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 »
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 secret should ever get out, her appointment might not push through. So, he offers to sell the information he has to him. So, when he goes to him, he finds him dead, and he is arrested for the crime and placed on trial, and Perry's asked to defend him. And Perry also suspects that the dead was hired by one of his friend's friends to steal the evidence of her secret so that they could expose it and sabotage her appointment, and in all likelihood is the killer. Written by
When a long time Senator dies, the race is open for a replacement to finish his term. Favourite for the job is corporate lawyer Laura Robertson (an old flame of Perry Mason's). However a few weeks before the announcements, Laura's husband Glenn is called to a mysterious meeting by Luke Dickson, who is asking for $50k to conceal evidence of Laura's treatment for mental problems. When Luke Dickson is found dead, Glenn is arrested and Laura employs Mason to help defend him. Meanwhile Paul Drake's investigation into Dickson is hampered by the interference of a mysterious man.
Although this film sticks to the usual formula for the Mason movies, it is easily one of the better films mainly because it tries to go for a better plot and characterisation than the other ones. Here there is a certain amount of solid subplot as Mason and Laura clearly are still affectionate while Glenn is openly hostile about Perry's reintroduction into their lives (or rather her life). This is well played out without being more than a subplot and it adds a layer to the usual fare of Mason and Drake's investigation. Those who have a strong dislike of the usual Mason plotting will not be won over by this, but it is better than usual. Drake's side of things is not as clear as it could have been but still serves to lift the pace of the film somewhat (but attempts to give him a bit of relationship back story are strangely misjudged).
Burr is good and clearly rises to the opportunity to a bit more actual acting than he usually gets to do with Mason (most of the time he is simply do a character as opposed to emoting or anything). Barry is good and has a nice steady frostiness when with Burr; similarly the actress playing Laura has a nice chemistry with Burr - one thing I would like to have seen was more of Della (Hale) in order to see how she reacted to this new spark in his life, sadly the film doesn't go that far from the formula. A few familiar faces are in the support cast including a typical sleazy Banks and a quite amusing turn from Walden in the witness box. Stiers is on good form and is still one of the better DA's in the Mason series.
Overall I found this to be one of the best of the Mason films I have seen, even though it still uses the same formula. The relationship history between Mason and Laura creates a better story than usual and it raises the film a notch. Combine this with better than usual acting and an ending that actually is quite good (as opposed to `oh, it's so-and-so' coming out of nowhere) and you have a Mason film that may not be a great movie but certainly is one of the best of the Mason series.
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