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Perry Mason - Season Two, Vol. 1

174 customer reviews

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(Jun 19, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper. There have been decades of followers, but there's still only one Perry Mason ! The father of all courtroom dramas returns with 19 episodes from season two, packed with penetrating cross-examinations, surprise witnesses, shocking confessions and last-minute bombshells on 4 DVDs. 1958-59/b&w/12 hrs., 53 min/NR/fullscreen.

There's something about Perry! Perry Mason, as a canny 14-year-old remarks in the episode "The Case of the Pint-Sized Client," is "the best lawyer in town." Here's the evidence. In 15 chronological second-season episodes from the classic series by which all lawyer shows are judged, Los Angeles attorney Perry Mason successfully defends a host of clients so seemingly guilty that Nancy Grace would have had them incarcerated by the first commercial break. Created by Erle Stanley Gardner, Mason was already a popular character in books, films, and radio before coming to television in 1957, and Raymond Burr, usually typecast as a heavy in feature films, did Mason justice (Mason was ranked 28th on the Bravo network's list of television's 100 best characters). Punctuating his sentences with that dramatic intake of breath, Burr's Mason exudes gravitas and expertise. He gets capable support from Barbara Hale as his secretary, Della Street, and William Hopper as private detective Paul Drake.

In what may be television's most thankless role, William Talman costars as district attorney Hamilton Burger, who nearly every week loses what looked to be an open-and-shut case, usually as the result of some dramatic surprise witness (in one episode, a parrot!), an unorthodox legal maneuver, or a cross-examination courtroom confession ("I didn't mean to kill him, your honor"). There is no delving into Mason's private life, although one episode hints at Mason being something of a ladies man. When Della suggestively tells him a new client is in his waiting room, he replies, "Blonde or brunette?" Cleverly plotted, and infused with a palpable noir sensibility , Perry Mason holds up as more than TV Land nostalgia, although it is fun to see such familiar faces as Jesse "the Maytag Repairman" White, Edgar Buchanan (Petticoat Junction), and Joseph Kearns and Herbert Anderson from Dennis the Menace. No extras, but these entertaining episodes will definitely please the court. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 15 episodes from the 1958-1959 season on 4 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: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Dubbed: 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: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000O59A52
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perry Mason - Season Two, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on May 3, 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, and it finally has.

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.

The second season cemented Perry, Della, Paul, and even Burger and Lt.
Read more ›
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64 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lee Taylor VINE VOICE on March 16, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After getting both volumes 1 and 2 of season one, I can not wait for this release. The stories are every bit as great as I remembered. The picture was clear as crystal. What really impressed me was the quality of the performances. Raymond Burr is Perry Mason. Barbara Hale played Della with a fine sense of character. William Hopper has just the right mischieviousness for Paul Drake. What can I say, These people are the characters they portrayed. This is the grandfather of all courtroom dramas. Many have tried to imitate, but none have duplicated the drama, suspense and humor in these stories. The biggest mystery is how can I hold out until the release date? That's a killer for sure.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By B. Williams on April 13, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the most interesting television series ever. Although there are complaints about the split season sale of Perry Mason, I remember the VHS (two-episode) tapes going for $20.00 a pop, plus shipping and handling. One season would have cost almost $400.00. At $66.00, this is a bargain. I just hope CBS releases all nine seasons.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maclen VINE VOICE on December 26, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased Season 2, Volume 1 separately, unlike Season 1, which came complete with both volumes. There is not much more to add to my review of Season 1, except to say that the screenplays in Season 2 seemed more professional and the non-recurring actors seemed more polished and less melodramatic. However, as with Season 1, the core actors (Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman and Ray Collins) carry the show. (As a marketing note, Amazon would be well advised to list Raymond Burr as the actor for each of the Perry Mason DVDs, if not the entire core cast. Now, each DVD lists Ray Collins as the sole actor, and he is certainly not representative of the series.) I think I watched Season 2, Volume 1 in several days, making it very clear to my wife and daughter that I could not be disturbed. There is no television today that comes close to the kind of classic television drama portrayed in this series. I think that this was a period of television where the psychological and dramatic interplay of characters predominated as in "The Twilight Zone" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." Television had not yet discovered reality programs and Idol-type contest shows. Moreover, television had not yet abandoned good taste.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Suppiluliuma on October 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of Erle Stanley Gardner's lawyer, Perry Mason, ever since college, and that was too long ago for me to remember. When the TV series appeared, and I first saw Raymond Burr cast in the lawyer role, I was a bit surprised, since he had previously played "heavies" in the movies. But I quickly adapted to his style, and discovered how deliciously angry was his constant opponent, District Attorney Hamilton Burger. For years, whenever these shows were re-run, I watched them. But a few years ago they ceased to be re-run in my area, and I was sad. Now with the release of DVDs of the old show's first season and a half I can lean back at the end of a hard day's work and enjoy them all over again. The quality of the r eproduction in the DVDs is excellent: good sound, sharp picture. But as a senior citizen, I have discovered that it is dangerous to watch them after about 9 PM, since I have a tendency to doze in the easy chair. And if there is one thing that always characterized the tight plots transferred from books to TV, it is that viewers need to be very alert and keep in mind all the characters and what was said about them earlier in the show. So if you are young and alert, or if you are older but can watch the shows in a straight-back chair and early enough in the evenings, I wholeheartedly recommend the Perry Mason DVD series. Personally, I can't wait for the next one (season 2, vol. 2) to become available!
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Perry Mason - Season Two, Vol. 1
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