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Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection

This original film series about the attorney is a match for any mystery.


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Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection
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by PowerReviews
Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection
 
4.4

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Entertaining (7)
  • Engaging characters (5)
  • Great cinematography (3)
  • High production value (3)
  • Original (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • At home (6)
    • Adult viewers (5)
    • Younger viewers (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Movie buff (8)

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    5.0

    Classic Earl Stanley Gardner . . .

    By MonsterCrow

    from Santa Cruz, CA

    About Me Movie Buff

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Engaging Characters
    • Entertaining
    • Great Cinematography
    • High Production Value

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Adult Viewers
      • At Home
      • Perfect Gift
      • Travel
      • Younger Viewers

      Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

      as a lifelong fan of mysteries and inparticular the "Perry Mason" television series these classic Earl Stanley Gardner tales are true to the authors visions of Perry Mason, attorney at law. what a pleasant experience also to find these great films at such a reasonable price, have them so well packaged and quickly shipped. I highly recommend these classic movies to all Perry Mason fans and mystery fans as well.

       
      4.0

      What I expected

      By Perry Mason fan

      from Goleta, Ca

      About Me Casual Viewer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Entertaining
      • Not Available Anywehre El
      • Old Perry Mason Movies

      Cons

      • No Digitial Copy

      Best Uses

      • Adult Viewers
      • At Home

      Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

      Old 1930's Perry Mason Movies. Very different flavor from old TV show. Wish it had a digital editon for computer with no drive. Had trouble in disc drive at first. Not sure if this is disc or drive.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good Stuff! The original Perry Mason

      By RxLex

      from Elyria, Ohio

      About Me Casual Viewer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Entertaining

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • At Home

        Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

        Get 6 of the original Perry Mason, Della Street movies with the original trailers in one disc.

        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        " The Original Perry Mason "

        By J.Gabin

        from Pasadena, CA

        About Me Movie Buff

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

              Disc 1

              The case of the howling dog:

              The print is quite damaged,really 'average image',black levels were 'good' from time to time,sharp also,but the audio track is not 'so bad'. It's uneven in spots, with some softness and scratches and a few bad frame.
              Really average but watchable print.

              The case of the curious bride:

              The print is quite damaged,really 'average image',black levels were 'fair' from time to time,sharp also, and the audio track is not 'so bad' only some minor issue from time to time. It's uneven in spots, with some softness and scratches, and a few bad frames.
              Really low but watchable print.

              Disc 2

              The case of the lucky legs:

              The print is quite damaged,really 'average image',black levels were 'fair' from time to time,sharp not really, it's uneven in spots, with some softness, scratches, and a few really bad frames, but the audio track is quite good.
              Low but watchable print.

              The case of the velvet claws:

              The print is quite good, but there are lots of white specks, a few bad frames,and the audio track is clear and clean. Decent contrast, relatively sharp 'image', and quite good black.
              Watchable print.

              Disc 3

              The case of the black cat:

              The print is quite damaged,really 'average image',black levels were 'good' from time to time,sharp also,and the audio track is quite damaged also. It's uneven in spots, with some softness and scratches and a few bad frame.
              Really low but watchable print.

              The case of the stuttering bishop:

              The print look like in "poor shape": it's uneven in spots, with some softness and scratches and a few bad frame, but decent contrast, acceptable sharpness. the audio track is quite damaged also.
              Low but watchable print.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Perry Mason Warner Bros Movies Collectio

              By Perry Mason WB Movies

              from Kingman, AZ

              About Me Movie Buff

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Engaging Characters
              • Entertaining
              • Great Cinematography
              • High Production Value
              • Original

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Adult Viewers
                • At Home
                • Younger Viewers

                Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                I am big fan of 30s-40s mystery movies - I love the Perry Mason movies and books - I have read them all many times. I have all the Raymond Burr PM series, I had recorded them off late night TV long before they became available in commercially boxed season sets. These movies, starring Warren (aka The Lone Wolf) William as Perry Mason, are seldom seen on broadcast or cable TV, some of them not at all before this sets release. The set is very well made and easily worth the money. I consider it [them] a welcome addition to my DVD movie classics collection Highly recommended. - SBJ

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Very good mysteries and fun as well

                By Thomas

                from St. Louis MO

                About Me Movie Buff

                Pros

                • Engaging Characters
                • Entertaining
                • Great Cinematography
                • High Production Value
                • Informative
                • Original

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Adult Viewers
                  • At Home
                  • Perfect Gift
                  • Younger Viewers

                  Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                  These Perry Mason movies are very good. There are serious mysteries along with some nice moments of humor.

