Your honor, I do object to the harsh treatment this DVD has gotten before its released. I have viewed this evidence and found it able to stand on its own merits.
A little back history on my relationship with the defendant Perry Mason. In the early 1970's, when Ironside was still on prime time television, I was a Perry Mason addict. It was on at five pm, so it was after school viewing. Raymond Burr was as much Perry Mason as he was Ironside. Each may have been different character, but this series like Ironside was memorible.
Now to the evidence....In this DVD tribute, you have 12 episodes and a TV movie (Perry Mason Returns) of this classic legal drama. This tribute is guest star ladden set (with such actors as Robert Redford, Bette Davis, Leonard Nimoy, Burt Retnold, James Colburn,etc) and also has a few rare episodes (the only color episode, the last show of the series). If these dozen episodes are edited at all from their original format , you can not tell. These recording seem to have been copied from very clean master recordings of the shows. Each episode and the TV movie are introduced by Barbara Hale (Della Street), the last remaining cast member of the Mason show.
Exhibit A...The fourth disk is chock filled with extras like Hopper, Talman and Burr's screen tests for Mason, Old Raymond Burr interviews, New Barbara Hale interview, and Mason cast playing "Stump The Stars".
Exhibit B...The most unique extra on the fourth disk is the William Talman's anti-smoking message. For those of you who did not know, Talman was dying of cancer after the show closed. as sick as he was, he left the hospital and recorded an anti-smoking message weeks before he died.
Sidebar, your Honor...I have previous discussed the good part of the DVD....now to the bad part, charging almost forty dollar for 12 episode is too too much. Also, to harbor on points made by others previously, Paramount CBS is very slow to release season three of Mason...and when they do, it is in half season installments. At this time (April 2008), there is no release date for season three volume one.
In summation, this collection of the best of Perry Mason is good television and nice to see these shows on DVD. However the jury is out if Paramount and its release practices is right.
I do not want a hung jury, so buy this collection and you make your own judgement
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD