Down 5,411 this week

Perry Mason Returns (1985)

TV Movie  |  TV-PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1 December 1985 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 324 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

When his former secretary (Barbara Hale) is accused of a murder, Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) gives up a judgeship to defend her.



, (characters creator)
0Check in

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 50 titles
created 29 Oct 2011
a list of 131 titles
created 03 Jan 2012
a list of 500 titles
created 23 Mar 2012
a list of 39 titles
created 01 Oct 2013
list image
a list of 35 titles
created 10 Feb 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Perry Mason Returns (TV Movie 1985)

Perry Mason Returns (TV Movie 1985) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Perry Mason Returns.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ironside (1967–1975)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Wheelchair-bound detective Robert T. Ironside battles the bad guys on the streets of San Francisco.

Stars: Raymond Burr, Don Galloway, Don Mitchell
Father Dowling Mysteries (1989–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An amiable, inquisitive Chicago priest moonlights as a detective and is assisted by a rather worldly, lock-picking nun.

Stars: Tom Bosley, Tracy Nelson, Mary Wickes
Crime | Mystery | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An agitated and desperate man spares no expense in insisting that Mason represent him against a neighbor's howling dog and act as executor of his will.

Director: Alan Crosland
Stars: Warren William, Mary Astor, Allen Jenkins
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A gangster who has commited all kinds of crimes is accused to have killed his wife. As he was not the murderer in this case Perry Mason intents to find the killer...

Director: Ron Satlof
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William R. Moses
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A priest is murdered and the suspect is a nun. And it's been rumored that the two of them are having an affair.

Director: Ron Satlof
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An actor rigs a fake on-air shooting with the connivance of his friend, the show's host, but the practical joke goes horribly wrong when the gun, which he'd loaded with blanks, turns out to contain a live round.

Director: Ron Satlof
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An old flame of Mason's is one of those being considered to fill a vacated government position. Now, her husband's approached by a man who says he knows his wife's secret and that if this ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Satlof
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jordan White, a publisher friend of Perry, is called to a hotel where a guest, famous horror writer David Hall, has cleared out the hotel for a weekend and has called his "friends" - an ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Lang
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Perry marries Della but a beautiful woman interrupts their honeymoon night and demands Perry take her case at gunpoint.

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Warren William, Claire Dodd, Wini Shaw
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Della meets up with an old friend, a child that she used to baby-sit and she and Perry are invited to meet the friend's new wife, Suzanne. Meanwhile, Suzanne rents out her house to four ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Satlof
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Criminology Professor Dr. Jonathan Maxwell does not believe that Professor Archer Coe died of a heart attack, so he hires his friend Mike Parker to investigate. The pair discover that the ... See full summary »

Director: John Putch
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke, Kimberly Quinn
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Parks was arrested and convicted for a murder of a woman and is trying to appeal for the second time when one of the first appeal lawyers, Perry, finds a new ... See full summary »

Director: Christian I. Nyby II
Stars: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Katt


Cast overview, first billed only:
Paula Gordon
Ken Braddock
Kathryn Gordon
Lt. Cooper
David McIlwraith ...
Laura Gordon
Cassie Yates ...
Barbara Scott
Arthur Gordon
Bobby Lynch
Sgt. Stratton
Kathleen Laskey ...


Rich business man Mr Gordon has many enemies and a family that wouldn't miss him if he dropped dead. Someone hires a hitman to kill him and it is carried out in such a way to frame Gordon's secretary Della Street. When Della is accused of the murder, Perry mason resigns his position as judge to defend her and employs the son of his old colleague, Paul Drake, the act as private investigator on the case. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Defense Never Rests  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Barbara Hale and Raymond Burr were the only members of the original cast of the series who were still alive at the time the movie was filmed. See more »


In one of the chase scenes, the doors on Paul Drake's jeep are there when he takes off but after he rounds the corner they are gone. See more »


Followed by Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Success by Negation
5 October 2010 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This film is interesting not for what it is, but its place in a the scheme of things. By itself, it is dreadful, every bit of it. Taken alone, there are inherited characters played by actors who were accidents. There is an attempt to play with a formula that got worn out, so there is a hipster detective and a couple car chases. The "77 Sunset Strip" model is followed here, I think because the original series competed with it (and its ilk). The formula that worked before was scrambled here, but in the later episodes of this second time around, they got better as they went back to basics.

The thing is worth considering because of the stage of evolution it represents.

The detective story was a great invention, a big step forward in narrative types. It was followed by the mystery novel, where the reader and writer engaged in a tussle for control, sometimes (in the later form) complicated by a detective who has as much control as the writer. This was high art, in fact still is in some form in literature.

Film picked it up and evolved the noir form, perhaps the greatest American invention.

In written fiction, the standard model is based on the reader trying to determine the murderer by assembling causal dynamics. Erle Stanley Gardner changed the formula in a clever way. He wrote tons of Perry Mason stories from his "fiction factory," using a very strict formula. In his stories, it is impossible to guess the murderer (or sometimes two) by understanding cause. Instead, you eliminated all that could have done it, because the solution is the least likely. Gardner in his day was the most popular author in the English language.

So while film took the mystery form and evolved it into noir in amazing variety, TeeVee picked up this strange deadend on the evolutionary tree. The stories were imported wholesale, with the characters modified significantly. Perry was less a playboy and Della was not his lover. No big deal. I think the long run of this show established the form of the detective story we have today when it is distinct from noir: viewers don't want to work at figuring things out. They just want to collect all the pieces as the movie proceeds and see how they assemble at the end, the assembly done for them.

When Perry went off the air, it was a sad end to the more pure negated form (negated because of that "least likely" business). So when he came back with this relatively long form, it was hugely anticipated. I recall this. And I recall how we celebrated the show and its successors, not because they were good but merely because they existed. Again. This negated the negation of the negated form.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
When will they release the Perry Mason TV Movies??? The Movieman
Theme tune... klownboy
poor direction - poor casting rditewig801
Six of the episodes produced between 1985 and 1987 rditewig801
Discuss Perry Mason Returns (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: