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Nbc Movie of the Week Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride

Perry Mason's back with Della Street in a two-hour puzzle not easy to pin down. Writers Brian Clemens and Gerry Conway aren't always fair, but the sleek presentation (with the misleading title) should again draw loyal watchers to the NBC staple. Good characters and a murder mystery sustain the Mason legend; it's comforting to know Mason's still a mouthpiece you can depend on.

Perry Mason’s back with Della Street in a two-hour puzzle not easy to pin down. Writers Brian Clemens and Gerry Conway aren’t always fair, but the sleek presentation (with the misleading title) should again draw loyal watchers to the NBC staple. Good characters and a murder mystery sustain the Mason legend; it’s comforting to know Mason’s still a mouthpiece you can depend on.

Because he’s a friend of the bride’s parents–there’s even an inference that he’s the bride’s secret papa–Mason attends an extravagant wedding with Street.

Before the ties are bound there’s a locked-room murder. A scurrying young woman (persuasive Merle Kennedy) hides in a hall closet; two of the security guards (Arthur Taxier and redheaded Michael McGrady, who grabs his scenes) are stationed in the hallway, and no one likes the uncle of the groom.

The bride’s caught blood-redhanded, a knife at her feet, in the study with the corpse of the uncle, who had drunkenly wheeled into the nuptial ceremony waving an envelope before being ushered to the study.

It’s a circuitous trek from wedding march to altar, but the bride, rock star Kaitlynn (fragile beauty Heather McAdam), has Mason as her attorney and has her parents (Ronny Cox, Diane Baker) standing by her.

William R. Moses returns as nimble investigator Ken Malansky, whom the groom, soap actor Gary Hawkes (Adam Storke), insists on helping solve the case. Linda Blair appears as the groom’s spirited sister Hanna and Cec Verrell shows up as an overeager tattooed nitery owner.

James McEachin, stuck with a routine police lieutenant role, handily dusts it off to show what a solid actor can do.

Brian McNamara is OK as the best man and Beau Starr is briefly loud as the impending victim.

The Perry Mason opuses are good showcases for actors, offering well-produced spotlight segs.

McAdam, Storke, McGrady, Kennedy are particularly noteworthy in this edition.

Director Christian I. Nyby II wastes no time on frills, and camerawork by Robert Seaman, Tom Pryor’s well-paced editing are strictly pro. Other credits are fine.

Nbc Movie of the Week Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride

(Fri. ( 30), 8-10 p.m., NBC-TV)

  • Production: Filmed in Denver by Dean Hargrove Prods. and the Fred Silverman Co. in association with Viacom Entertainment. Exec producers, Dean Hargrove, Fred Silverman; co-exec producer, Joel Steiger; producers, Billy Ray Smith, Barry Steinberg; director, Christian Nyby II; writers, Brian Clemens, Gerry Conway; story, Clemens.
  • Crew: Camera, Robert Seaman; editor, Tom Pryor; sound, James Emerson; music, Dick De Benedictis; original theme, Fred Steiner; production designer, Paul Staheli.
  • Cast: Cast: Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William R. Moses, Ronny Cox, Linda Blair, Paul Dooley, Diane Baker, Merle Kennedy, Stephen Lee, Charles Macaulay, Heather McAdam, James McEachin, Michael McGrady, Brian McNamara, David Selburg, Beau Starr, Adam Storke, Arthur Taxier, Andrew Bilgore, Cec Verrell, Stephen Stills, Saville Beebe, William E. Cramer, Tupper Cullum, Jamie Horton, Boyuen, Suzanne McCarroll, Reynelda Muse, Terry Rhoads, Elizabeth Rose, Lise Simms.
  • Music By: