Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages >> View Post
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Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,313
In Reply To
Happy Hogan 

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,171
Subj: Re: Perry Mason
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 at 02:08:02 pm EDT (Viewed 106 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Perry Mason
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 at 11:20:34 am EDT (Viewed 109 times)

    There's a link to the HBO series HERE.   It looks more like classic hard boiled film noir than the trend setting courtroom drama, but I expect I'll still check out a few episodes.

As I recall the formula of the Burr show was that he takes on the case of someone convicted of murder with a mountain of evidence against them. He and his team do a bunch of detective footwork to come up with more evidence in their favor before heading into court. I guess in the first novel he finds enough evidence to throw out the case before it reaches court. Gardner must have decided the courtroom was a better setting. But Mason always did the footwork so I guess that's what the new show is focusing on?

    So did I. The TV series comes across as dated now, but still very entertaining for what it was. Its also fun to see who appears in those episodes. One had both Neil Hamilton and Yvonne Craig as I believe father and daughter before they appeared as such in Batman.

It ran for something like 9 seasons, I'm sure the guest stars make up a who's who of the day's tv stars. The same can be said of Law & Order.

    I can't imagine Perry Mason without courtroom scenes. Erle Stanley Gardner had himself been a lawyer before writing the books and he often included legal trivia in those novels. He also played the Judge in at least one of the Burr episodes.

That's the kind of cameo I like.

    I saw one of the 1930s films, and it felt more like a 30s screwball comedy than a crime drama. I tried to watch another when I saw it on TCM but it didn't catch my interest long enough to finish it.

Like a Blondie & Dagwood movie?

    If you want more non-Burr Mason, I suggest reading the books. In the books he comes across as a bit more of a social crusader and has more of a sense of humor. Burr's only weakness as an actor was that he made Mason dry and humorless. That's looked at today as the definitive Mason, but I didn't see Burr's Mason in my head when I read the books.

Burr's version was tenacious and aggressive. I read a review of the novels that said Gardner was more interested in the intricate machinations of the legal world and forgot about adding much character. I don't know how true that is.

    It's my understanding that Robert Downey Jr. wanted to play Mason, and that's something that I would have liked to see. His blend of humor and drama would have worked well for the character I read.

I wonder why he decided to just produce and not star? Maybe he thought he was too old if the series ends up running for years? I agree he would be good. Maybe he can star in an Ironside revival.

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