Perry Mason: Season 1, Vol. 1
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- The first 19 episodes from season 1 (1957-58) on five discs
Top Customer Reviews
For years PM has only been seen in butchered syndicated versions with 6 minutes or more missing from each episode. These DVDs will be mastered from the original elements and will be the complete 52 minute versions. PM was filmed, not videotaped, which will result in very high quality DVDs.
Although all 9 seasons were excellent, the first season is remarkable in that the cast found their stride immediately and delivered 39 noir-like episodes that are as suspenseful as any Hollywood movie. 19 of these episodes will be in the set with 20 to be included in Volume 2.
Paramount has an excellent record in fast tracking releases of their classic shows, hopefully PM will be as well.
Based on the successful books by Erle Stanley Gardner, the production quality of the series was so high that the many of the episodes have the feeling of a movie, or as some reviewers have noted, true film noir.
Debuting in 1957, Perry Mason ran for nine seasons and became a part of popular culture. It propelled its star, Raymond Burr, into the status of an icon, even though he already had a distinguished career as a movie actor, ironically primarily playing bad guys. In Mason, Burr brought incredible depth, quick intelligence and an amazing robust energy that remains as fresh today as it was almost 50 years ago!
The first season had 39 episodes, 19 of which are being released in this DVD boxed set, while the remaining 20 will be released in Season One, Volume 2.
In addition to Burr, the stellar cast includes Barbara Hale, who portrays Mason's devoted secretary, Della Street; William Hopper as Mason's private investigator Paul Drake; William Talman as the perennially losing District Attorney Hamilton Burger; and Ray Collins, as the acerbic but honest Lt. Arthur Tragg.
Although Mason often acted as an investigator, won all but one of his cases, and he managed to evoke witness stand confessions from the majority of the guilty parties, the show still managed to convey a courtroom realism seldom seen, and is still often sadly missing in modern TV series dealing with crime and punishment.Read more ›
There are no "bonus" extras.
Only 1/2 of Season 1 is here.
It's a bit pricey.
If any of that is important to you, deduct the appropriate amount of stars.
Now to the good part:
The 1st season of Perry Mason was the best of all, with most of the episodes on this DVD set being taken from Gardner's novels.
The quality of the prints used and the transfer quality are both first rate.
The cool 50's music is excellent and provides a great background to the action.
The performances are exceptional - all the players meshed right away.
William Talman's sputtering, exasperated Burger, constantly threatening Perry with "charges" in this 1st season is a far cry from the friendly attitude he would adopt toward the end of the show's run.
Ray Collins as the sardonic Lt. Tragg steals every scene he's in! A real pro!
And, of course, the performances of Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale and William Hopper are outstanding. What a team! Who wouldn't want Perry to be their lawyer?
Watch Perry change his cars often - a top-of-the-line Ford hardtop convertible, a Cadillac El Dorado convertible, even a Buick Special convertible (which is seen in other episodes being used by persons other than Perry).
Paul must be doing pretty well also since he has both a Corvette and a T-Bird!
Poor old Ham Burger is seen riding around in a cheap Ford.
Even Tragg is driving a Buick!
See the props being reused often in other settings (like Ham Burger's desk lamp which somehow made it into the estate of a millionaire in "Negligent Nymph"!)
All-in-all, a first rate set which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I'm looking forward to the release of Season 1, Part 2.
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.
Earle 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 first season, unlike many shows, hit its stride immediately, and remained top-notch television for many years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i rated this 4 stars because the idiots at cbs paramount dont give you a option to play all the shows you after play one show at a time thats really dumb.Published 1 month ago by BOB SZVETICS
Good quality DVDs-the picture is crisp and clear as is the sound quality. The package arrived in tiptop shape.Published 1 month ago by Mel
Perry Mason was one of the best shows in the late 50' and early 60's. If one likes murder mysteries, this would be a good buy.Published 2 months ago by Tom Reints
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