Golden, Silver, and Bronze Ages >> View Post
Post By
Happy Hogan 

Location: Northern Virginia
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,171
In Reply To
Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,313
Subj: Re: Perry Mason
Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 at 12:11:22 am EDT (Viewed 108 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Perry Mason
Posted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 at 02:08:02 pm EDT (Viewed 108 times)

    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?

I guess we'll see.


      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 like to think that Stan Lee watched the show, or at least learned of Gardner's cameo role and said to himself "that's a good idea!" As a matter of fact, Stan's first ever cameo was as a jury foreman in a courtroom scene.


      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?

LOL! Well I tended to finish the Blondie & Dagwood movies when I watched them. Maybe like that, except instead of Perry, Paul Drake was the bumbling one in the one 30s Perry Mason film I can recall. In fact now that I think about it, Stan might have modeled Matt Murdoch, Karen Page, and Foggy Nelson on that version of Perry, Della Street, and Paul Drake respectively.

    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.

Tenacious and aggressive sure, but in the books there was occasional humor that I found rare while watching the Burr TV series. In fact in the books, Gardner wasn't above sometimes making the joke be on Perry himself in some subtle way. I don't know of the network didn't want that, or Raymond Burr just wasn't comfortable with that.
But I do remember that Burr once guest starred on Jack Benny's TV show playing a non-cannon funnier version of Perry Mason.

BTW, one other difference between the Burr series and novels: I seem to remember that the books had an occasional brief nude scene. It was all printed of course, and there was nothing shown, but certainly things HBO has never been uncomfortable doing.

Oh, and just one more thing.   For one more non Burr version of  Perry Mason, you might want to check out the radio program.