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Perry Mason: Season 3, Vol. 2

4.7 out of 5 stars 169 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Perry Mason is an attorney who specializes in defending seemingly indefensible cases. With the aid of his secretary Della Street and investigator Paul Drake, he often finds that by digging deeply into the facts, startling facts can be revealed. Often relying on his outstanding courtroom skills, he often tricks or traps people into unwittingly admitting their guilt.


Among the 14 cases that conclude Perry Mason's compelling third season is something of a Very Special Episode. In "The Case of the Prudent Prosecutor," district attorney Hamilton Burger (William Talman), usually outwitted and outplayed by Perry Mason, can at last smile and tell his adversary, "You know, I think I won this case." Of course, this time he had Mason on his side, defending an old friend who once rescued Burger. "I'll defend him," Mason kids, "even if he did save your life." We hope Burger enjoyed his moment of triumph. It would be the only one this season. Mason (Raymond Burr) is at the top of his game in case after seemingly hopeless case, untangling twisted plots with his unflappable aplomb. Suffice to say, if you’re a secretary who discovers a dead body in a remote cabin, or a gambling den’s cigarette girl with a gun and marijuana in your purse, your first stop should be Mason’s office. Perry Mason is classic TV noir, with dark doings and shady characters that subvert the sunny Southern California setting. The quintessentially convoluted "The Case of the Gallant Grafter" involves corporate intrigue and divorce, and throws in a blackmailing secretary for good measure. These episodes, originally broadcast in 1959-60, are further evidence why Perry Mason was the longest-running legal series on TV, and Mason was one of popular culture’s most enduring characters (created by Erle Stanley Gardner, he first appeared in a 1933 novel, and later branched out to movies, radio, and even comic books). Little fazes this guy, no matter how grisly the murder or how stacked the evidence is against his client. We anxiously await the moment that comes in most every episode around the 48-mins. mark in which the real killer is compelled to confess in court under fire of Mason’s withering cross-examination (oft-times, they aren’t even on the stand when they proclaim their guilt!). Among the familiar faces in these episodes include a very saucy Barbara Bain in "The Case of the Wary Wildcatter," and future Academy award-winner Louise Fletcher as the unfortunate secretary "The Case of the Mythical Monkeys." Fifty years later, Perry Mason is still a not-guilty pleasure. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Burr
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 728 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E6HUWK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Perry Mason: Season 3, Vol. 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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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.
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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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