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Perry Mason: Season 2, Vol. 2
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2007
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
VINE VOICEon November 12, 2007
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.

The second season cemented Perry, Della, Paul, and even Burger and Lt. Trag as weekly visitors into the homes of a large section of Americans. Like the novels, the title of every episode began with "The Case of-" and each one had some wonderful moments, both in and out of the courtroom. As previously stated, the second season is also split into two releases, half the season's episodes on each release, this being the second half of Mason's encore season. The full episode list for season two is as follows:

The Case of the Corresponding Corpse---The Case of the Lucky Loser---The Case of the Pint-Sized Client---The Case of the Sardonic Sergeant---The Case of the Curious Bride--The Case of the Buried Clock---The Case of the Married Moonlighter---The Case of the Jilted Jockey--- The Case of the Purple Woman---The Case of the Fancy Figures---The Case of the Perjured Parrot---The Case of the Shattered Dream---The Case of the Borrowed Brunette---The Case of the Glittering Goldfish---The Case of the Foot-Loose Doll---The Case of the Fraudulent Foto---The Case of the Romantic Rogue---The Case of the Jaded Joker---The Case of the Caretaker's Cat---The Case of the Stuttering Bishop---The Case of the Lost Last Act---The Case of the Bedeviled Doctor---The Case of the Howling Dog---The Case of the Calendar Girl--- The Case of the Petulant Partner---The Case of the Dangerous Dowager---The Case of the Deadly Toy---The Case of the Spanish Cross---The Case of the Dubious Bridegroom---The Case of the Lame Canary

It seems that almost everything on television is getting a DVD release as of late, many of little or no significance. Perry Mason was not only a terrific show, but an important part of television history, and our culture as Americans. TV didn't get any better, and only on rare occasions was it as good. Just a fantastic show, both entertaining and, today, nostalgic. A can't miss.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 28, 2007
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2008
What an indescribable joy it is to rediscover story line, plot, plot twists, character actors, drama, stellar acting and top production values - all in glorious black and white. Better than chocolate. I watch the episodes over and over while working at home, and yet never tire of them. With each viewing I discover new witty dialogue, another fabulous outfit (the clothes!), another classy set. PLEASE keep Perry Mason coming. It's so wonderful to see real women, and REAL men - just goes to show you what effects real ACTING can produce!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Sfter getting the three previous sets, I heartily and eagerly await this arrival. The writing is still crisp with great plots and some excellent banter. You just know Perry is going to win, but what trick or strategy will he use to save his innocent client? The actors whon appeared on this show made these characters their own. As Hamilton Burger and Inspector Tragg, William Talman and Ray Collins are perfect. It is hard to believe that Raymond Burr first wanted the role of Burger. Who better than Barbara Hale and William Hopper as Della Street and Paul Drake. Throw in performances by some old time stars, suchas Robert Armstrong from "King Kong", and new up and coming stars like Barbara Eden or Angie Dickinson and you have a real slice of television history. This is the godfather of the lawyer drama.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 26, 2007
Well, I suppose like one of Mason's cases, the DVDs had to end, but I hope the uniformly positive reviews of Seasons 1 and 2 would encourage the release of the remaining seasons. I, for one, would not hesitate in purchasing them, since, as I remember, the episodes became more dramatic, the courtrooms became larger and the acting and screenplays became even more gripping. At the end, even color came to the series. One can only hope the wait won't be long. As I finish this review, I hear the theme song, "Park Avenue Beat," playing over and over again in my mind.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2007
This show is guilty of being some of the most entertaining television in a long time. The quality of the DVDs are excellent. Watching the uncut DVDs makes the case against the syndicated television slice and dice version a no-brainer. You will finds yourself saying over and over "Oh now I understand better." Hopefully, they will release ALL nine seasons of this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 11, 2011
A lawyer turned author, Erle Stanley Gardner began writing Perry Mason novels in the 1930's, and continued doing so for about 40 years. Perry Mason was a most unusual attorney, proactively investigating and getting involved in open cases, and at times flirting with breaking the law. Specializing in homicide cases, the adventures of the intrepid lawyer were first featured in movies and on radio, before Perry Mason came to television in 1957, where it then became a long running hit for CBS, and an all time classic in the criminal law genre.

The program was perfectly cast, with Raymond Burr as Perry Mason, Barbara Hale as his super loyal secretary Della Street, William Hopper as droll private investigator Paul Drake, William Talman as the combative Hamilton Burger, and Ray Collins as the determined homicide detective Lt. Tragg.

This set contains the last fifteen of the thirty episodes produced in Season Two (1958-59), on four discs. As in the premier season, the stories are a combination of adaptations of Gardner's original novels (8), and brand new adventures written just for the series (7). Mason's cases are usually complex, demanding the viewer's attention, if they are to follow along and perhaps figure out the solution. Because the stories are often true to Gardner's novels, readers of the books might already know the solution ahead of time, but the generally well executed performances still make for an interesting watch.

While the quality of the stories in this set dips a little from those in Perry Mason - Season Two, Vol. 1, there are still a number of high quality episodes here. Gardner's original stories typically have some unusual slant that makes them special. Among the better episodes are The Case of the Calendar Girl, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop, The Case of the Howling Dog, The Case of the Deadly Toy, and The Case of the Lame Canary. Among the best of the new adventures by other writers are The Case of the Golden Cross, The Case of the Petulant Partner, and The Case of the Lost Last Act.

The program usually followed a pattern, typically beginning with the setup and commission of the crime, followed by the investigation, and then finishing in court. This format provided ample opportunities to feature many different settings and locations, as Perry Mason did not spend his time in an office sitting behind a desk. He was more like a detective, often at the front line of the action, working with the help of Della and Paul to discover the truth, staying one step ahead of the police, and doing whatever it took to solve the case. The program provided many juicy dramatic roles, for various character actors from the era.

Mason's proactive approach, and courtroom theatrics, may not have been realistic, but it certainly makes for some extremely compelling, classic television. Over time the price of the set has come down to a more reasonable level, and it sometimes goes on sale.
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