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Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster (1991)

A gangster who has commited all kinds of crimes is accused to have killed his wife. As he was not the murderer in this case Perry Mason intents to find the killer...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Frank Halloran
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Johnny Sorrento
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Paula Barrett
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Joanna Calder
Betsy Jones-Moreland ...
Judge Elinor Harrelson
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Jeff Sorrento
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Janice Kirk
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Karen Thatcher
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Mike Calder
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Dave Barrett
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Sergeant Phil Baranski
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Maria Sorrento
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A gangster who has commited all kinds of crimes is accused to have killed his wife. As he was not the murderer in this case Perry Mason intents to find the killer... Written by Volker Boehm

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11 February 1991 (USA)  »

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The Case of the Maligned Mobster  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Sub-par Mason movie
7 September 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ken Malansky has an old college acquaintance who has gone into business with reformed mobster Johnny Sorrento. When Sorrento's wife is killed all fingers point to Johnny and Mason is asked to take up the case – reasoning that everyone deserves the best defence, Mason takes the case. Mason finds the world of the mob is one of murder and threats, while Malansky investigates an old murder case that Johnny had been accused of until someone confessed.

These Mason movies are all pretty much the same – innocent client who all the clues point to. Ken investigates the rough stuff while Mason questions each suspect. It all leads to courtroom questions and the twist at the end. As a result if you like one you generally like them all. However here the film tries to be a bit rougher and have a darker edge by having a mobster as a client. Mason naturally takes the case but we never see any conflict in his heart over doing this. Also the tougher edge is only added to the normal formula as a very thin top coat – for example Mason occasionally raises his voice a little, or a few people get shot or killed etc. Really it didn't work that well as it didn't add to the formula, only took a little away instead.

Burr isn't as good as usual because he has this tough edge on a familiar character and it doesn't sit well – witness him in a sling as if nothing happened! Hale has less to do than usual but Moses is actually pretty good with the darker subject matter. The rest of the cast are really nothing more than mobster support roles from bad mobster films – they don't even reach the level of caricature! The usual `oh, look it's…..' face this time is Stephen Tobolowsky.

The courtroom looks more like a TV set than usual and the actual courtroom finale is a bit of a letdown and doesn't even manage the usual average tension. The end result is a standard Mason setup that is spoil by little extras that the formula didn't need – the darker edge didn't work. Overall a sub-par outing in the series that plays slightly above par.


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