|Multiple Perry Mason
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I've been a fan of the original black-and-white (and one color episode) Perry Mason TV series since the show first appeared in the fifties. There was a lapse of many years whilst I toiled in various salt mines but, after escaping to freedom, I reconnected with the show in 1985 via the TBS cable superstation. Alas, they stopping running the show in 1996, but it is still available on some local stations. The last national airing was on The Hallmark Channel. Read about it in the Hallmark Log.
Some of the shows were once available from Columbia House on tapes and DVDs by subscription. These were high quality recordings, mostly uncut and with no commercials. These tapes and DVDs can still be found at places like eBay and from some online vendors. For more information about the Columbia House tapes and DVDs, and other sources for the show, please visit Bill Storrer's PMESG site.
Many famous people have appeared in Perry Mason episodes, some before they were famous. It's fun to try and spot these people and then check the credits to see if you were right. This game led to my obsessive habit of collecting cast lists from the credits. I did it for years and have the casts from all 271 episodes in the database featured here. All the cast lists were taken from the trailing credits except for episode #218, The Case of the Bullied Bowler, which has only partial credits. The cast list for this episode has been recreated from other sources.
One reason the show holds up for me is because it's often set in the familiar territory of Southern California. It's like time travel. The very first episode, The Case of the Restless Redhead, featured a character who was living in my home town, Riverside, California. There are no actual scenes in Riverside but there are lots of references. In one scene, Perry comments to famous movie star Helene Chaney (Gloria Henry) that Riverside is a very interesting place. The Media Page has an audio clip. This scene is missing in cut episodes of the show..
In it's heyday, Perry Mason was shown in many countries. It was quite popular in Germany but, as you might expect, was a little different. The biggest change is that everybody speaks German. Leah, a fan from Germany, explains that German actors were used to dub the voices. She says this leads to interesting situations when an actor's voice is familiar from other roles. For example, Perry Mason sounds like Bill Cosby and Fred Flintstone! Engelbert von Nordhausen is the dubber, and you can "meet" him here. To add to the situation, German words tend to be longer than English ones. You know the deal, the lips say "Goodbye" as the voice says "Auf wiedersehen." Finally, the episodes are renamed in German. Leah has provided this list. It's fun to see how the titles changed. You can find translation help at LEO.
Them ads. Yes, there are ads here now, but please do not consider this a money making commercial enterprise. It's still "just a hobby." The site now has a real domain name and a new host, Pair Networks, and I just hope to cover some of the costs. Click an ad if you're interested and thank you very much! [11/9/04]
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