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 »
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 arranges Perry to be interviewed by Winslow Keene who is also the station's owner. Winslow enrages the rest of the talk show hosts on the station by informing them of changes that he is making to their time slots. That night, Winslow is shot by a hit man hired by someone at the station and Sheila is set up for the murder. She calls in Perry and as usual Perry, Della and Ken swing into action to find out who really did it... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Radio talk show host Dr Judith Jansen feels she is being stalked by someone and calls her friend Della Street for help. Perry and Ken come to see her and arrange to meet the staff at her radio station in order to find out who might be doing it. Dr Jansen sets up Perry to have an interview on one of the shows but during his visit a staff meeting is called by the station's boss, Winslow Keene. At the meeting Keene announces that the staff are all being moved to night shifts to make way for music shows. Later that night Keene is killed and Dr Jansen's car is seen driving away from the scene. She is charged and Perry steps in to defend her while Malansky sets out to track down the man who bought the gun and acted as a hitman.
The Perry Mason formula continues with this entry in the series that meets the normal level for this series but fails to stand out. The plot is the usual fare although the reason for Mason's involvement is very weak here. Dr Jansen is being stalked which brings Mason into picture, however this element is totally lost and not followed through - I had assumed there would be a link to the murder mystery but there wasn't - it was just simply dropped! The use of a hitman is starting to tire me a little bit because I have seen it so many times and it is simply to give Malansky something to do while Perry goes after the person who hired him. It's not bad bit it is an element of the formula that I hadn't noticed before.
The usual element of Malansky's strand is the side kick and it is present here. I enjoyed it more than the usual bland female that is put with him to flirt with and this time he has a black cop who is sassy (although a little bit of an ethnic stereotype is in there). The investigation is to the norm and the climax is not a surprise so much as an inevitability.
Burr helps the climax by being his usual self. My only problem with him is that he wears a hat during this film that doesn't really suit him. Hale is OK as Della and has a repeat joke to make - however the kiss that occurs between them is not very good as it fouls the platonic relationship that they have, nothing else comes of it in later films and it just felt that they had nothing else to do with the film to spice it up a bit. Moses is OK as normal without trying too hard. Datcher is pretty hot as Paxman and her sassiness helped the film feel more energetic that it actually is, maybe I'm a little biased as I found her quite sexy and ignored her clichéd black character. The support cast are all pretty bland and the `oh look, it's ...' faces this time are chat show host Montel Williams and `Millionaire's' Regis Philbin.
Overall this is a reasonable entry in the series that is OK is you like the formula but to be honest it is not as good as some of the other ones. Big bits of the plot go AWOL and the story feels like a formula rather than adding anything fresh to it. Fans will enjoy it (as I did) but it is unlikely to win over those demanding more than the basic formula wheeled out again.
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