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 »
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 gentlemen who are having a meeting about a plan that could get them all rich - little realising that Suzanne is taping the whole conversation. Suzanne holds out for more money from her "client" before giving up the tape and is found murdered and the tape gone. As Perry, Della and Paul start to help the friend (who discovered the body and hence the prime suspect.) they discover that Suzanne used to be a Madam of a "certain kind of house", that the four "meeting" takes great pains to cover up their business and that Suzanne's past may have caught up with her... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Yet another of the numerous TV movies starring television's original Perry Mason Raymond Burr and his secretary Della Street played by Barbara Hale. Both of them look their age in this telefilm which tries to explain away Raymond Burr's weight-encumbered locomotion as due to his character's knee surgery. Nobody would be fooled, however.
"Murdered Madam" has a good plot. Unfortunately, the script-writers make no good use of it. One expects some startling revelation would actually come out of the recording equipment which Suzanne Domenico, played adequately by Ann Gillian, installs in her house. But nothing does. Suzanne's colorful past is never explored even briefly in this film. It is just touched upon, making her character one-dimensional. The bankers' reason for their rendezvous at Suzanne's house, when revealed by Perry's cross-examination at the end of the movie, may have sounded high-tech when this movie was made, but is now well-known to people who are interested in such things.
Once again, Paul Drake is shown to be an inept detective who lets his quarry slip away from him more than once. In contrast, the Paul Drake of Erle Stanley Gardner's books was even more adroit than Perry Mason himself.
"Murdered Madam" will appeal to an older audience who grew up watching Perry Mason. I do not want to sound politically correct but such folks may not mind the stereotyped portrayals of the black maid, gay hairdressers with long pink hair and the general bowdlerizing of the madam character. However, those who grew up reading Gardner's books as opposed to watching his creation on TV will not be impressed by this telefilm or its over-the-hill stars.
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