Month: November 2011

EP0548: Let George Do It: Sweet are the Uses of Publicity

Bob Bailey

A publicist creates buzz around a non-existent Czechoslovakian millionaire and hires George to protect the secret. However, things go wrong and the supposedly non-existent millionaire is found dead.

Original Air Date: August 7, 1950

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EP0547: Candy Matson: Devil in the Deep Freeze

Natalie Masters

An owner of a restaurant hires Candy after finding a dead man in a devil costume.

Original Air Date: September 30, 1949

Quote: “I feel as devaluated as the British Pound.”

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EP0546: Barrie Craig: Beware the Walking Dog

William Gargan

Barrie is hired by a woman to walk her dog because she believes someone is trying to shoot the dog.

Original Air Date: May 3, 1953

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Radio Drama Review: Perry Mason and the Case of the Curious Bride

 

In The Case of the Curious Bride, awoman comes to Perry Mason for legal advice on behalf of “a friend” and aska a series questions.  The questions revolve around the ins and outs of what happens when a husband is declared legally dead and the legality of a subsequent marriage if the presumed dead spouse returns.

Mason clearly sees that: 1) these are questions that can’t be answered with generalities and 2) that the woman calling on him is asking for herself. When Perry calls the woman on, she leaves the office. Perry feels almost instantaneous regret for pushing too hard and seeks to find out who the woman is and what her problem is.

After some investigating, Perry finds the truth: the woman was married, her husband presumed dead, but in reality, he’s alive and blackmailing her after her second marriage to a weakling son of a wealthy man. Perry gets her to promise to think things over and not do anything until talking to him in the morning.

However, Perry wakes up the next day to find her first husband has been murdered and its only a matter of time before the police put their finger on her. Perry has to clear his client and represent her interests against non only prosecutors but a resentful father-in-law.

In this installment in the Perry Mason series, Mason is less crime-solver than troubleshooter. His goal is not to catch the killer, but to get his client off, whatever it takes. In The Case of the Curious Bride, Mason is reminiscent of what Jim Rockford would be like had he ever been admitted to the bar than the 1950s respectable Perry Mason that had evolved from later books. Mason cons his way through his initial investigation and then tricks the prosecuting attorney into shooting himself in the foot. In addition, Mason makes a rare foray into family law to achieve justice for his client.

Colonial Radio Theater has really gotten into the rhythym of these early Mason stories and they once again have a great period feel to them, even working in a good vintage radio pun when Perry Mason is telling Paul Drake about someone who was following his client.

Mason: Then there’s this matter of the shadow.
Drake: Lamont Cranston?

Jerry Robbins turns an another dynamic performance as the fast-talking Perry Mason. 

Overall, with great sound quality and dogged dedication to the original story, Perry Mason and the Curious Bride makes a great buy for fans of classic mysteries.

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 Note: The Author of this piece received a review digital copy of this drama.

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1990s Mystery Fans Rejoice: Columbo Has one More Thing and Father Dowling Comes to DVD

I checked the website TVShowsonDVD and came across two interesting items.

First of all, all the Columbo movies will be on DVD in the United States next year with the release of the final DVD movie set.  The final 7 columbo movies span from 1994-2003, though Falk slowed down greatly towards the end with the first three films coming from 1994 and ’95 and Falk averaging a film every other year for the last eight years. Some highlights of the set include the second appearance of William Shatner as a Columbo guest villain in Butterfly in Shades of Grey and Patrick McGoohan plays a killer mortifician in Ashes to Ashes. This is, of course, overdue for eager U.S. Columbo fans. 

It’s worth noting that the entire series will be available on January 10, 2012 or nearly 2 1/2 years after the series was avialable in Great Britain.  Not certain the reason for this. It’s always seemed curious that DVD season for American TV shows come out in other countries before they do in the U.S. just as official releases Bonanza came to Germany long before they made it to the U.S.

Meanwhile another program that had been released already overseas (in this case, in Australia) will find its way to television in February 2012. The first season of the Father Dowling Mysteries is set for DVD release. The release will include the 1987 pilot movie as well as the seven episodes that made up season one.

The show starred Tom Bosley as Father Frank Dowling, a kindly crime-solving priest with Tracy Nelson as Sister Stephanie ‘Steve’ Oskowski. Tom Bosley was best known for his role  as Howard Cunningham on Happy Days. Prior to starring in Father Dowling, Bosley had played Sheriff Amos Tupper on Murder She Wrote. In 1986, he took on the role of a Priest who played a minor role in Perry Mason and the Case of the Notrious Nun. The next year, he made the Father Dowling pilot movie.

Hopefully, the next two seasons of the series will be released without much further delay.

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