                  (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  6th disc deceiving

                  By Movie lover

                  from Las Vegas, Nv

                  About Me Movie Buff

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                        The 6th disc is deceiving because William Warner is not in it at all but is face is on the cover of the disc. I bought the Perry Mason Collection because he was the main character.

                        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        6th disc deceiving

                        By Movie lover

                        from Las Vegas, Nv

                        About Me Movie Buff

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                              The disc plays better on a blu-ray player because it doesn't show up as dark.

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Great movies!

                              By Fan30-40

                              from Glendale, AZ

                              About Me Movie Buff

                              Pros

                              • Engaging Characters
                              • Entertaining
                              • Original

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Adult Viewers
                                • At Home
                                • Travel

                                Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                                If you like Perry Mason, I think you will like these movies.
                                Warren William, does a great job as Mason.
                                The best story/plot in my opinion is "The Case Of The Howling Dog".
                                Overall, six great movies with actors Donald Woods, Ricardo Cortez and Warren William.
                                Very good picture quality and a good price.

                                (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                "Rejoice, WARREN WILLIAM Fans, It's Here

                                By Badvugum

                                from Frogtown, PA

                                About Me Audiophile, Avid Reader, Collector, Movie Buff

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Action-packed
                                • Classic
                                • Engaging
                                • Entertaining
                                • Funny

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Entertainment

                                  Comments about Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Bros. Movies Collection:

                                  Probably due to resurging interest in the career of Pre-Code film star Warren William, and the wonderful recently published biography, Warren William: Magnificent Scoundrel of Pre-Code Hollywood, Warner Archives have released all six Warner Brothers PERRY MASON series films, the initial four featuring Warren William in the titular role, followed by Ricardo Cortez and Donald Woods. Coincidentally, Ricardo Cortez played the first incarnation of detective Sam Spade in 1931's THE MALTESE FALCON, followed by Warren (as "Michael Shayne") in the 1936 adaption SATAN MET A LADY (both can be found in THE MALTESE FALCON 3 Disc Special Edition). Unfortunately, but expected, Warner's have not Remastered or cleaned-up any of the film prints. Individual quality will be mentioned in each film's separate reviews. At least they put two films on three separate discs, and not on those horrible two-sided monstrosities. Each disc has it's own tray and hub as well, unlike Sony's insane 3DVD'S-on-one-spindle cases!

                                  THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG (1934) was Warner's initial Perry Mason offering, and they pull out all ballyhoo stops in the included trailer. The story by Erle Stanley Gardner was initially published in installments in LOOK Magazine, and became a sensation. The film's "A" production values are rendered moot by the scratchy, speckled and spliced transfer. Luckily the story and acting are first rate. We are first introduced to Perry Mason by establishing shots of his many stenciled office windows, personal switchboard operators, large opulent offices and vignettes of clients complaining to his bevy of specialty lawyers because they cannot be personally represented by Mason himself. The case/mystery involves an extremely nervous client wanting advice on how to remove a neighbors howling dog while suspiciously presenting scenarios that might impact a will he wants to write. At first skeptical, Mason quickly changes his mind when the client leaves a $10,000 retainer on his desk before he disappears. With a supporting cast that includes Mary Astor, Allen Jenkins, Grant Mitchell and Helen Trenholme as Della Street, THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG is a fine little mystery film, and is anchored by a strong commanding believable performance by Warren William ......

                                  THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS BRIDE (1935) The second in the series and the last given an "A" budget, also benefits from the direction of the famous Michael Curtiz (THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, CASABLANCA, MILDRED PIERCE and on and on). Labeled a "Clue Club Selection" in the opening credits (one of only 12 films that received that moniker*), the print is slightly better this go-round, with occasional crystal clear segments that make the just passable bulk more maddening! The film is also famous for containing the American debut of Errol Flynn in a small but pivotal role. Ironically, it was Warner's casting of Flynn as the lead in CAPTAIN BLOOD not long afterward, a role they had previously promised William to mollify him during contract negotiations, that caused Warren to sour on the studio and eventually find a way to end his contract. Strangely, the script of the film changes the tone of Mason's portrayal, making him additionally a well-known and somewhat obsessive gastronome, who even has a gourmet meal delivered to the jail when he is having a conference with his imprisoned client! When dinner with his assistants and coroner Wilbur Strong (Olin Howland) is interrupted, they even take their desert coffee AND samovar to the morgue, in what may be the first in a long line of "eating at the autopsy" film scenes (although here they only find a McGuffin in the coffin). An enjoyable contemporary Trailer is also included. With Margaret Lindsay (a staple of 1930's and 1940's whodunits) as the titular BRIDE, and again supported by many Warner stock-players, Allen Jenkins (as Mason's investigator "Spudsy"), Barton MacLane, Donald Woods (who'll get his chance in the sixth entry) and Claire Dodd (replacing Trenholme as Della Street), THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS BRIDE benefits greatly from Warren William's ability to seamlessly meld the serious and comedic elements into a believable characterization......

