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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Perry Mason: The Seventh Season, Vol. 2'
(Raymond Burr, Ray Collins, William Hooper, William Talman, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2012 / Paramount Pictures)

Overview: 'Perry Mason,' the popular TV franchise that inspired a genre of courtroom dramas returns with the second half of the seventh season. Raymond Burr continues igniting the screen as a brilliant attorney who will stop at nothing to crack the most impossible cases to uncover the truth.

DVD Verdict: I have beena HUGE fan of the Perry Mason TV series for a lot of my formative years growing up. A fictional character, a defense attorney who was the main character in works of detective fiction authored by Erle Stanley Gardner, Perry Mason was featured in more than 80 novels and short stories, most of which had a plot involving his client's murder trial.

Typically, each episode found Mason trying to establish his client's innocence by implicating another character, who then, with 3 minutes left of the show, duely confessed, head sunken low. The series was one of those TV shows to provide a great script for a great, solid cast. Indeed, the fact that it had a wonderful nine year run gives god kudos to that fact. Also, for it's time, 'Perry Mason' was TV's most successful and longest running lawyer series.

Raymond Burr in the title role was always deft casting. Also starring the ever-lovely Barbara Hale, and the trio of men William Hopper, William Talman, and Ray Collins, the season opener THE CASE OF THE BOUNTIFUL BEAUTY (where Deborah Dearbourne, a 20 year-old novelist who has unknowingly written a novel on her ex-boyfriend's stepmother, is subsequently threatened by her; and later winds up dead) is a great way to get into the speed of things.

Other favorite episodes of mine include: THE CASE OF THE FRIGHTENED FISHERMAN, where charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Randolph James claims he was fishing at the time of her death, but nobody can find the fisherman to substantiate his story; THE CASE OF THE SIMPLE SIMON, where murder is the end result when actress Ramona Carver is confronted by a man claiming to be her son; THE CASE OF THE ANTIC ANGEL, where a recovering alcoholic William Sherwood starts hitting the bottle again after seeing his wife, whose supposedly been dead for five years; and the season finale THE CASE OF THE MISSING BUTTON, where a murder interrupts a man's charges to prove his ex-wife is an unfit mother.

Oh, and keep and eye out for guest roles from such TV greats as: Ryan O'Neil, Jeanne Cooper, David McCallum, Jackie Coogan, Tom Greenway, Arthur Franz, Stacy Keach Sr., Holly McIntire, Sue Randall, Jacques Aubuchon, Jerry Van Dyke, Victor Buono, Rebecca Welles, Jena Engstrom, Peter Hobbs, Mimsy Farmer, Mark Slade, Malcolm Atterbury, Constance Towers, and many, many more!

And, just in case you didn't know, the familiar theme song was "Park Avenue Beat" by Fred Steiner. And, several years after the first series' cancellation a new series, The New Adventures of Perry Mason, aired in 1973 which featured Monte Markham in the title role! It was unsuccessful, which is why you probably have never heard of it, sorry! These are all Full Screen Presentations (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.