IMDb > Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson (1989) (TV)

Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson (1989) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


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Writers (WGA):
Robert Hamilton (teleplay)
Dean Hargrove (story) ...
View company contact information for Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 February 1989 (USA) See more »
Ken Malansky is a law student attending a class being taught by Perry Mason. When a friend tells him... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Solid entry in the series that serves two purposes See more (8 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason

Barbara Hale ... Della Street

Alexandra Paul ... Amy Hastings

William R. Moses ... Ken Malansky

Brian Keith ... Frank Wellman Sr.
Leslie Ackerman ... Miss Lehman
Richard Allen ... Jeff

Brian Backer ... Eugene

John DeMita ... Scott McDonald (as John De Mita)

Karen Kopins ... Kimberly McDonald
John LaMotta ... Bartender Al (as John La Motta)

Charley Lang ... Travis Howe

John Allen Nelson ... Frank Wellman Jr.

Mark Rolston ... Vic Hatton
Raye Birk ... Sam Morgan
Marlene Warfield ... Prosecutor
Kathryn Christopher ... Judge Hoffman
Albert Valdez ... Paul Roberti
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Laurence Kirchmar ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Christian I. Nyby II 
Writing credits
Robert Hamilton (teleplay)

Dean Hargrove (story) &
Joel Steiger (story)

Produced by
Robert Hamilton .... supervising producer
Dean Hargrove .... executive producer
Peter Katz .... producer
Fred Silverman .... executive producer
David Solomon .... co-producer
Joel Steiger .... executive supervising producer
Original Music by
Dick DeBenedictis 
Cinematography by
Arch Bryant (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Solomon 
Casting by
Carol L. Dudley  (as Carol Dudley)
Art Direction by
Paul Staheli 
Set Decoration by
Charlie Helms 
Costume Design by
Ronn Rynhart 
Makeup Department
Rosanne Bigelow .... hair stylist (as Roseann Bigelow)
Patti Dallas .... makeup artist
Judee Guilmette .... hair stylist
Dee Sandella .... makeup artist
Production Management
Hal Harrison .... post-production supervisor
Mike Moder .... executive in charge of production
Billy Ray Smith .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Gail Joyce Fortmuller .... second assistant director (as Gail Fortmuller)
Gary Grillo .... first assistant director
Art Department
Randy Holland .... construction coordinator
Jeff Petersen .... property master
Sound Department
Jory A. Beckert .... sound re-recording mixer (as Jory Beckert)
James Emerson .... production sound mixer
Sam Horta .... supervising sound editor
Leonard Peterson .... sound re-recording mixer
Gregory H. Watkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Paul J. Diller .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Gary Jensen .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Jerry Jencks .... key grip
Bradford Lipson .... gaffer (as Brad Lipson)
Douglas O'Kane .... first assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sharon T. Brunn .... costumer: women
Kelly Andrew King .... costumer: men (as Kelly A. King)
Editorial Department
Leslie Sackheim .... assistant editor
Music Department
Ted Roberts .... music editor
Fred Steiner .... composer: original Perry Mason theme
Transportation Department
Gil Talamantes .... transportation coordinator
Dave West .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Karen Beard .... location manager
Robert Benevides .... production consultant
Donna Colabella .... production executive
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Jeff Glasser .... script supervisor
Andrea Korkut .... production coordinator
Debbie Nodella .... production accountant
Dennis Smith .... legal advisor
Ledge Musselman .... stand-in (uncredited)
Melissa Smith .... post facilities manager (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Errors in geography: The night skyline shown in this movie and other modern Perry Mason movies is of Atlanta with the Peachtree Plaza not of Denver where the movie is supposedly taking place.See more »
Movie Connections:


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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Solid entry in the series that serves two purposes, 31 March 2004
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Perry Mason is the lead tutor for a module of a law degree set in a mock classroom. His students include Ken Malansky and the Frank Wellman Jnr - son of one of Perry's good friends. When he finds out that Frank raped his girlfriend, Ken storms into the mock courtroom (where Frank is practicing his summation) only to find him dead. Giving his state and the situation, Ken is arrested and charged. He turns to Perry for his defence, who reluctantly agrees despite the impact on his friendship with Wellman Snr. Meanwhile Ken investigates despite the `help' of his ex-girlfriend Amy.

For those who know the Perry Mason series and enjoy it, they will find that this film continues doing what it has always been doing. The formula is all in place - the investigation by Mason's sidekick, a girl involved in that investigation, Mason's interviews, the court case and the eventual twist. All this it does as well as it usually does (ie not great but reliable and familiar) but it also adds some aspects to the mix. The element regarding Mason's conflict with Frank Snr has potential but sadly it doesn't do enough with it apart from put a plot twist into the middle of the film - but it doesn't have the emotional clout that it should have had. The other thing this film does is introduce to the series that character of Ken Malansky as a replacement for Paul Drake. The film uses him quite well, even if he is less assured than he would become.

Ken, as Drake always did, is reluctantly paired with a woman as his investigative partner. Here he has his ex girlfriend, Amy, with him - as he would for 3 or 4 films after this one. However her character is annoying here - too snobbish, irritating and really difficult to like. The fact that someone is kooky can be an endearing thing but here her character is too forceful and outside of the habits of polite (not rich) society. The only thing that is good about her role is that Paul is an OK actress and is easy on the eye. She is in the shadow of Moses though, who steps up to the challenge of making his mark and securing his employment. Katt is a sad loss to the series simply due to his family connection to the show, but I enjoy Moses a little more - and he has better hair than Katt absurd perm!

Mason does well but he doesn't step up to meet Brian Keith's more emotional input. Ken's class is badly served; I'm sure the actors could have done well but I was surprised how little time they had on screen - Mason's interviews took up less time than usual. None of them really make a mark and, worse still, some of them really force their scenes, supposedly because they knew how little time they had to shine. The `oh look it's...' face this time is Mark Rolston - not a famous name but you'll recognise him from many big films including Shawshank Redemption, Rush Hour, Robocop 2 and Aliens - shame he is only given about 3 minutes of screentime!

Overall this is still a solid entry in the series (if you generally enjoy the series). It doesn't do anything new above the formula but it has an interesting (if poorly used) subplot involving Perry and it also sees Malansky take over from Drake - however I would have preferred the film to partner Malansky with Drake for this film (rather than Amy) and provide a proper handover for the fans!

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