                                  THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS (1935) Directed by Warner stalwart Archie Mayo (SVENGALI, THE PETRIFIED FOREST, A NIGHT IN CASABLANCA), the film's convoluted plot concerns the murder a con-artist impersonating a hosiery company representative who goes from town to town promoting "Lucky Legs" contests with a $1000 prize, paid in part by the department store and town convinced to sponsor it. The lucky leggy winners never receive the prize money, since he skips town afterward, bilking everyone for his board, promotional costs, and of course the $1000 prize. Perry Mason's characterization also undergoes another tone shift, this time the brilliant attorney is also a wise-cracking borderline alcoholic! The only allusion to the previous film's gastronomic angle is when his physician, Dr. Croker (played by the last film's coroner, Olin Howland) tells Perry he needs to lay off the rich food besides the booze. There are also more comedic elements in scenes, like Mason's client Bradbury (Porter Hall) finding him "sleeping it off" behind his office desk, his "raiding of the icebox" while questioning two of the contestants, the milking of his new predilection for milk (sorry!) and the constant running banter with everyone, especially his fellow wise-cracking secretary Della Street, this time played by Genevieve Tobin, who could pass as Gracie Allen's slightly-smarter sister! From the previous flick, Allen Jenkins returns as Mason's investigator "Spudsy" as does Barton MacLane, again in a thankless policeman role. Also featured are Paticia Ellis as the the prize-winner "whose brains are below her knees" (according to the trailer, not me), Lyle Talbot as her jealous doctor boyfriend and Three Stooges foil Bud Jamison as a sarcastic bartender! Picture quality is the most consistent yet, unfortunately that also goes for the scratches and speckles. THE CASE OF THE LUCKY LEGS clips along at a breezy pace, with the usual double-crosses, red herrings and ulterior motives spiced with snappy dialog and the occasional non sequitur. To again quote the trailer, it's "First Nationals Melodramatic Comedy" and "A Rib-Tickling Warner Bros. & Vitaphone Hit!" The customary ending denouement occurs with every character who's still alive in Mason's office while he undergoes a physical examination! A most enjoyable slick little "B" programmer whose 77 minutes fly by......

                                  THE CASE OF THE VELVET CLAWS (1936) The 4th and last Perry Mason film (and another "Clue Club Selection") starring Warren William begins with Perry marrying his long-suffering secretary Della Street (portrayed again by Claire Dodd from the second series entry). After being driven to their hotel by Mason's sidekick Spudsy Drake (Eddie Acuff replacing Alan Jenkins), the plot is set in motion when Perry is kidnapped from his honeymoon suite by Eva Belter (Winifred Shaw), a conniving femme fatale (who would give Mary Astor's Brigid in THE MALTESE FALCON a run for her money) who demands his help to avoid a scandal. From there on it's a convoluted mixture of murders, lies, set-ups, blackmail, and sleeping tablets in warm milk! Della is none too pleased with her continually interrupted honeymoon either, especially when Perry is accused of murder. He also has a scandal sheet, "Spicy Bits," breathing down his neck. Olan Howland makes his 3rd appearance, this time back as coroner Wilbur Strong who's also Perry's doctor! Pedestrianly directed by William Clemens (THE NANCY DREW SERIES, THE FALCON SERIES) on a "B" budget, William's portrayal is more in line with the first film, with less comedic sidetracks, although we get Spudsy in drag at one point and enough snappy banter to keep your interest from waning. This time the denouement occurs with everyone on their way to the courthouse so Perry can stop fed-up Della's petition for an annulment! The picture quality is again clear and focused, including the scratches and speckles. Another contemporary Trailer is included.

