|Index||9 reviews in total|
The most ambitious and personal entry in the "Perry Mason" TV movie series. This time Mason comes to the defense of the husband of the woman he apparently loved and lost for the murder of a blackmailer who could have ruined her political career. The acting is top notch with Jean Simmons having great chemistry with Raymond Burr. Direction and production value is above norm for this series.
When a long time Senator dies, the race is open for a replacement to
his term. Favourite for the job is corporate lawyer Laura Robertson (an
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,
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
Dickson is hampered by the interference of a mysterious
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.
In The Case Of The Lost Love we find that Perry Mason indeed had an old
flame, another attorney in the person of Jean Simmons. Simmons has
become quite successful and is even now having her name bandied about
with speculation she might get a temporary U.S. Senate appointment from
But the publicity surrounding her appointment has led a blackmailing private detective, Jonathan Banks, to demand some hush money. It seems like he stole her medical records from years earlier when she was in a mental facility. Stuff like that is what got Thomas Eagleton tossed off the Democratic ticket in 1972.
When husband Gene Barry goes to meet Banks with a pre-arranged rendezvous he finds Banks dead and no incriminating medical records. When Barry is arrested for the homicide, it's Perry who offers to defend the husband of his old flame.
There are quite a few of the usual red herring suspects, but the ending is a twist that might surprise viewers who expect things to go a certain way in a Perry Mason story.
The Case of the Lost Love is one of the most original and best of the Perry Mason films. Helped in no small part with the presence of Jean Simmons who back in the day seemed like she was in every good movie of the 1950s.
She's reason enough to see The Case of the Lost Love.
Of the series of TV-movies based on the Erle Stanley Gardner creation,
as well as the popular television drama from the 50's and 60's, this is
one of the best. Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale continue with their
famous roles of Perry and his girl Friday, Della Street, assisted by
William Katt (Hale's real-life son) as the detective son of Paul Drake,
played in the original by the late William Hopper.
In this teleflick, Mason must defend Gene Barry who plays the husband of Jean Simmons, a Congressional hopeful and former love of the robust attorney. Because of the additional time alloted this presentation, there is a bit of action with Katt's character being the "leg man" that must get out in the field and drum up evidence that will prove Burr's client innocent.
With a cast of old pros like this one has, along with television stalwarts David Ogden Stiers ("M*A*S*H*"), Gordon Jump ("WKRP in Cincinnati"), Jonathan Banks ("Wiseguy"), and Robert Mandan ("Soap"), this is one of the better acted of the film series that ran for nine years, culminating with the death of Burr.
Though it plods along at times, the movie still holds the interest, all the way up to the surprising denouement.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love" was a movie I took notice of
when I saw this with my late ex-wife in early 1987. Years later, I
appreciate this even more because of the heavy-duty cast, especially
Gene Barry and Jean Simmons.
The script, and its twists, is heads and shoulders above the usual. There may be things that we wish, such as Della Street's reaction, but there are time restrictions involved.
But what really stands out is the ending. The ending is worthy of Rod Serling and "The Twilight Zone," without a doubt! This ranks with the first revival movie, from December 1985, as the best! The story and acting is top notch!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
****SPOILERS**** With Laura Robertson, Jean Simmons, about to becomes a
shoo-in in being picked by Colorado Governor O'Neil to serve out the
last three years on the term of the just deceased Senator Hyland her
dark past starts to revel itself. Not by Laura but someone who wants to
destroy her political career unless he's paid off to shut up. It's
private investigator Luke Dickerson, John Banks, who's dug up the fact
that Laura had suffered a nervous breakdown some seven years ago and
was given shock treatment for it. Dickerson wants a cool $50,000.00 to
keep that quite or else he'll go public and destroy Laura's political
career before it even gets off the ground.
As things turn out Perry Mason, Raymond Burr, just happens to be in town and was once involved, when he was 30 years younger and some 50 to 75 pounds lighter, in a wild and hot love affair with Laura before he became the world famous defense attorney Perry Mason and his rekindling his friendship, not love affair, with her has Laura's husband Glenn, Gene Barry,a bit worried. It's later when after a shocked Glenn gets a phone call from Dickerson to bring the $50,000.00 in pay off money to his motel room Glenn without as much as a second thought compiles with his demand in order to keep the truth about his wife's mental illness for becoming public. At the pay off the drop zone, Dickerson's motel room, Glenn is even more shocked to find Dickerson dead from a cracked skull when he arrives with the money! As things soon turn out Glenn who was anything but happy to see Perry Mason, his wife's former lover, is now dependent on him to keep him out of prison in being convicted in Luke Dickerson's murder!
In the movie we get to see the sleaze and back-stabbing that goes on behind the scenes in the world of politics and how people caught up with it end up getting corrupted by it like a dope addict and alcoholic gets hooked on and destroyed by heroin or booze. It was the fact that Laura was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, with the right connections, that made her a target not only for Luke Dickerson but of one of the many so-called friends, whom Dickerson was hired by, of her who was jealous of her success which he felt was at his expense!
****MAJOR SPOILERS**** This turned out to be one of the most difficult case for Perry Mason to handle in the fact that Laura's husband Glenn turned out to be the luckless fall-guy not in being suspected in murdering Luke Dickerson but in taking the rap for the person who actually killed him! Someone that both Glenn and Perry if they knew who the person was would never in a million years want that person to pay for the crime that he committed!
I used to be a fan of the black & white Perry Masons, but this was a more than unexpected surprise. As a television drama, it works exceedingly well, with an almost faultless screenplay and great acting. I LOVED Mr. Burr's Perry, all the more so because of his real suffering with a leg and difficulty at walking; and was pleasantly moved by this story of old romance, three main characters out of five that never married, decent people committing themselves to awful behavior, treason and deceit... All in all, what you used to call a very good yarn. Watch it and admire Jean Simmons, one of my favorite actresses in the Fifties and Sixties, doing her best to enthrall us again.
Although this movie manages to hold the interest up to the -unexpected, it is the truth-finale, I would not recommend it. The reason is that it is a 'conservative' and very typical film, made for the taste of the ordinary American TV spectator, which presents an unimportant mixture between police adventures and court dramas.
Not usually a fan of this series, I was pleasantly surprised by the great
acting (esp. Simmons/Burr) and mildly entertaining story
However I would still bracket this type of television with 'Murder She Wrote' and 'Father Dowling Mysteries' as being large unpalatable but pleasant in small doses - when its raining :)
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