Perry Puts on a Show
Renowned lawyer Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) finds himself in the unusual circumstances of being in the witness stand when whilst in hospital recovering from knee surgery he saw Johnny Whitcomb (Jim Metzler) outside at a certain time, a time when according to D.A. Barbara August (Valerie Mahaffey) Johnny was murdering theatre director Tony Franken (Dwight Schultz). When the judge agrees there is enough evidence for the case to continue Perry and his team steps in to become Johnny's defence team and soon Perry discovers that Tony was not liked due to his abrasive nature whilst many of those he was working with had secrets which Tony was using to blackmail them.
In another review of a Perry Mason movie I said that some of these movies worked because of the set-up whilst others worked because of the courtroom antics. Well there are also those which work because of the supporting cast which is the case with "Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder" as on top of Dwight Schultz we also have Debbie Reynolds, Jerry Orbach, Alexandra Paul as well as Lori Petty in a minor role. But the writers also have given these characters plenty of secrets from one character with a love child to another who gave a terminally sick relative the tablets to kill themselves. It makes "Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder" a movie of revelations and star performances.
What that also means is that this plays right in to the hands of Perry Mason as during the court case he reveals these secrets to show that many had motive to kill Tony with each revelation getting that gasp of air response required. And I have to say that when it comes to who the guilty party is this one certainly keeps you guessing thanks to all those secrets and motives.
The one negative for me about "Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder" is Alexandra Paul as Ken's girlfriend Amy as she ends up a bit too pushy and frankly annoying despite Alexandra Paul being a likeable actress. In fact it is a bit corny as Amy keeps harping on about becoming Ken's Della Street.
What this all boils down to is that "Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder" is a lot of fun because not only did they get some famous faces to appear in supporting roles but because the writers came up with a nice collection of secrets and revelations which make the courtroom part of this entertaining.
Tags: Perry Mason