There were 271 “Perry Mason” episodes filmed over nine seasons, all but one in black and white. “Perry Mason” was the original television courtroom drama, and it has influenced all TV shows featuring lawyers since its lengthy run. Shows like “LA Law,” “Law and Order,” “Matlock,” “Boston Legal,” and “The Practice” have all tried to capture the tense courtroom atmosphere that was a hallmark of the best “Perry Mason” episodes. The series starred Raymond Burr as the title character, Barbara Hale as faithful secretary Della Street, William Hopper as private ey Paul Drake, William Talman as the exasperated prosecutor Hamilton Burger, and Ray Collins as police lieutenant Arthur Tragg. The best “Perry Mason” episodes are terrific crime drama entertainment, as is every other episode of this excellent TV show. 

  1. “The Case of the Shapely Shadow.” When a businessman is murdered, all of the evidence indicates that he was killed by his secretary, who is played by Elaine Devry. The courtroom scenes in this “Perry Mason” episode are exceptionally intense. This is one of the few times that a Perry Mason case makes it to the jury. Mason maneuvers Burger into allowing addition testimony after final arguments have begun.

  2. “The Case of the Calendar Girl.” A struggling contractor is forced to pay off a crooked politician to keep his business afloat. As he is leaving the politician's house, the contractor is involved in a minor accident with a young woman who asks him to take her home. Thinking something is peculiar about the whole situation, the contractor decides to consult with Perry Mason the next day. It's a good thing that he does, because the politician is soon found dead, and the murder weapon is found in the contractor's car. Delores Donlon and John Anderson give fine guest star performance in this “Perry Mason” episode.

  3. “The Case of the Blonde Bonanza.” Della's cousin comes to town in search of an acting contract and gets conned by an unscrupulous talent agent. When the agent winds up dead, Della's cousin is the prime suspect. This “Perry Mason” episode features former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley who plays the gorgeous blonde cousin, although she herself is a natural brunette.

  4. “The Case of the Moth-Eaten Mink.” There's nothing that Perry likes better than a nice, quiet dinner with Della, but the dinner in this episode ends with some excitement as a waitress is hit by a car. Lt. Tragg figures prominently in this episode as he saves Perry's life. Douglas Kennedy is outstanding in a guest starring role.

  5. “The Case of the Terrified Typist.” This “Perry Mason” episode features one of the few cases that Perry lost. Well, not really, since Mason gets a mistrial during the sentencing hearing. A young woman claiming to be from a temp agency shows up at Mason's office to do some typing. Just before her arrival, a jewelry dealer in another office has been robbed. Joanna Moore guest stars in this episode, which is filled with plot twists.

  6. “The Case of the Long-Legged Models.” Perry thinks it's peculiar when a man comes hires him to represent his future daughter-in-law in case she is ever charged with a crime. Naturally, she is soon charged with murder. This “Perry Mason” episode is unique in that it features three guns in the plot. Perry is famous for juggling guns and confusing the police regarding which one is the real murder weapon. It this case he gets to do it in triplicate as he saves guest star Peggy McCay from a murder rap.

    -Walter Turner