Bob Bailey & Virginia Gregg in front of an old Microphone

Bob Bailey & Virginia Gregg

Welcome to the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio! A podcast featuring the best vintage detective radio programs. Each week from Monday through Saturday, we feature six of Old Time Radio's great detective series from the beginning of the show to its very last episode. And as a bonus, twice a month we also post a public domain movie or TV mystery or detective show video.

Along the way, I'll provide you my commentary and offer you opportunities to interact.

Subscribe to the show by clicking your favorite podcatcher in the sidebar.

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

- Your host, Adam Graham

Listen to "The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio" on Spreaker.

Amazing World of Radio

The War

OTR Superman Show

Detective Video Theater

Recent Posts

Video Theater 228: U.S. Marshall: The Fugitives

Two fugitive bank robbers roll into Tucson and it falls to Marshal Morgan to hunt them down.

Season 1, Episode 1

Original Air Date: October 11, 1958

Subscribe to our Video Theater feed

Become one of our monthly patreon supporters at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

EP3800s: Campbell’s Playhouse: The Glass Key

The best friend of a political boss believes the boss is innocent of murdering a senator’s son, but he’s one of the few who do.

Original Air Date: March 10, 1939

Support the show monthly at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

Take the listener survey at http://survey.greatdetectives.net

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/greatdetectives

Follow us on Twitter@radiodetectives

The Top Ten Perry Mason TV Movies, Part One

A version of this review was posted in 2012.

I grew up watching the Perry Mason movies, with new films being released every year. The films featured bearded former Judge Perry Mason fighting for justice for his clients. I began watching when Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) had moved to Colorado along with his secretary (Della Street) because filming costs were cheaper and young lawyer Ken Malnasky (William Moses) had replaced Paul Drake, Jr. (William Katt) as Mason’s legman.

I’ve rewatched them all as an adult. Though the TV movies are not the equal of the original series, Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale’s talents still made the films worthwhile and entertaining through each of the 26 installments.

10) Perry Mason and the Case of the Reckless Romeo (1992)

Geraldo Rivera is perfectly cast as a trashy TV host who releases a memoir detailing his past escapades and dishing dirt on all of his lovers. It’s no surprise when he’s killed and suspects abound.

The mystery takes several turns with some great misdirection when Ken Malansky stumbles onto two suspects who are in the witness protection program, but everything wraps up quite nicely.

9) Perry Mason and the Case of the Maligned Mobster (1991)

Perry usually doesn’t take the case of hardcore criminals, but he finds himself defending reformed mobster Johnny Sorento (Michael Nader), who has apparently settled down in legitimate business. There are quite a few red herrings in this one that throw the viewer off the truth, but the ending has an incredible twist, as the outcome can’t be exactly what Perry’s client was hoping for.

8) Perry Mason and the Case of the Ruthless Reporter (1991)

The movie begins with Perry giving an interview with a news co-anchor. The lead news anchor is on a power trip and kills the story, prompting an angry confrontation with his co-anchor. When the lead anchor turns up dead and the co-anchor is charged, Perry defends the co-anchor.

If there’s one theme that does recur in these movies, it’s that talented people who become the top dog and step on everyone else around them had better watch their backs. It’s rarely more plainly shown than in this installment.

This telefilm also includes more than your average bit of action as Ken Malansky has to go to more extreme measures than usual to corral a key witness.

7) Perry Mason and the Case of the Lethal Lesson (1989)

Speaking of Ken Malansky, The Lethal Lesson was where his involvement with Mason began. In this episode, he ends up as Mason’s client after he’s accused of murdering a fellow law school student.

This particular installment has a fun love triangle between Ken’s girlfriend (Karen Kopins) and his an ex-girlfriend (Alexandra Paul), who is telling everyone that she’s Ken’s intended. For the first half of the movie, you think Paul’s character is unbalanced, but by the end of the film, you’re given a surprise whammy in the payoff.

The story is solid with the usual tension between Perry’s friendships and his duty to his clients. But the introduction of Malansky makes this a fascinating study. With Malansky on board, the series was on its way to capturing some real magic in the chemistry between the cast and that alone makes this a worthwhile film.

To be Continued…Next Week

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchaser.

EP3800: Tales of the Texas Rangers: No Living Witness

A small-town doctor is found shot dead in his pajamas.

Original Air Date: May 6, 1951

Become one of our monthly patreon supporters at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

Take the listener survey at http://survey.greatdetectives.net

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/greatdetectives

Follow us on Twitter @radiodetectives

EP3799: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Ben Bryson Matter

John Lund

A good friend of Johnny’s dies in an accident. A year later, his accounts come up $80,000 short. Johnny is called in to find it.

Original Air Date: December 29, 1953

When making your travel plans, remember http://johnnydollarair.com

Take the listener survey at http://survey.greatdetectives.net

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Twitter @radiodetectives

EP3798: Philo Vance: The Hurdy Gurdy Murder Case

A racketeer with many enemies and an organ grinder with no enemies are both murdered.

Original Air Date: May 24, 1949

Support the show monthly at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

Take the listener survey at http://survey.greatdetectives.net

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/greatdetectives

Follow us on Twitter@radiodetectives

EP3797: Dangerous Assignment : Malayan Line Sabotage

Steve travels to Saigon to investigate the sabotage of two vessels carrying U.S. relief supplies.

Original Air Date: July 16, 1949

Support the show monthly at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715

Take the listener survey at http://survey.greatdetectives.net

Give us a call at 208-991-4783

Follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/greatdetectives

Follow us on Twitter@radiodetectives