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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Yes, attitudes have definitely changed. Perry treats Della Street (and Paul Drake, for that matter) like slaves, and what was probably considered sexy and flirtatious when the books first came out reeks of sexual harassment now. Also, in the last book I read there was a Japanese cook - the description made me cringe.
Also in THE CASE OF THE SHOPLIFTER'S SHOE there's a scene in a department store where Perry and Della discuss a) elevator operators and b) departments like pearl necklaces, furs, lingerie, chocolates and gold pendants. I'm having a hard time picturing those in J.C. Penney's!

 

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dulcinea3
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Re: American Mystery Classics

[ Edited ]

becke_davis wrote:
Yes, attitudes have definitely changed. Perry treats Della Street (and Paul Drake, for that matter) like slaves, and what was probably considered sexy and flirtatious when the books first came out reeks of sexual harassment now. Also, in the last book I read there was a Japanese cook - the description made me cringe.
Also in THE CASE OF THE SHOPLIFTER'S SHOE there's a scene in a department store where Perry and Della discuss a) elevator operators and b) departments like pearl necklaces, furs, lingerie, chocolates and gold pendants. I'm having a hard time picturing those in J.C. Penney's!

 


There was a stereotypically inscrutable Japanese manservant in the short story The Vanishing Corpse, too.  But it's a sign of the times; many similar roles in TV and movies of that time, as well.  And just look at the Charlie Chan movie series!

 

To me, another sign of the times is the amount of witness coaching that Perry gets away with!!!  He can practically dictate what the person will say to the police or on the witness stand.  In today's shows, a lawyer would never get away with that.

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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics


dulcinea3 wrote:

becke_davis wrote:
Yes, attitudes have definitely changed. Perry treats Della Street (and Paul Drake, for that matter) like slaves, and what was probably considered sexy and flirtatious when the books first came out reeks of sexual harassment now. Also, in the last book I read there was a Japanese cook - the description made me cringe.
Also in THE CASE OF THE SHOPLIFTER'S SHOE there's a scene in a department store where Perry and Della discuss a) elevator operators and b) departments like pearl necklaces, furs, lingerie, chocolates and gold pendants. I'm having a hard time picturing those in J.C. Penney's!

 


There was a stereotypically inscrutable Japanese manservant in the short story The Vanishing Corpse, too.  But it's a sign of the times; many similar roles in TV and movies of that time, as well.  And just look at the Charlie Chan movie series!

 

To me, another sign of the times is the amount of witness coaching that Perry gets away with!!!  He can practically dictate what the person will say to the police or on the witness stand.  In today's shows, a lawyer would never get away with that.


In the one I just read, the police play pretty fast and loose with the law, too - bugging Perry Mason's office, for one thing!

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics

One thing that I've noticed about the Perry Mason books as I've been trying to get my hands on some of them, is that they have some wonderfully playful titles.

Also, I've wondered a lot about the real relationship between Perry and Della. In the book I just read, Della gives Perry the kind of directions in regards to his dress and giving him instructions on coming for a horse ride with her, that only a girl friend or wife would feel comfortable with. The TV show hinted at the relationship a teeny bit, but I think Gardner hedged a bit too, so it's pretty much up to the reader to interpret just how close Perry and Della were.

 

Anyway, I've just put in a request for one of Craig Rice's mysteries. I want to read one of her books before we start discussing them here.

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics


Fricka wrote:

One thing that I've noticed about the Perry Mason books as I've been trying to get my hands on some of them, is that they have some wonderfully playful titles.

Also, I've wondered a lot about the real relationship between Perry and Della. In the book I just read, Della gives Perry the kind of directions in regards to his dress and giving him instructions on coming for a horse ride with her, that only a girl friend or wife would feel comfortable with. The TV show hinted at the relationship a teeny bit, but I think Gardner hedged a bit too, so it's pretty much up to the reader to interpret just how close Perry and Della were.

 

Anyway, I've just put in a request for one of Craig Rice's mysteries. I want to read one of her books before we start discussing them here.


I think Della and Perry were supposed to be VERY close. I guess the reason the author kept it to innuendo was to preserve Perry's image as the smooth, debonair ladies' man while still implying that his heart belonged to Della. 

 

Although, that came through more in the black and white TV show than in the books I've read recently.

