TITLE: PERRY MOVIE - THE MOVIE COLLECTION - VOLUME 3
Release Date: August 5, 2014 (CBS DVD)
Packaging: Standard DVD Cases in Cardboard Box
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 6
Running Time: 568 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles and Captioning: English Subtitles
Special Features: None
Perry Mason DVDs have been flowing steady from CBS for nearly a decade, and that isn't about to stop anytime soon, which is why they have now brought us Perry Mason: The Movie Collection - Volume 3. The three disc set contains six more movies, all of which aired in 1990 and 1991, bringing Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale back to the classic roles that they played from 1957 until 1966, but now they're doing their work in the decade that is much different from the one that they worked in before. A total of 26 movies were made with Mason (as well as four more after his death), and this release brings six new ones to DVD, in addition to the previous twelve that were already released.
Like the previous two box sets, this set actually consists of three individual double features (all of which will likely be released individually at a later date) in one box. The six movies featured this time are "The Case of the Poisoned Pen," "The Case of the Desperate Deception," "The Case of the Silenced Singer," "The Case of the Defiant Daughter," "The Case of the Ruthless Reporter," and "The Case of the Maligned Mobster."
"The Case of the Poisoned Pen" (1:34:22) - A murder mystery author is murdered at a murder mystery writers conference, and the whodunit is a total mystery that Perry Mason has to solve. Cindy Williams guest stars.
"The Case of the Desperate Deception" (1:34:18) - Perry Mason comes to the defense of a man who may have killed a former SS officer, but solving the case may mean going back in time about a half century.
"The Case of the Silenced Singer" (1:33:18) - Perry Mason comes to the defense of a manager and husband (Tim Reid) when his wife, a demanding diva (Vanessa Williams) is found dead in her bedroom. Also guest starring Angela Bassett and Alice Ghostly.
"The Case of the Defiant Daughter" (1:34:16) - Not all may be what it appears to be when a father pulls a gun on the man who drove his brother to suicide. Jere Burns, Robert Culp, Ken Kercheval, Kevin Tighe, and Robert Vaugh guest star.
"The Case of the Ruthless Reporter" (1:34:15) - An anchorman is found dead in a parking garage, and considering that he has blackmailing several coworkers, it's going to take Perry Mason to solve this mystery. Jerry Orbach and Philip Michael Thomas guest star.
"The Case of Maligned Mobster" (1:34:12) - A mobster's wife ends up dead, and her husband is the first suspect… so how will Perry Mason get him out of this? Stephen Toblowsky, Anne Schedeen, and Paul Anka guest star.
It is also worth noting that up to this point, we haven't (at least to my knowledge) ever had to worry about any serious music issues on Perry Mason, but now we've entered the 90s, and one of these movies ("The Case of the Silenced Singer") featured an actual performance by Vanessa Williams (before the inevitable fate of any Perry Mason mystery hit her character, of course!) of her song "I'll Be the One." While it wasn't one of her biggest hits ever, it IS fully intact on this release.
The packaging for this set is consistent with the previous Perry Mason movie collections, which means it is once again "unnecessarily bulky." They've placed the three regular sized DVD cases into one box, when they could have easily just placed three discs in a single Viva case. Of course, the movies included will also be sold individually, so I suppose this packaging allows them to take care of two packages with one design. The cover art has a large photo of Perry on it, and all of the movies are listed on the back. On the individual cases, however, there are descriptions of each movie on the back as well. Each disc contains two of the movies.
Menu Design and Navigation:
They didn't go all out on the menus for this set. You just have the artwork that is seen on the cover of the DVD set, along with options to play either movie or subtitles. That is about it. Chapters are placed within each episode.
Video and Audio Quality:
It's hard to complain too much about the video and audio quality on this set, even if it isn't perfect. There is a bit of softness to the video, but it really doesn't look much worse than what one would expect of made for TV movies from the early 90s. Each movie has stereo audio, along with English subtitles.
There are no special features on this set, which is somewhat understandable since these movies are a less significant part of the Perry Mason legacy. Still, it would have been nice to have seen some interviews with those who appeared in these movies, particularly the guest stars.
As I've stated before, these movies aren't exactly the old Perry Mason that fans remember from the 50s and 60s, but nonetheless, it is great to see Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale coming together once again to play those characters. These movies were almost like a new series with old faces, and they managed to return year after year, with perhaps the only thing that ultimately ended the movies was Burr's death. With this release, we have finally been able to see 18 of these movies on DVD, and there are still eight more movies starring Burr to go (though Volume 4, containing six of those remaining eight, is already scheduled). Most likely, we'll see Volume 5 with the last two Burr movies before his death, as well as the four "Perry Mason Mysteries" where Paul Sorvino and Hal Holbrook took over the starring roles (it was explained that Perry was "out of town" in these stories). In any event, it is great to see that CBS hasn't given up on Perry Mason at all, and that it seems likely that we will get every single story in the entire Perry Mason story as portrayed by Burr on DVD.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
-- Reviewed by skees53 on 08/20/14
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