
I've collected every PM set that has been published including 99% of the paperbacks. PM, Seas 4,Vol 2, is due out this December, 2009. There's been discussion on pricing but I don't see any way around this other than not buying the product. The downside is that there is no substitution for this great product, so you need to decide if this is important to you.
Most of these episodes do not contain Hamilton Burger, since he was pushed off the show for a brief while. However, this doesn't distract from the overall quality of the show.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perry Mason Season 4 Vol 1, September 4, 2009
This review is from: Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 (DVD)
The Perry Mason episodes are always well done and interesting; and I enjoy seeing the period costumes and cars, realizing that when the espisode was made, these were the height of fashion. I also enjoy the camaraderie of the cast of characters and the rivalry between the defense and the state. Besides all that, the stories are good.
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Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1
Perry Mason: Season 4, Vol. 1 by Raymond Burr (DVD - 2009)
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