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dulcinea3
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Well, I think that in 'those days', a private or personal secretary had much more involvement in the boss' private life than they would likely have today.  Stereotypical things like handling cleaning, picking out gifts for other people, etc.  So giving wardrobe advice would fit right into that!

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basson_mommy12
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Have any of you seen the Perry Mason movies from the (I'm guessing) 30s or 40s? TCM played a bunch of them on consecutive nights a couple of years ago or so and I watched them and then erased them and now I can't find any reference to them. They were pretty good! It sounds like these movies were more like the Perry Mason of the novels than the portrayal popularized by Raymond Burr.

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics


basson_mommy12 wrote:

Have any of you seen the Perry Mason movies from the (I'm guessing) 30s or 40s? TCM played a bunch of them on consecutive nights a couple of years ago or so and I watched them and then erased them and now I can't find any reference to them. They were pretty good! It sounds like these movies were more like the Perry Mason of the novels than the portrayal popularized by Raymond Burr.


I haven't seen any of those movies, basson_mommy12. In fact, I was just idly wondering if there had ever been a film, or films, plural, made from the series of Perry Mason books. Too bad you erased those tapes, Ruth! Now that my curiousity has been aroused, I'm going to have to do some research to see if I can find out more about those Perry Mason films.

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics

A-Ha! I went to the TCM site and found this reference to an earlier Perry Mason film, which you can get to through this link:http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/161252|92454/The-Case-of-the-Curious-Bride.html.

 

In this film, The Case of the Curious Bride, Perry Mason was portrayed by Warren William, and Errol Flynn had a bit role in his first American film! The film seems to have been quite successful, so I'm not sure why the studio relegated later Mason films to B level. Anyone got a good guess?

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Shoot! I did a test click on that link, and it did not take me to the page I had been looking at before, but I got a message that zombies had eaten the page! Grrrrr. Guess TCM does not want peeps linking to their films.

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Here's a couple of paragraphs from that film review:

 

The Case of the Curious Bride

Before Perry Mason was a long-running television series starring Raymond Burr in the title role, the detective-lawyer appeared in a series of popular Warner Bros. films in the 1930s, including The Case of the Curious Bride (1935), notable as Errol Flynn's first American film.

Slated for a part in the film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), Flynn - newly arrived in Hollywood from Australia via England - was instead appointed to a bit part in the Perry Mason mystery thriller. Audiences first saw him as a corpse in silhouette and then later in a short flashback sequence at the end of the film. Thus marked Fynn's inauspicious beginning in American cinema.

The Case of the Curious Bride was the second in a series of four Perry Mason films with Warren William playing Erle Stanley Gardner's lawyer detective in a witty and breezy style. In this outing, Mason is sought out by an old friend, Rhoda (played by Margaret Lindsay). Her first husband (Flynn), whom she believed to be dead, has reappeared, complicating matters with her second husband. Flynn's character turns up murdered, and the race is on to bring the real killer to justice. Mason and his team swiftly investigate, providing some humor, explanation of legal quirks and first rate sleuthing along the way. Before the denouement, Mason stages a ritzy cocktail party with all the suspects in attendance before unmasking the real killer.

Unlike the more staid portrayal of Raymond Burr's Perry Mason, William's portrayal of the lawyer was of a more sophisticated man about town a la The Thin Man who spent little time in the actual courtroom. Over the years, William became a familiar face in the mystery genre, starring as detective Philo Vance in several films in the 1930s and playing the lead in the Lone Wolf series of thriller films at Columbia.

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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Hi everyone - I'm going to go start the Erle Stanley Gardner thread, since this discussion is already going strong!

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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics

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basson_mommy12
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Re: American Mystery Classics

[ Edited ]

Oh, thank you, Fricka! I was able to find a reference on IMDB since you were kind enough to find the name of the actor, Warren William.

 

The first one (chronologically) I noticed is "The Case of the Howling Dog" which was part of that TCM event a while back. It also starred Mary Astor!

 

The last one I found was "The Case of the Velvet Claws" in which Perry and Della get MARRIED! That's what reminded me of this movie series, because I remembered seeing that and you all were discussing whether their relationship ever went to the next level. It was a cute protrayal of their attempts to honeymoon while being interrupted by murder and mayhem.

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Ruth W.
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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics


basson_mommy12 wrote:

Oh, thank you, Fricka! I was able to find a reference on IMDB since you were kind enough to find the name of the actor, Warren William.

