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A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle (1994)

Bill McKenzie is a retired lawyer who prefers to spend time working on his ranch. But he occasionally takes on a case wherein the defendant is wrongfully convicted or falsely accused, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Helaine Head

Writers:

Bruce Franklin Singer (teleplay), Joyce Burditt (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hal Holbrook ... William McKenzie
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William R. Moses ... Ken Malansky
Dixie Carter ... Louise Archer
Diahann Carroll ... Lydia Bishop
James Stephens ... Daniel Kingman
Molly Hagan ... Laurel Crown
James McEachin ... Lt Brock (as James Mc Eachin)
Derek de Lint ... Dr. Estes (as Derek De Lint)
John Rubinstein ... District Attorney
Tristan Rogers ... Duke Albert
J.A. Preston ... Man
Barry Sattels Barry Sattels
Michael Ensign
Julio Oscar Mechoso
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Storyline

Bill McKenzie is a retired lawyer who prefers to spend time working on his ranch. But he occasionally takes on a case wherein the defendant is wrongfully convicted or falsely accused, and he's a friend of Perry Mason. Mason asks him to fill in for him at some thing wherein he is suppose to give a speech. At the thing are some important people including a chess master whom McKenzie knows. Also, there is a sleazy interviewer who is forcing the chess player to be on his show when he refused, and when the interviewer is found dead, the chess player is arrested, and McKenzie defends him. Della Street and Ken Malansky offer their assistance, and McKenzie tries to find out who had motive to kill the man. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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Plot Keywords:

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Perry Mason - McKenzie und der erpresserische Moderator See more »

Filming Locations:

Denver, Colorado, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First Perry Mason movie in which Hal Holbrook substituted after the death of Raymond Burr. See more »

Goofs

At no time were finger prints considered as a source of evidence, even though we clearly see the perpetrator leave them on the bottle and cart handle. See more »

Connections

Follows Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Solid entry in the series that fans will enjoy
25 January 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When Perry is unable to deliver a speech at a conference he calls Bill McKenzie to offer him a hotel etc in exchange for delivering the work. Also at the hotel is filming for the newest episode of `lifestyles of the rich and famous' hosted by Adrian Lye. One of Lye's guests, and Bill's friend, Daniel Kingman (a famous chess player) is at the hotel and is being blackmailed by Lye. When he goes to Lye's room a fight ensues after which Lye is found poisoned to death. Bill defends Kingman while Ken Malansky goes after the `waiter' seen delivering the poisoned drink to Lye's suite, assuming the drink was poisoned before delivery and not by Kingman.

And so the franchise goes on. Keen to continually outgrown the sizeable shadow of Mason, the film opens with McKenzie being very un-Mason-like, speeding to a courtroom on his motorbike and delivering evidence of corruption to a judge to save a man's life. Several times later, other characters refer to tales of Bill's past including killing a man in Paris and walking into a hostage situation with a live grenade and rescuing the hostages. All this serves to take away from the film a bit, but it does help make the film stand out in it's own right rather than always looking back. The plot is OK and is the usual Mason fare. Both sides of the investigation are enjoyable, although Malansky's sidekick element has only ever worked well once or twice and doesn't here. The courtroom scenes lack Mason's presence and the final scene especially doesn't suit McKenzie's laid back approach.

However Holbrook is good and is the only reason that these films are still watchable after Burr left a big hole to fill. His character is good and the only weakness is the way in which they always have to rope him and Mason into the story in some way. Hale does nothing and is only the link to the original. Moses is OK and has his usual comedy/action side to the story. The support cast are pretty average for this sort of thing with the `oh look it's ….' Face this time being Robert `Freddie' Englund.

Overall those new to the series or those who have disliked the series will be very unlikely to be won over here, however fans of the series who know what to expect and like it will find this to be a reasonable entry in the series – even if it does pale a little when viewed with Burr's best in mind.


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