Ken Malansky is a law student attending a class being taught by Perry Mason. When a friend tells him that his girlfriend was assaulted by a fellow student, Ken rushes to the university's ... See full summary »
Dr Sheila Carlin is good friends with Della who calls Perry in when she is being pestered by someone. On the theory that it could be somebody that she works with at a radio stations she ... See full summary »
Christian I. Nyby II
William R. Moses
When Perry is unable to deliver a speech at a conference he calls Bill McKenzie to offer him a hotel etc in exchange for delivering the work. Also at the hotel is filming for the newest ... See full summary »
William R. Moses
Perry's secretary Della and private investigator/lawyer Ken go to visit an old friend, rancher and famous lawyer, "Wild" Bill McKenzie. Meanwhile, gubernatorial candidate Harlan Richards is... See full summary »
William R. Moses
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 »
An actor rigs a fake on-air shooting with the connivance of his friend, the show's host, but the practical joke goes horribly wrong when the gun, which he'd loaded with blanks, turns out to contain a live round.
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 »
Perry has been in hospital for a knee operation but, while recovering, he sees Johnny out of the window. Johnny was a ex-stage manager for a musical called Polly in which while the star, film star, Amanda Cody, is scoring a big success, it's director Tony Franken is a right monster and after tearing through the cast and crew fires Johnny after Johnny stands up for himself. That night, Tony gets a phone call, goes down to the theatre and is shot. The police arrest Johnny and when Perry comes forward with the alibi Amanda begs Perry to represent Johnny. While Perry and Della investigate the murder, Ken and his fiancee Amy investigate the theatre's security guard Parker Newton, a huge man who got a very nasty temper but has the key to solving the murder... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Back in the original series for the most part Perry Mason took clients on retainer like any other lawyer. The filmed series had him more often than not having some kind of personal relationship that gets him involved with the case.
However in Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder, Raymond Burr is in the hospital for some arthroscopic surgery and after he's taken a sedative he happens to see the accused murderer, three sheets to the wind. But because of the sedative, his alibi testimony at the arraignment hearing is impeached.
Whatever else he is Perry Mason is a man with a conscience. Since he can't get defendant Jim Metzler off with his own testimony, Burr donates his services as defense lawyer.
Metzler is the stage manager of a musical that is in out of town tryouts before reaching Broadway. He has a nasty fight with director Dwight Schultz and Schultz winds up shot to death.
Dwight Schultz in my humble opinion is one of the best actors around today. For those of you who remember him best as Murdock in The A-Team, Schultz has gone on to play an astonishing range of characters. I marvel at the man's versatility. His character as the director might be somewhat based on the late Bob Fosse.
Anyway Schultz as per usual in Mason films is one nasty skunk of a human being and more than Jim Metzler would have liked to kill him. It's up to Perry Mason, Della Street and now his new young associate Ken Malansky to find out the who, why and how.
After getting Billy Moses off in the previous film, Raymond Burr signs him on as an associate. When William Katt as Paul Drake, Jr. was in the series he was in fact a licensed private investigator. Ken Malansky is in fact now a member of the bar. Did he know it wasn't going to be the law library where he'd be spending most of his time when he went to work for Raymond Burr?
This TV film involves the musical stage and we're fortunate enough to have Debbie Reynolds in the cast doing a number. That's always a treat.
I was less impressed though with this Mason than with others. The perpetrator had a good reason for doing in Dwight Schultz. But that this person was willing to frame Metzler for the crime, lessens the audience sympathy for this individual.
Still all the elements for a good Perry Mason story are in The Case of the Musical Murder. And a musical number from Debbie Reynolds. How can you go wrong?
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