This is a series of programs based a character in the writings of Erle Stanley Gardner. The CBS TV series stretched from 1957 through 1966.
Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) is a defense lawyer who is always thought of after it is too late for him to save the defendant from being accused of murder. Supporting Perry is his trusty more than friendly but professional secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale). And their trusty and sneaky private investigator Paul Drake (William DeWolf Hopper, Son of the actress-turned-gossip-columnist Hedda Hopper). On the other side of the courtroom is the district attorney Hamilton Burger (William Talman) assisted by the not so neutral Homicide Lt. Arthur Tragg (Ray Collins).
You wonder how they get away with manufacturing evidence and the defendant usually has foot in mouth. Then there are the signature courtroom demonstrations.
Be sure to re-watch these programs as you can then see at even in TV programs they can sprinkle in subtle clues.
The was a mad magazine mock that had a boy scout immediately confess from the back of the courtroom upon seeing Perry mason.
Many of the subsequent programs allowed many TV actors of the time to become different characters and even replace the Burger and Tragg characters. You find yourself not only trying to outguess Mason but also saying "Hey I saw that actor in..."
Even though the characters are from Erle Stanley Gardner the actual programs are written by many different TV writers of the day.
I have on occasion read some of the Erle Stanly Gardner Mason's and they are closely related. The TV version has a few less characters and has to write in some of our favorites.
The DVD's themselves usually have four episodes with a glaring lack of the extras that are so popular nowadays. The plus is that there are no advertisements.
on 17 October 2014
These episodes have been a joy to watch. The acting is very good even by current standards of realism and the court room scenes legendary. Why no satellite or cable TV is showing these in the UK is a mystery to me. The black and white hardly matters. If you have a multi-region DVD player and TV, or your PC will allow you to view Region 1, then these are all brilliant. Each season has its strengths and some of the episodes raise themselves to something a bit beyond a crime drama, tackling serious issues very impressively.