27 January 2008 | Spondonman
Fast paced comedy thriller
There seems to be a wide divergence of opinion on the quality or otherwise of this one, whether it's poor and dull or witty and fast. I plump for the latter, even though Warners' portrayal of the lawyer left something to be desired, turning him into potentially yet another run of the mill private eye for the b market. But the production values in this were pretty high and it was directed by Michael Curtiz with panache.
Woman comes to Perry Mason played again by William Warren for help because her first husband she thought dead has come back to shake her and her new rich husband down. Her first husband gets his instead, from then on the game is on to find whodunit and why, with some witty if sometimes improbable plot twists along the way. From the outset with Perry and his laconic coroner friend buying lobsters for the creation of a new gastronomic sensation to Errol Flynn's flashback appearance it carries you along on a tide of incessant lighthearted repartee and swift soft focus fade out's and in's. Typecast Allen Jenkins plays Perry's helper the brash and loyal Spudsy in what must be one of his finest performances ever, he weaves in and out of the story as a perfect counterpoint to his boss. Favourite bits: The all-too-short scenes in Luigi's restaurant on that "nutty night"; Perry and the coroner's continual smart ass one liners; the cosy relationship depicted between Perry and the newspaper men; Jenkins getting knocked out by the 2nd husband; Flynn's bit.
It should be a great watch for fans of b&w 30's detective films (and maybe screwball comedies too), I certainly have always enjoyed this 2nd entry in the series. But not to be taken too seriously.