'Perry Mason - Season 1, Vol. 1'
(Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / (1957) 2006 / Paramount)
Overview: 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.
DVD Verdict: Perry Mason was certainly the finest courtroom drama ever on television. It was entertainment that kept viewers glued to their seats, waiting for that moment when Perry would nail the killer on the witness stand and free his client. Raymond Burr had some good roles in films, but will always be remembered for the tough defense attorney you wanted on your side in the toughest jam. 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 was the perfectly cast guy you almost felt sorry for, as just when he was ready to gloat over his victory in court, Perry would spring his client by revealing the real killer, once again defeating poor old Burger. The relationship of these four people made the mood and mystery of the often gripping conclusion fun to watch. 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. Earle Stanley Gardner's original creation of Perry Mason was a bit more two-fisted pulp type reading, but slowly grew into something resembling the show when it became so popular. Gardner's Perry Mason novels, begun decades before the show and continuing for decades more, are still fun to read. The same can be said of every single show in the series. The first season, unlike many shows, hit its stride immediately, and remained top-notch television for many years. Like the novels, the title of every episode began with "The Case of-" and each one had some wonderful moments, both in and out of the courtroom. Only the first 19 episodes are included in this 5 disc set, with the next 20 coming soon. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Features of all the first 19 episodes from season 1 (1957-58) on five discs.