Perry does Poirot
At an award ceremony for writers, celebrated author, Bradley Thompson (David Warner) causes quite a stink as not only do his fellow writers despise him for stealing their ideas over the years but he ends up in a confrontations with both Della Street (Barbara Hale) and Ken Malansky (William R. Moses) as his book based on a Perry Mason case led to the death of an innocent man. But when Thompson collapses and dies from poisoning it is Bradley's former wife Martha Robertson (Barbara Babcock) who is charged with the murder. Fortunately Martha has Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) in her corner along with Della and Ken.
"Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen" is one of the most Agatha Christie style "Perry Mason" movies I have come across as we have a room of people and a man poisoned. As such you have Perry in Poirot mode as he looks for that one clue which not only solves who the poisoner was but in doing so leads to a huge revelation as to who the poisoner was. And of course rather than Perry playing out what happened in the room where the murder happened he gets a courtroom to do his stuff in, which includes being a thorn in the side of Lt Brock who always seems to charge the wrong person with murder when ever Perry Mason is involved. And it is entertaining for being a bit Christie like although some of the references are a bit cheesy.
But here is the thing about "Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen", whilst we do have this Agatha Christie thing going on it is still a pretty routine "Perry Mason" movies with the usual familiar elements. As such we have the superior intellect of Mason as he talks to the various people who could have had reason, uncovering their secrets in the process and then there is Ken who goes running after people and inevitably gets floored a couple of times. But there is some thing else because once "Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen" is over and you think about it you realise that the case is solved thanks to what should have been the most obvious first call and as such a lot of the movie which went before ends up unimportant to the conclusion.
What this all boils down to is that "Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen" is certainly entertaining, as they always were, and the whole Agatha Christie undertones certainly brings a smile to your face. But this is one which you don't need to think about too much because when you do you realise a lot of the movie was filler.
Tags: Perry Mason