Jordan White, a publisher friend of Perry, is called to a hotel where a guest, famous horror writer David Hall, has cleared out the hotel for a weekend and has called his "friends" - an ... See full summary »
Jordan White, a publisher friend of Perry, is called to a hotel where a guest, famous horror writer David Hall, has cleared out the hotel for a weekend and has called his "friends" - an actress, a fortune-teller, David's private assistant and the two remaining staff at the hotel to discuss business. They have come to the hotel as all of them are going to sue David over his new book - "The Resort" which characters are obviously based on Jordan and the guests. A practical joker, David plays tricks on them until he is thrown from the high tower of the hotel where Susan Warrenfield, the manager and owner of the hotel sees the fall and then Jordan at the tower causing the police to arrest Jordan. While Perry and Della try to solve the main mystery, Paul tries to find out who is trying to scare Susan away from the hotel. Could it really be a ghost or a more earthy visitor?... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Sticks to formula for the majority to produce a film that will please fans of the Perry Mason films
Jordan White is in the process of consulting his lawyer Perry Mason about the potential to sue writer David Hall over similarities to him in Hall's new book when he is called to visit Hall's mansion. When he arrives White finds he is just one of several guests but still there is no Hall. Each guest is given a copy of Hall's new book which apparently has characters very closely modelled on all of them and secrets in their pasts. That night each guest gets a sinister practical joke played on them and they confront White, full of threats and anger. At midnight that night White is called to the building's tower by Hall but just before he gets there someone seems to throw Hall off the building and the witnesses to the fall only see White in the tower. The police arrest White, who immediately turns to Perry Mason for defence and, while Perry starts the trial, Paul Drake investigates strange goings-on within the hotel.
It has been some time since I have watched a Perry Mason film simply because I have seen almost all of them. So when this one came onto television I moved quickly to take the chance to see one of the few I have yet to watch. Having seen so many of them I knew just what I was getting into and, aside from a ghostly element to Drake's thread, this pretty much sticks to the formula that made the series achieve an uninspiring if enjoyable standard. The set up to the mystery is slightly different and it does use the ghost element well to make the investigation side more interesting (Drake almost always teams up with a young woman and gets punched at least this time it feels a bit different). The court case does the usual thing with some nice "objections" etc and the usual last minute revelations; it is never anything that special but it is on formula for the series and as such Perry Mason fans should enjoy it.
The cast are pretty good. Burr hardly sets the screen alight but I always liked him as Mason and he has a good presence in the court scenes. Hale has a small role but is comfortable with it while Katt does his usual stuff to introduce a bit of action into the story. Stack is solid enough but I cannot hear his voice without seeing him in his Airplane character so that undermined the early scenes a bit for me. The support include Schultz, Delaney, Lipscomb and a few others turn in good performances, or at least good for this type of film.
Overall an enjoyable Perry Mason film that takes a slightly different tact but generally sticks closely to formula and will please fans as a result. Nothing too special or dramatic and will certainly not win over those viewers left cold by the series in other films but it is worth a look if you like this sort of thing.
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