The more I think about it, the more I think I did know about Scott Baio appearing in one of the Perry movies long ago. We used to take TV Guide and still have all our old issues floating around. I’m pretty sure I found an ad in one of them from when the movie originally aired in 1991. I remember being ecstatic and wanting so badly to see that particular film. But, without any access to it at the time, it gradually slipped from my mind.
And the film was definitely worth the wait! I just love The Fatal Fashion. I like it so much more than the other ones I saw, and not just because of Scott. Not even Richard could make me adore Perry Mason Returns (although I certainly adored his screentime within it!).
The plot, as in The Defiant Daughter, moved at a steady pace and did not drag. And to my surprise and pleasure, unless something was snipped out of it, there weren’t any scenes even slightly suggestive. Wonderful!
The subplot, where Ken is investigating and ends up having to take along a guy who works for a mobster, is amusing. I like the friendship that starts developing between them. Ken is a nice character. I have to admit, I like him better than Paul Jr. He’s more serious and mature.
It was interesting to see Valerie Harper play the eventual murder victim. I’m only familiar with her from Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, and she both looked and sounded different here. And while the character was a creep, it seemed that at least some of the things she wrote about were things that needed to get out, such as her assistant’s crooked activities. Although she certainly should have gone to the police instead of just wanting to stir up a big scandal by writing about it.
Scott Baio’s prosecutor character is great. His admiration of Perry and hope to defeat him is adorable, and even though he’s a bit overconfident, he seems to be a capable and intelligent up-and-coming attorney. The scene where he puts Perry on the stand as a witness is very well-done and doesn’t make him come off as the bad guy, as the promo for the movie kind of made it seem it might. Things end with them on good terms with each other.
Of course, the solution to the mystery was very grim and heartbreaking. I suspected the defendant’s daughter perhaps around the halfway point or sooner, but it was still sad to be right. I couldn’t blame her for being angry over having been abandoned, but to kill someone and then frame her mother for it? Oh gosh.
I really liked how the scene was handled. You could hear in the way the judge and others spoke that they felt very saddened over the revelation of the truth.
And then the bit with the dress-designing mobster insisting on finding a way to make it up to Ken for keeping him from killing an innocent guy for the murder of his cousin was too amusing and cute. It’s too bad Della didn’t feel that the dress was her style; it looked gorgeous. And I love that line about it being a “gangster original.” Ha!
After a month of showing assorted Perry movies, MeTV will be switching to other things for October. The movie for this coming Friday will be the Columbo pilot, followed by yet another of the Columbo pilots the week after that. It kind of looks like MeTV is going for theme months. I wonder, then, what they’re going to do when they start showing the Cannon stuff? There was only the one Cannon pilot movie and the one post-series movie. Maybe they’ll also show some of the series’ two-part episodes for the movies, such as the Barnaby Jones crossovers? That would be cool!
Meanwhile, I am just finishing up a multi-chapter for The Rockford Files in time for the beginning of Halloween month. I am greatly looking forward to embarking on the sequel to The Meddling Medium that I mentioned!
And yes, I really was writing for The Rockford Files. Long story, but basically, it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t become fascinated with some oneshot characters from the episode The Queen of Peru. And I’ve wanted for a long time to write a story involving Rockford teaming up with Simon Oakland’s Vern St. Cloud character, so when this new idea took shape, I got Vern in there to enact the original idea too.
The story also has a Perry slant; Lieutenant Drumm and Sergeant Brice came in to play the main police characters, with Jimmy appearing later on and Andy being referenced. I’ve been doing some more studying of the police on both series and will probably be making another post about that before long.