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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

PERRY MASON RETURNS

Della (Hale) is comforted by Perry (Burr)
PERRY MASON RETURNS (1985). Director: Ron Satlof.

Twenty years after Perry Mason went off the air, Raymond Burr returned as the character in what would turn out to be the first of many telefilms. Della Street (Barbara Hale) is now a private secretary to a difficult wealthy man named Gordon (Patrick O'Neal). In what would become a typical development in these movies, Gordon is killed by a hit man (dressed as a woman) in order to frame Della, who goes on trial for murder with Perry as her defense lawyer. Mason, who is now a judge, quits the bench to come to Della's rescue. The many suspects include members of the dead man's family as well as assorted business rivals and personal enemies. There are good performances from Kerrie Keane [Incubus], Holland Taylor, Richard Anderson, James Kidnie, and William Katt [Carrie], Barbara Hale's real life son who plays the son of investigator Paul Drake. Frankly, there's a little too much of Drake Jr. running around hither and thither, probably to pad the running time, but this still emerges as an entertaining TV flick.

Verdict: It's good to have Perry back. ***.

3 comments:

angelman66 said...

Loved this, too, Bill, and was hooked on all the original repeats as a kid. They were so well written and instilled in me my great passion for the courtroom drama...
Now these 1980s revivals, including those great Columbos you write about, are being repeated in glorious remastered HD on the Hallmark and other nostalgia channels.
-Chris

William said...

Perry Mason was a very well-written show. I never got into Columbo because you always knew "who done it" right from the start. I watched the entire nine seasons of PM twice -- three or four times if you count when I was a kid and then in college -- and fortunately I forget most of the endings!

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