Wild Bill's Political Chase
Whilst Della (Barbara Hale) and Ken (William R, Moses) spend some vacation time on the ranch of old friend "Wild" Bill McKenzie (Hal Holbrook) news breaks that politician Harlan Richards (Ken Kercheval) is murdered. Harlan's daughter Karen (Kim Johnston Ulrich) is convinced that Governor Ryan Allison (James Brolin) is behind his untimely death but when the Governor asks to meet up as he has suspicions over who the killer was Karen finds him dead with a letter opener sticking out of his chest and when the maid sees her standing over the body Karen ends up charged with his murder, especially as she has motive. As an old friend of the family Bill takes the case with Della and Ken doing what they do best by helping out.
"A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor" was the third of the four "A Perry Mason Mystery" movies which were made following the death of Raymond Burr with Hal Holbrook reprising the role of "Wild" Bill McKenzie. And whilst these four movies lacked something with out Raymond Burr they still kept to the long established formula with an innocent party found standing over a dead body and then the smart attorney proving their innocence both with probing questions on paying the various witnesses a visit as well as in court whilst Ken of course ended up in the more action orientated side of the investigations where he gets hit and he hits back. In truth the formula worked so didn't need fixing even following Burr's death and the shifting to Wild Bill works nicely.
Now to be honest whilst "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor" has the mystery going on surrounding who is behind the murders and the entertainment of Bill getting to the bottom of things it is only regular stuff. But then what "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor" has going on are a lot of familiar faces with Ken Kercheval, James Brolin, John Spencer, Gregg Henry, Tony Curtis and even a young Ryan Phillippe showing up in various roles, some bigger than others. It is testament to Raymond Burr, the regular stars of these Perry Mason movies along with the whole crew that well known actors were happy to put in a cameo appearance in these movies and they certainly contribute to making this one entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that with "A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Grimacing Governor" it is business as usual with Hal Holbrook doing a fine job of keeping the series running with the help of the returning regulars.