 

The first one (chronologically) I noticed is "The Case of the Howling Dog" which was part of that TCM event a while back. It also starred Mary Astor!

 

The last one I found was "The Case of the Velvet Claws" in which Perry and Della get MARRIED! That's what reminded me of this movie series, because I remembered seeing that and you all were discussing whether their relationship ever went to the next level. It was a cute protrayal of their attempts to honeymoon while being interrupted by murder and mayhem.


Married???? 

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dulcinea3
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Re: American Mystery Classics


becke_davis wrote:

basson_mommy12 wrote:

Oh, thank you, Fricka! I was able to find a reference on IMDB since you were kind enough to find the name of the actor, Warren William.

 

The first one (chronologically) I noticed is "The Case of the Howling Dog" which was part of that TCM event a while back. It also starred Mary Astor!

 

The last one I found was "The Case of the Velvet Claws" in which Perry and Della get MARRIED! That's what reminded me of this movie series, because I remembered seeing that and you all were discussing whether their relationship ever went to the next level. It was a cute protrayal of their attempts to honeymoon while being interrupted by murder and mayhem.


Married???? 


Wow, I'm surprised, too! :smileysurprised:

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basson_mommy12
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Re: American Mystery Classics


dulcinea3 wrote:

becke_davis wrote:

basson_mommy12 wrote:

Oh, thank you, Fricka! I was able to find a reference on IMDB since you were kind enough to find the name of the actor, Warren William.

 

The first one (chronologically) I noticed is "The Case of the Howling Dog" which was part of that TCM event a while back. It also starred Mary Astor!

 

The last one I found was "The Case of the Velvet Claws" in which Perry and Della get MARRIED! That's what reminded me of this movie series, because I remembered seeing that and you all were discussing whether their relationship ever went to the next level. It was a cute protrayal of their attempts to honeymoon while being interrupted by murder and mayhem.


Married???? 


Wow, I'm surprised, too! :smileysurprised:


Yes, he made her an honest woman. :smileyvery-happy: Too bad that novel is out of print. :smileysad:

"The Answer to the Great Question of ... Life, the Universe and Everything ... (is) 42." -- Douglas Adams' "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

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Fricka
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Re: American Mystery Classics

I do want to watch one of those Perry Mason films! For one thing, it'd be instructive to see a different version of Perry, not to mention Della and Paul!

I'm still enjoying reading the Erle Stanley Gardener books, though I have gotten one of the books by our next Mystery Classic writer, Craig Rice( still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Craig is a female, not a male, writer!)

 

Home Sweet Homicide
Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice.
This was the only book I could get by CR from my local branch library. Thought I should mention, though, that I saw a good number of her books are now available on NOOK, so  for those of you who have it, you may have an easier time getting access to multiple works by her.
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becke_davis
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Re: American Mystery Classics


Fricka wrote:

I do want to watch one of those Perry Mason films! For one thing, it'd be instructive to see a different version of Perry, not to mention Della and Paul!

I'm still enjoying reading the Erle Stanley Gardener books, though I have gotten one of the books by our next Mystery Classic writer, Craig Rice( still have a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that Craig is a female, not a male, writer!)

 

Home Sweet Homicide
Home Sweet Homicide by Craig Rice.
This was the only book I could get by CR from my local branch library. Thought I should mention, though, that I saw a good number of her books are now available on NOOK, so  for those of you who have it, you may have an easier time getting access to multiple works by her.

Here are links to her Nook books - *BARGAIN ALERT* - the majority of these are only 99 CENTS and a couple are $1.99.

 

The Sunday Pigeon Murders w/ Direct link technology (A Classic Mystery tale) 

The Lucky Stiff w/Direct link technology (A Classic Detective story) 

Masters of Noir 

The Lucky Stiff 

The Sunday Pigeon Murders 

The Lucky Stiff 

I'm A Stranger Here Myself and Other Stories 

Don't Go Near 

Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice          

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Sun_Cat
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Re: American Mystery Classics

Thanks for the Craig Rice links, Becke. Those are great bargains.

 

I've started reading The Sunday Pigeon Murders. It's a real hoot, humorous and so light it might reasonably be called insubstantial. Goes down easy. I wouldn't want a steady diet of such stuff, but so far it's proving to be an entertaining diversion.

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Journey Into Now by Leonard Jacobson