Perry and Della are finally married by his old friend, Judge Mary. They plan to go on a honeymoon, but before it can start, Perry is retained by a woman with a gun and $5000. She wants him to stop a story that is coming out in 'Spicy Bits' about Peter Milner. When Perry cannot talk the editor out of publishing the story, he finds the owner and also finds that the woman who hired him was Mrs. Belter. Soon afterwards, George Belter is dead, Eva shot him and blames Perry Mason for the murder.Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As it turned out I happened to see the TV version that Raymond Burr did on his hour long Perry Mason show. Spoiled it a bit because I knew who did the deed. Still seeing the same story done by another actor as Mason was interesting. And was it ever different.
This one started with Warren William as Mason and Claire Dodd as Della Street invading Judge Clara Blandick's chambers and demanding to be married. The barest hint of a romance was present on the Mason television shows. But off Della and Perry go to the apartment and then the plan is for a honeymoon lodge in the country.
All that gets interrupted by Wini Shaw toting a gun and demanding to retain Warren William in a blackmail scheme against the publisher of a Confidential type magazine called Spicy Bits. What she doesn't tell him is that her husband is the secret owner of the rag and she's been stepping out on him with a candidate for office.
In a confrontation Shaw actually believes she shot her husband, but as in television Perry Mason defends no guilty clients. That's a parameter not broken. And if you watched the series you know who did the crime.
What was fascinating to me in The Case Of The Velvet Claws was how Paul Drake's character was changed from a professional well dressed William Hopper who owned his own agency to Eddie Acuff, a rather seedy looking retainer who even got into a drag to tail someone.
The Case Of The Red Velvet Claws has some nice sparkling urban Warner Brothers type dialog handled with aplomb by William. That was a guy who did all kinds of series, Perry Mason, Philo Vance, and Michael Lanyard The Lone Wolf. And all sounded as urbane and sophisticated as Warren William was in real life.
Definitely for fans of Warren William if not Erle Stanley Gardner's sleuth with a law degree.
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