Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Raymond Burr as Mason and Karl Held as law student David Gideon

The 5th season of this durable series didn't begin too auspiciously with a few unexciting episodes, but it began to hit its stride with such stories as "The Meddling Medium" [a phony psychic with Kent Smith]; "The Left-Handed Liar" [intrigue at a health spa, with Les Tremayne and Joan Banks];  "Brazen Bequest" [strange doings at a college hoping for a huge cash gift]; "The Mystified Miner" [with Josephine Hutchinson as a kidnapped writer]; and "The Lonely Eloper" with John Dall and Jack Ging, among several others. The two best episodes of the season were arguably: "Renegade Refugee" [is a businessman a renegade Nazi or an American coward? --  with a fine performance from Dick Foran and an especially good script]; and "Counterfeit Crank"--  with Jeannette Nolan, Burt Reynolds, and an excellent Otto Kruger in one of the very best performances of his career. Another great episode, "Ancient Romeo," featured the stars of This Island Earth -- Rex Reason and Jeff Morrow -- as actors in a theatrical troupe [with Donald Curtis of It Came from Beneath the Sea along for good measure].

The character of law student David Gideon (Karl Held), who had been a defendant on the previous season, became a semi-regular. One assumes CBS hoped to ensnare some younger viewers, particularly females, with Held's youth and considerable sex appeal. He first shows up in "Missing Melody," appears in several episodes for a varying length of time, and has the most to do in the aforementioned "Left-Handed Liar." Held, who was appealing and professional, also called himself Christopher Held and Carl Held in later years, when he appeared on such programs as Falcon Crest.

Verdict: Perry is just unstoppable. ***1/2.

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