Up to Old Tricks
Big time magician David Katz (Peter Scolari) is in town with his group of attractive assistants to put on a charity gala and as has become the normal one of his assistants, Kate Ford (Nancy Lee Grahn), has become increasingly demanding, causing unrest within the team. To make matters worse the married David had a one night stand with Kate which she not only uses to blackmail him with but also says she is pregnant with his child. When performing his disappearing assistant in a floating coffin trick something goes wrong and when the coffin opens 30ft in the air Kate is still in there and falls to her death or was she already dead? As patrons of the charity Perry Mason (Raymond Burr), Della Street (Barbara Hale) and Ken Malansky (William R. Moses) are all there when this tragedy happens they start to investigate with Ken finding that no one wants to talk about Kate back in her hometown.
"Perry Mason: The Case of the Glass Coffin" is classic Perry Mason in form as during the opening act we meet the soon to be victim and made aware of those who could have motive to kill her. And that list is long as there is the magician she is blackmailing, his wife who overhears her with her husband, another assistant whose trick she takes, the prop guy she annoyed and a stage hand she nastily turned down when he asked her out, oh and just for good measure there is another magician which accuses David of stealing his tricks. Of course it may be that Perry will pull a rabbit out of the hat and the murderer will be someone else.
But what this all means is what follows after the set up and magician David Katz finds himself the chief suspect is Ken does the leg work and of course ends up dealing with an attractive woman whilst Perry uses his knowledge and eye for detail to unravel the mystery all done with this sympathetic, patient look on his face which allows you to warm to him. It is all typical but as I say typical is not always a bad thing when you consider it is usually what the fans of TV Movie franchises want, the charming Perry solving a case and having his moment in court to do such whilst Ken gets to show of his action side and sex appeal when it comes to women.
What this all boils down to is that "Perry Mason: The Case of the Glass Coffin" is another enjoyable entry in the series of TV movies which ran from the 80s in to the 90s. It doesn't do anything particularly new but serves up an entertaining mystery storyline whilst Raymond Burr gets to turn on his particular brand of charm as Perry once again being the courtroom showman once again.