Paul Sorvino in A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives (1993)

The David Morrison's Ex-Wives Club

Photographer David Morrison (Eric Braeden) is facing bankruptcy but has a plan to do a photo shoot with all the models he made famous including his current wife Dee (Kathy Ireland). It is why Dee pays lawyer Anthony Caruso (Paul Sorvino), a friend of Perry Mason's, a visit as the problem is that the models have all been married to David at one point or another and they need Anthony to smooth things over to get them all together. After the photo shoot goes ahead Dee catches David in a compromising situation with an assistant leading to a public row. Unfortunately when David is later on discovered murdered of course the police arrest Dee which means Anthony finds himself defending her.

For those who have arrived here slightly bemused by the fact we have a Perry Mason with no Raymond Burr, it is because he had passed away. In fact Burr knew he was dying and made sure that the cast and crew would be able to complete the series with guest actors playing the role of a fellow lawyer. And it has to be said that the casting of Paul Sorvino was perfect because he makes Anthony Caruso an almost larger than life character with some entertainingly distinct mannerisms, most notably being a man passionate about beauty. Jut watching Caruso quote poetry in the courtroom or enter Perry's office singing opera puts a smile on your face.

A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives (1993)

Aside from Paul Sorvino making a great, theatrical impact as Caruso what we have is a case which you can see quite clearly has been written with Perry Mason in mind as we have these attractive ex-wives, a murder and also a trouble making assistant. It is so typical that once again Ken Malansky finds his investigation getting a little friendly with a young woman. But the writers have certainly done a nice job to take this familiar set up and give it enough touches so that it doesn't just feel like they have given Sorvino the original script intended for Raymond Burr. In fact Sorvino does such a good job they could have done a spin-off series with him.

As to who the killer is? Well of course I am not going to spoil it for you but the collection of ex-wives make for a bitchy collection with nails as sharp as claws. As such Maud Adams, Kim Alexis, Shelley Hack and Beverly Johnson have fun as these wicked ex-wives whilst Kathy Ireland gives Dee a nice level of naivety.

What this all boils down to is that despite the loss of Raymond Burr "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives" works with the writers doing a good job of reworking the script whilst Paul Sorvino is excellent as Anthony Caruso. Most importantly there is no sense of sadness which creeps into "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives" and it has the fun factor which makes it entertaining.

Tags: Perry Mason