Perry Mason, Attorney Extraordinaire

perry mason

‘Perry Mason”

Probably the most successful defense attorney on TV to grace a court of law was Perry Mason (Raymond Burr)  Over the course of his career he lost very few of his almost 300 cases.  The original Perry Mason Show played on CBS from 1957 to 1966 and was based on stories by Earl Stanley Gardner.

 

The first part of the show portrayed the victim with Perry’s client often threatening him.  A little later a crime would be committed.  Sometimes Paul and Perry would be the ones to discover the crime.  Of course, Perry’s client would be presumed guilty.  The second part of the show was either the preliminary hearing or the actual trial.  Many times Perry showed his client’s innocence by pointing out the guilty party.  Perry’s relentless questioning of a witness may result in the guilty person breaking down and admitting his crime.  Perry is assisted by his confidential secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale) and his private detective Paul Drake (William Hopper).  Paul has a habit of referring to Della as “Beautiful“.  When you watch a Perry Mason episode you know the guilty party will be uncovered toward the end of the hour.

 

The long suffering district attorney who tried cases against Perry Mason was Hamilton Burger (William Talman).  Burger may think he’d  proved Perry’s client guilty when Paul Drake would come in and hand an envelope to Mason.  After reading it Perry would say (“Good work, Paul”) and whatever was in that envelope would save the defendant by proving his  innocence   Each week Burger would show his frustration at being outwitted by Perry.  Arthur Tragg (Ray Collins) was the dedicated police lieutenant who often drove Mason to frustration.  However, in a few episodes District Attorney Burger and Lt. Tragg would work with Perry and Paul in order to catch a killer.  Once, Burger helped Mason have a verdict reversed and saved an innocent client of Perry’s from the death chamber.

 

The Perry Mason Show was one of TV’s most successful series.  It was also one of the longest running lawyer shows.  An evening watching the Perry Mason Show was always interesting as you tried to figure out the guilty party before it was revealed.  A new Perry Mason show was tried in 1973 starring a different actor, Monte Markham,  as Perry Mason.  This show only ran for one-half  year.  There were a number of made for TV Perry Mason movies.  Raymond Burr did star in most of these.  My feeling is if it isn’t Raymond Burr it just isn’t my Perry Mason Show.

Comments

  1. Donna Davis says:

    Perry Mason was and is one of my favorite shows. I still love watching it on MeTV.

  2. Ben Belonga says:

    I don’t get tired of watching Perry twice a day on MeTV. Have over 100 of his episodes and at least 20 of the books written by Erle Stanley Gardiner. There will never be a substitute for Raymond Burr in this role. This was proven in 1973 when they tried to make Perry Mason again. It failed.

  3. lorraine whitman says:

    I just adore Perry Mason. My favorite one is the one where Paul Drake was tried for murder.

  4. Jo says:

    Still love Perry every day, plays at noon in Portland, just like Mom and I did in the sixties!

  5. Susan says:

    I used to sing a little song after the episodes when I watched as a teenager….PERRY MASON IS MY HERO, PERRY MASON IS MY FRIEND, PERRY MASON IS MY HERO, PERRY MASON IS MY FRIEND. I know it’ll never get a grammy, but I would sing it after each show. I now watch three times a day here in Atlanta. I know I need to get a life!

  6. Sandy Casey says:

    Perry Mason is my hero still. I watch anytime I can.
    I still think he is a cutie. I finally found a first edition book that I treasure. to all my Perry friends please stay in touch. and Bless all of you. S-

  7. Lisa says:

    STILL my favorite show! I have seen them all, but I still watch them over and over and over. Miss Raymond Burr so much!!!!!!

  8. Patty Laws says:

    I have loved Raymond Burr forever. I am going to be 60 and I think I have all of his shows. Even the movies he was in. I joined the time-life club and have rows of show of his. Every time there is a Perry Mason marathon, I DVR the whole thing.

  9. JaniskayRose says:

    The persona of Raymond Burr is best illustrated in the History Channel Biography of this incredible man !!!!
    The world now would be a better world if more gentlemen had his integrity and genuine caring.
    I invested in all 9 seasons of the Perry Mason episodes and they are completely intact and great.
    Many scenes on TV today are cut out to accommodates endless arrays of long repeating commercials.
    Anyway, like all of you I JUST LOVE PERRY !!!!

    But to you fans out there………………………WHAT WAS THAT DECORATIVE ORNATE CONTAINER, BEHIND
    HIS DESK, IN HIS OFFICE ON THE CREDENZA ?????
    IT MAY HAVE BEEN COPPER OR PEWTER AND IS SHAPED
    BEAUTIFULLY WITH A PATTERN OF SORTS ALL AROUND THE OBJECT…..****WHAT IS IT ??? H E L P !!!!!!

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