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:
Success by Negation See more (8 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:
Don MacKay ... (uncredited)
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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
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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?

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 »
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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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Success by Negation, 5 October 2010
Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach

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.

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