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Perry Mason: Season 1, Vol. 1 [5 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:07/11/2006
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    Here's one for the "Trivial Pursuit" crowd: What was the title of the first episode of Perry Mason, and who was Mason's first client? The answer: "The Case of the Restless Redhead", based on Erle Stanley Gardner's 1954 novel of the same name; and Evelyn Bagby, played by Whitney Blake, the mother of Meredith Baxter and later cocreator of the sitcom One Day at a Time. Needless to say, Evelyn is innocent of the murder charge--and of course, defense attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) proves his client's innocence by exposing the actual miscreant in the middle of the trial, to the bewilderment of hapless prosecutor Hamilton Burger (William Talman). In addition to Burr and Talman, all the familiar Mason regulars are on hand from the beginning: loyal secretary Della Street (Barbara Hale), private detective Paul Drake (played along more rough-hewn lines than in later episodes by William Hopper) and phlegmatic police lieutenant Arthur Tragg (Ray Collins). Also making their earliest appearances this season are semi-regulars George E. Stone as the ubiquitous court clerk (he would make 45 appearances in all, more than any other actor, but seldom had a line to speak), Connie Cezon as Perry's receptionist Gertie, and Morris Ankrum and Kenneth MacDonald playing the first of their many nameless judges. Among the noteworthy guest performers this season are Angie Dickinson in "The Case of the One-Eyed Witness"; Fay Wray (King Kong) in "The Case of the Prodigal Parent", Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) in "The Case of the Angry Mourner"; Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee on The Andy Griffith Show in "The Case of the Crimson Kiss", Werner Klemperer (Col. Klink on "Hogan's Heroes" in "The Case of the Desperate Daughter"; and, in "The Case of the Lazy Lover", Neil Hamilton and Yvonne Craig, cast as father and daughter long before their similar roles on Batman. Finally, Season One yields one of the few times that Perry Mason loses in court, in "The Case of the Terrified Typist"...but fear not, he ultimately triumphs on a technicality. ~ Hal Erickson

    Cast & Crew

    • Raymond Burr - Perry Mason
    • Barbara Hale - Della Street
    • William Hopper - Paul Drake
    • William Talman - Hamilton Burger
    • Ray Collins - Lt. Arthur Tragg

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