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Perry Mason: The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink (1957)
Season 1, Episode 13
the best of Season 1
23 September 2006
CotMEM goes way beyond the usual courtroom dramatics and theatrics we normally associate with the show, especially in the way Mason solves the case. I like this episode a lot because we get to see the true S1 tension that exists between Tragg and Mason and yet Tragg does the right thing in the end - Tragg becomes somewhat more buffoonish as the seasons unfold but here in the first season he goes toe-to-toe with Mason in grand fashion - we get to see more of the close relationship between Drake and Mason as well and really see Mason's relationship with Della - over the years there has been lots of talk of a gay subtext to the characters and one can certainly sense that in this episode in particular (pinky rings anyone?) - Della certainly comes off as knowing she'll never be able to be more than Mason's friend and confidante, and their relationship will never be anything more than a platonic closeness - as if she knows something but can't tell the audience - this episode comes across as much more 'complicated' than the preceding eps and the cast is uniformly quite good, especially Than Wyenn as Hoxie and Douglas Kennedy as Jaffrey and the scene with Mason, Drake and Roxanne Arlen as Mae is priceless - one of Hopper's best in the series (as is his interrogation by Jaffrey and Tragg in the hotel room later) - but what's with the weird haircuts? Although aired in '57 it looks like it carries a 1958 date - maybe there was a break in the shooting and Burr and Hopper went to the barber shop in their spare time - a very enjoyable episode with much more tension than we normally expect from the show
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pretty good for the time
10 May 2006
considering the budget and casting this is a good effort - I just LOVE the completely out-of-place soundtrack (the jazz score really is quite good in its own right) - you would think they would on occasion use some country music - I know it bears little semblance to the historical Floyd story but kudos for the great cast - T-Bag from Prison Break is definitely channeling Pretty Boy's brother, Curly and Al Lewis is awesome - Ericsson is actually quite good too and doesn't really resort to over-the-top caricatures as one might think - Peter Falk has a nice role too pretty much like his role as Abe Relas in Murder Inc - as Sabre pointed out above, the machine guns look like French MAT49s (not yet available in the 1930s but used by the post-war French army in Indochina and Algeria) - a similar weapon (although with a folding metal stock) was used in The Laughing Policeman to great effect - the cops seem to use Thompsons like you would expect - I think this fits in rather nicely with all the second-tier crime flicks that came out in the last 50s and early 60s
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