The Top Ten Perry Mason TV Movies, Part Two

A version of this article appeared in 2012.

Continued from Part One

6) Perry Mason and the Case of the Avenging Ace (1988): Prior to the first movie, Perry Mason had been elevated to an appellate court judge. In this film, he revisits a case he’d heard on appeal and declined the defendant’s appeal because the trial was fair. But when the convicted murdered (an Air Force officer) has a new witness come forward, Mason steps in to help clear the man.

This case is far more complicated than that.  The witness changes his testimony at the last minute, so it no longer helps the convicted man and Perry’s client apparently escapes, and is set up to take the fall, when the wavering witness is murdered. This movie takes Perry Mason to a different place – a lot more action, suspense, and intrigue than usual. In addition to this, the producers take full advantage of the Colorado location to produce some great scenic shots.

5) Perry Mason and the Case of the Fatal Fashion (1991): Perry is in New York and this time he defends a long-time friend (Diane Muldaur) of Della’s who is accused of killing the editor of a rival fashion magazine.

This episode has a lot going for it. Ken Malansky finds himself dealing with the mob when a relative of the head of the family is killed before he can reveal vital information to Perry.  He finds a mob tough guy assigned to “help” him investigate, but how far can Malansky trust his new “colleague? This works out to a lot of excitement in New York City.

This movie also features a rare prosecutorial highlight, with the appearance of Scott Baio in his first post-Charles in Charge appearance, as Assistant DA Peter Whelen. Baio makes a solid competitor for Mason as the young upstart New York D.A. You knew he wasn’t going to win, but he made it interesting for a while.

The episode ends with an emotional punch and a murderer you’d never guess.

4) Perry Mason and the Case of the Lost Love (1987):

Perry’s old flame (Jean Simmons) is being appointed to a vacant United States Senate seat, but it’s all put at risk when her husband is accused of murdering a man who knew a secret that could have destroyed her political career.

The chemistry between Simmons and Raymond Burr is incredible. The mystery is well-plotted and we’re left with a powerful and very surprising ending as Mason faces one of his most unpleasant tasks.

Continued…Next Week

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