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Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder (1989)

In this episode Perry Mason defends a young theatre director who is accused to have killed a famous director of a Broadway musical.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Judge Robert Morano
Mary Cadorette ...
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Kate Ferrar
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Johnny Whitcomb
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Cassie
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Harry
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Storyline

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>

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

9 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Perry Mason - Meurtre à Broadway  »

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1.33 : 1
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17 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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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