                                  THE CASE OF THE BLACK CAT (1936) The film series' 5th installment is much closer in tone to the famous long-running television series than the previous four! Ricardo Cortez delivers a strong performance, portraying the super-sleuth attorney as a more serious and believable character, whose vices aren't gourmet food or good liquor, but crossword puzzles and waffles! June Travis as Perry's secretary Della Street is a confident confidant and trusted gate-keeper, with nary a mention of their marriage from the last film. Besides their obvious affection for each other and the usual snappy banter, the only hint of romance comes from a bit of innuendo at the end. Also, Perry's investigator and "right-hand" (Gary Owen)is finally referred to as Paul Drake, and in the picture's courtroom finale, Perry has to match wits with District Attorney Hamilton Burger (Guy Usher). The plot revolves around wealthy curmudgeon Peter Laxter, portrayed by the film's only well-known face, the delightful character actor Harry Davenport (GONE WITH THE WIND, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, KINGS ROW, and 160 others!), his will changes, greedy relatives and the caretaker's pet cat Clinker. A decent little mystery with a bevy of suspects, a convoluted plot that keeps you guessing, and a breezy 66 minute run time that doesn't give you a chance to get bored, what else could you ask for? The picture quality is the best yet, very clear and focused with less scratches and speckles, probably since it's elements haven't undergone much usage! The included Trailer states that the story was originally serialized in Liberty Magazine and is trumpeted as another "Clue Club Of The Month" offering. Going in with admittedly lowered expectations, I found THE CASE OF THE BLACK CAT to be an surprisingly entertaining little gem......

                                  THE CASE OF THE STUTTERING BISHOP (1937) First National/Warner Brother's sixth and final Perry Mason series entry stars Donald Woods as Mason. Wood's prolific career included over 200 film and television roles. The cast's most famous face, Ann Dvorak (SCARFACE, THREE ON A MATCH, FLAME OF BARBARY COAST) stars as the fifth Della Street. Coincidentally, Dvorak also starred with Warren William in his last film, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI in 1947. Mason's private investigator Paul Drake is played (sometimes for comic relief) by another prolific actor, Joseph Crehan, whose 350 credits included the distinction of portraying President/General Ulysses S. Grant nine times. Frank Faylen (IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS) also has a small supporting role. Helmed by VELVET CLAWS director William Clemens, this mystery concerns an Australian Bishop (Edward McWade) who wants Perry to help right a wrong involving an heir to a millionaire's fortune given up for adoption twenty years beforehand. With the help of Della, Drake and bumbling hotel detective McGooney (occasional Three Stooges' foil Tom Kennedy, Perry sorts out the fake identities, red herrings, half-truths and lies, along with solving the millionaire's murder and ties them up in a neat bow for District Attorney Hamilton Burger (Charles Wilson, in his 3rd MASON series appearance) by the last reel. The picture is watchable, but in rougher shape than those proceeding. The is no trailer. Although not as lively as the Warren William entries, THE CASE OF THE STUTTERING BISHOP is another enjoyable "B" programmer, and ends the series admirably......

                                  Obviously this set won't interest everyone, but is a boon to fans of Warren William and anyone enamored with 1930's and 40's black & white detective mysteries. The PERRY MASON series, along with a multitude of others, PHILO VANCE**, THE FALCON, THE THIN MAN, MR. WU, CHARLIE CHAN, MR. MOTO, THE LONE WOLF**, THE SAINT, SHERLOCK HOLMES, DICK TRACY, BULLDOG DRUMMOND, even NANCY DREW to name a few, were very popular during that time period and entertained movie audiences as well as radio listeners. The original novels and the magazines that serialized them or published original stories also sold quite well. I'm sure there will be the usual complaints from customers about the companies releasing them on CD-R's without any remastering, but at least they're now available, and in better quality than shady bootlegs or horrible public domain prints. With many of the above series being now released here and there it seems the studios are beginning to realize that the market is out there, as they have with the many noir films now available separately or in sets. Let's hope the trickle turns into a flood......

                                  *Starting around 1935, Warner Brothers/First National began releasing a series of mystery films in association with Joseph Shaw's BLACK MASK MAGAZINE under the "Clue Club" banner. Youngsters could join and receive a Clue Club card that would give them a chance to win prizes by going to see the pictures. (Thanx to JUST A CINEAST and NitrateVille!)

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