IMDb > Perry Mason Returns (1985) (TV)

Perry Mason Returns (1985) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Dean Hargrove (written by)
Erle Stanley Gardner (characters creator)
View company contact information for Perry Mason Returns on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 December 1985 (USA) See more »
When his former secretary (Barbara Hale) is accused of a murder, Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) gives up a judgeship to defend her. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
The first of the Mason TVM series and also one of the more polished See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)

Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason

Barbara Hale ... Della Street

William Katt ... Paul Drake Jr.

Holland Taylor ... Paula Gordon

Richard Anderson ... Ken Braddock

Kerrie Keane ... Kathryn Gordon

Al Freeman Jr. ... Lt. Cooper
David McIlwraith ... David Gordon

Roberta Weiss ... Laura Gordon
Cassie Yates ... Barbara Scott

Patrick O'Neal ... Arthur Gordon

James Kidnie ... Bobby Lynch

Paul Hubbard ... Sgt. Stratton

Lindsay Merrithew ... Chris
Kathleen Laskey ... Luanne
Charles Macaulay ... Judge Whitewood
Mag Ruffman ... Salesgirl
Carolyn Hetherington ... Mrs. Jeffries
Cec Linder ... Jack Welles

J.C. MacKenzie ... Gas Station Attendant (as John C. MacKenzie)
David Bolt ... Mr. Henderson

Doug Lennox ... Vinnie
Frank Adamson ... Mr. Williams
Lee Miller ... Security Guard
Nerene Virgin ... Minicam Reporter
Ken Pogue ... Frank Lynch
Doris Petrie ... Mrs. Lynch
Lillian Lewis ... Customer
Derek Keurvorst ... Court Clerk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dean Batute ... Businessman (uncredited)
Don MacKay ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Ron Satlof 
Writing credits
Dean Hargrove (written by)

Erle Stanley Gardner (characters creator)

Produced by
Dean Hargrove .... executive producer
Jeff Peters .... associate producer
Fred Silverman .... executive producer
Barry Steinberg .... producer
Original Music by
Dick DeBenedictis 
Cinematography by
Albert J. Dunk (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Edwin F. England 
Robert L. Kimble  (as Robert Kimble)
Casting by
Eileen Mack Knight  (as Eileen Knight)
Art Direction by
David Jaquest 
Set Decoration by
Jaro Dick 
Costume Design by
Ronn Rynhart 
Makeup Department
David R. Beecroft .... hair stylist (as David Beecroft)
Irene Kent .... makeup artist
Production Management
Richard Birnie .... executive in charge of production
Barbara Kelly .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ross Clyde .... third assistant director
Richard Flower .... first assistant director
Woody Sidarous .... second assistant director
Art Department
Paul Harding .... property master
Sound Department
Robert Appere .... re-recording mixer
Gary Bolger .... re-recording mixer
Bruce Carwardine .... production sound mixer
Gordon L. Day .... re-recording mixer
Bill Wistrom .... supervising sound editor (as William Wistrom)
Scott Warren .... boom operator (uncredited)
Shelley Cook .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Hubie Kerns Jr. .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Branko Racki .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Ray Boyle .... gaffer
Michael Kohne .... key grip
Chris Helcermanas-Benge .... still photographer (uncredited)
Charles M. Smallwood .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Maria Armstrong .... casting: Canada
Ross Clydesdale .... casting: Canada
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Erla Lank .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Dennis Brookins .... negative cutter
Music Department
Ted Roberts .... music editor
Fred Steiner .... composer: original Perry Mason theme
Tommy Tedesco .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Brian O'Hara .... transportation coordinator
Dave West .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Debra Beers .... location manager
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Blanche McDermaid .... script supervisor
Jim Chad .... stand-in (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Defense Never Rests" - USA (video title)
See more »
96 min (excluding commercials)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Richard Anderson is a suspect in this movie, despite having already played Lt. Steve Drumm for the ninth season of the original series.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:


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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
The first of the Mason TVM series and also one of the more polished, 12 October 2002
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

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.

This film is the first of the many Perry Mason TVM's that were made in the late 80's and early 90's. This is the one that set up the new characters and the formula for all the movies. I have never seen the original series so don't know if this is just a lift of that formula or not, but they are all the same thing in different clothes and settings!

The plot here is the same as all the other TVM's except it does feel better written and more worked. The main flaw with the plot is the whole idea of a man dressed up as a woman – it isn't that big a deal but you must wonder how seriously they expect us to take the plot when Mason sets up his usual courtroom antics that would get kicked out in any real court but are accepted here! The final twists aren't even as daft as usual but it does set up the usual big finish. Burr loves nothing more that getting to boom `isn't it true etc, isn't it also true etc' and it makes for a dramatic if slightly hammy climax.

Burr seems very happy to be back in his old role and works hard, compared to later TVM's where he almost appears to be going through the motions. Hale is good and it's good to see her getting more of a role than usual. Katt is also good and his haircut hasn't yet gone curly and his action scenes are reasonably tense. The rest of the cast are made up of the usual red herrings for Mason to chase around the courtroom until he gets the real killer. The `oh look it's…..' faces are Taylor who is OK and Anderson. Freeman is also amusing to see if you only know him as Elijah Mohammed from Malcolm X. The cast is also interesting when you look at it in terms of the mason series and note that one of the Gordon family (Kathryn) is actress Kerrie Keane who is in two later Mason movies playing different roles.

If you've enjoyed any of the Mason TVMs then this will please you as well. Because it is the first of the TVM run it feels better and that a lot more work has gone into it, as much as I enjoy the rest, some did feel like they were rushed out in a short time. Overall this is one of the better of the modern Mason series.

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When will they release the Perry Mason TV Movies??? The Movieman
Six of the episodes produced between 1985 and 1987 rditewig801
Theme tune... klownboy
poor direction - poor casting rditewig801
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