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 »
Jordan White, a publisher friend of Perry, is called to a hotel where a guest, famous horror writer David Hall, has cleared out the hotel for a weekend and has called his "friends" - an ... See full summary »
Perry is at TV station "KGGY" to be interviewed but thanks to the interference of main anchor-person Brett Huston the interview is pulled. Mostly everybody hates Brett as Brett knows all ... See full summary »
Christian I. Nyby II
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 »
Perry is sueing a gutter trash newspaper that is running a story about a love affair between him and Della. The editor also has "dirt" files on an Army General, his banker and other "... See full summary »
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 »
Bill McKenzie's niece works as a production assistant for controversial television personality Josie Joplin, who publicly accuses her of having an affair with her husband. One night ... 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 murdered, and his daughter, Karen, thinks that Harlan's rival, Governor Ryan Allison, has something to do with her father death. But Ryan has had suspicions about the death and thinks that it involves somebody that is close to him. He calls Karen but when she gets there Ryan is dead and Karen framed for the crime. Bill, as a friend of the Richards family, starts to investigate, and Ken and Della are only too willing to help. This was made after Raymond Burr sadly passed away... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Harlan Richards is running for Governor when he is accused by a young lady of having an affair. This ruins his campaigns even though he claims innocence. He commits suicide although his daughter, Karen and friend Wild Bill Mackenzie suspect he was murdered. Months later Karen finds the girl who accused him of the affair and confronts her - demanding to know who set her father up. She goes to see the man she suspects - the other candidate for Governor but finds him murdered, with herself as the main suspect. Bill agrees to defend her and asks Ken and Della (house guests at his ranch) to help. Ken starts searching for the woman who first set Richards up as she has vanished since then.
Anyone `lucky' enough to see the debacle that was `Wicked Wives' will know that the Mason Mystery series looked to be about as alive and well as the sadly passed star, Raymond Burr. So this film just looked like it would be worse - however they seemed to learn from the last film. The signs aren't good when even the usual director (Nyby II) has skipped on this one but actually it stands out as a good part of the series - only lacking Mason himself to complete the formula.
The plot is quite complex and a little unlikely but is engaging none the less. Ken's investigation has more of a twist to it than usual and demands you pay more attention than he usually requires. As usual it has all the weakness of the usual formula but if you enjoy that formula (and I do) then it works fine. The film's main flaw for me is the way it wants to be a mason movie no matter how tenuous the link. Wicked Wives made an iffy link but this one is even worse - Ken and Della happen to be house guests of Mackenzie at the time! Ken gets to do stuff but Della is lumbered with nothing to do at all - cook and that's it!
Holbrook is much better in the lead than Sorvino was in WW. He is a completely different character than Mason and the film wants us to know this by having him ride a motorbike and visit a strip bar. He is a really good character and that's why the series stuck with him for the rest of the movies. Moses is OK as Ken and has a decent haircut this time but Hale just looks like a woman bound by contract and knowing she'll only ever be known for one role. The support cast is deep and that helps - John Spencer is good and a few other recognisable (but not easily nameable to this reviewer!) faces add character. Tony Curtis is a crazy bit of casting but works OK in small doses (which is all he has happily). An amusing side note for the Mason fan is that Kercheval has his second role in a Mason movie having first had a role as a suspect in the Defiant Daughter.
Overall this is surprisingly good. The Mystery movie before this one was pretty awful whereas this replaces Mason with a strong character, has a good story and sticks to formula for the rest. The only question I have is why they felt they needed to keep shoe-horning Ken and Della into it - surely they could keep the brand and just start with new characters, or at least only use them without forcing it?
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