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on September 14, 2008
I appreciate the reasons for consumer gripes regarding the Perry Mason DVD releases. Like other Amazon reviewers, I'd like to pay less and see complete seasons rather than half-seasons released at a time.

I'd also like two-dollar gas, killer abs, and a winning lottery ticket, but they're not gonna happen either, so I'll just say here and now that Paramount has done a superb job of remastering the PM series for us diehards, and I encourage the company to stick with the project.

When I look at the quality of the prints, that the episodes have been restored in their entirety, that the episodes are generally longer than most of today's popular dramatic series, and the plain fact that paying several bucks for each episode of one of my all-time favorite shows is no big hit on my wallet when it's spread out over months and years, I'm okay with the pricing and staggered releases. (And no, I don't work for or represent Paramount, and yes, like everyone else I have only so much disposable income in any given month.)

I even bought the PM 50th Anniversary set for its extras and for the lovely Barbara Hale (sometimes joined by series producer/director Arthur Marks) providing the intros. It was worth the price and the duplication of episodes.

I expect many of my fellow Amazon reviewers will take the time to skewer me for my take on Paramount's approach, and that's okay. It's all a matter of opinion and perspective. But for me, the fact that Paramount is providing us fans with such great prints of the PM series is cause for celebration. "You get what you pay for," the saying goes, and my money is being well-spent.
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VINE VOICEon October 26, 2008
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 three had some great episodes, including a case where Paul was the accused, in a twisty tail of blackmail and murder. Releasing them in half seasons, the first half on volume one, the second on volume two, may indeed be an effective but annoying marketing scheme, but with all the junk out there we're lucky to actually have a few worthy releases such as Perry Mason even available.

Season three, beginning in October of 1959 and ending in June of 1960, is as follows: The Case of the Watery Witness--The Case of the Garrulous Gambler--The Case of the Blushing Pearls--The Case of the Startled Stallion--The Case of Paul Drake's Dilemma--The Case of the Golden Fraud--The Case of the Bartered Bikini-- The Case of the Artful Dodger--The Case of the Lucky Legs--The Case of the Violent Village--The Case of the Frantic Flyer--The Case of the Wayward Wife--The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor--The Case of the Gallant Grafter--The Case of the Wary Wildcatter--The Case of the Mythical Monkeys--The Case of the Singing Skirt--The Case of the Bashful Burro--The Case of the Crying Cherub--The Case of the Nimble Nephew--The Case of the Madcap Modiste--The Case of the Slandered Submarine--The Case of the Ominous Outcast--The Case of the Irate Inventor--The Case of the Flighty Father

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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VINE VOICEon December 10, 2008
Perry Mason, the one hour television show displayed originally fuzzy black and white on a round screen disappeared from original telecasts in May, 1966. It lived on in re-runs through the end of the millennium and re-appeared as a series of TV movies in the eighties featuring a bearded Mason and the ageless Della.

But 1960 was a special year indeed. Firstly William Talman, who played Hamilton Burger the brilliant but hapless Los Angeles County District Attorney was temporarily kicked off the show following his arrest following a raid at a "wild nude party" in Hollywood in March 1960, resulting in a stream of appearances by lesser prosecutors. As a result he is absent from many of the episodes in this series.

Secondly the Mason series, always a home for some of the better character actors of the era, had in the second half of the season, some amazing cast members. Louise Fletcher, later to win an Oscar, plays Gladys Doyle in The Case of the Mythical Monkeys. Norman Fell, wearing a silly thin mustache, plays a character named Casper Pedley. Joining them is B-movie Diva Beverly Garland. And that is just in one episode.

These episodes are all well-written, although few lawyers ever object as Mason and Burger do that the evidence is "irrelevant, immaterial and incompetent." In "the Case of the Prudent Prosecutor" Burger actually calls Perry to defend his old friend (played by J. Pat O'Malley). In the ensuing preliminary hearing Mason exposes a corporate scandal worthy of the wall street Journal. Barbara Bain appears in another episode the Weary Wildcatter where a con man sells several hundred percent in an oil well that happens to come in.

If you love Perry Mason, this second part of the third season will be rerun as often on your DVD as Ted Turner did on WTBS.
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on July 2, 2009
Perry Mason Season 3 Volume 2

These fourteen 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 pistols. 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, usually the Preliminary Hearings, often tell about the law. The cars tell of product placement. A story adapted from a novel has the year.

Wayward Wife 01/23/60; Prudent Prosecutor 01/30/60;
Gallant Grafter 2/6/60; Wary Wildcatter 2/20/60;

Mythical Monkeys (1959) 2/22/60; Singing Skirt (1959) 03/12/60;
Bashful Burro 3/26/60; Crying Cherub 4/9/60.

Nimble Nephew 4/23/60; Madcap Modiste 4/30/60;
Slandered Submarine 05/14/60.

Ominous Outcast 05/21/60; Irate Inventor 05/28/60;
Flighty Father 06/11/60.
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on July 20, 2014
Perhaps the most unique case is "The Case of the Nimble Nephew." Like a magic illusion, someone manages to divine the exact location of a plot of land shown on a map locked up in a wall safe with a foolproof method of identifying anyone who opens it - apparently no one has, and yet obviously someone has learned the location of the prized land . . . .

Perry's caseload in this season's volume: 14.

Quality: Disc 3 was defective, causing my Blu-ray player to become inoperable at the end of "The Case of the Slandered Submarine." (For Panasonic, to recover required depressing power button for 3 seconds, and then restarting it normally.) (Reduced rating from 5 to 4.)

Picture: good. Sound volume moderately low, clear. Subtitles: none.
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on January 29, 2009
Perry Mason - The Third Season - Vol. 2

I found season 3, volume 2 of Perry Mason to be of the usual high standard, and if anything I was even more enthusiastic than the previous seasons, if possible.

I trust that Paramount home video will continue to put out all of the nine seasons in the coming months. Current television programmes could certainly learn a great deal from such shows as Perry Mason with regard to its quality, presentation, interest and high acting quality. It certainly is at times hard to believe that these programmes are over 50 years old.
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on April 23, 2009
I wonder what the morons at CBS-Video are thinking when they decide to package a season one way and another season a different way. All they think about is the pennies they could save on each unit so their CEO's can earn salaries that nobody is really that good to earn. How about a little pride in the product you put out!? It would have been 5 stars for the episodes, but the packaging sucks.
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on April 10, 2009
I've been putting up with these crazy prices for the past half-seasons of Perry Mason, but honestly, I've had it.

Either they release the whole seasons at once at that price of the half seasons, or I'm not buying it.

The show is well-remastered and clear, but I was not aware that there were no subtitles available as I do not use them (having no subtitles is pretty darn unfair).
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on January 7, 2009
I am from germany and cannot get the Perry Mason series here on dvd at all, so I feel very lucky to get them from amazon in the US. I have already purchased all of the items from the series, that are available now and I can't wait to get the other seasons, too. I watched Perry Mason as a rerun on german television a few years ago for the first time and I am addicted to it since then!
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on September 26, 2008
Season 3, Vol. 2 is a set of four discs, not 1 disc. The Amazon information is simply an error.
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