Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Case of the Notorious Nun

So I’ve decided to offer commentary on the Perry movies. I may not do it for all of them, especially since some days I may not be able to post, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it will help make up for some of the silence around here as I’ve been desperately seeking topics.

The Notorious Nun was quite a good installment. Apparently it was one of the very early ones, as they’re still flying to Denver from L.A., William Katt is there, and it’s the first appearance of David Ogden Stiers’ Michael Reston.

I don’t have a lot to say on the plot itself. I really liked Margaret; she was cute, spunky, and extremely determined. And not afraid to do whatever had to be done. One of my favorite bits was when Paul Jr. was going through the trash and Margaret wanders off. A few minutes later she comes back ready to help him do garbage battle.

The way the crooks got her caught in the frame was sickening and cruel and very much like many Perry antagonists in the series proper. I was a little underwhelmed by the revelation of what was actually going on. Of course, embezzlement is nothing to sneeze at, but I suppose when the crooks involved religious people I was expecting something a little darker and deeper.

I still don’t care a great deal for Paul Jr. I see something of his father in how he complains about being taken away from associations with lovely ladies, but overall he seems more like a stereotypical private eye than his father does, especially with always pretending to be other people and unorthodox things like running out with a confidential file, and he just doesn’t do it for me. The best thing about him is that he’s played by Barbara Hale’s son, and you can see the familial love between them in every scene they’re in.

I did like the friendship between Paul Jr. and Margaret in this installment. That was sweet.

One thing that keeps puzzling me is, what exactly happened to the character when he stopped being in the movies? Did they say he preferred living in L.A. and would not be moving to Denver? Did they say nothing and simply drop him without explanation? And in reality, what was the reason for the departure? Did they feel the character was not working? Did William Katt want out? Anyone know?

I was a little surprised that the film didn’t show us Margaret’s decision on whether she felt she could take her final vows or not. Maybe they preferred to leave it up to the imagination or maybe they felt it would upset the flow of the film. Or maybe they honestly forgot about wrapping up that angle. I know sometimes I get caught up in the main plot of a story and I forget to address subplots.

I liked Michael Reston, as I generally do, although I didn’t like his insistence on Margaret’s only answering Yes or No to his questions. I know that’s typical for handling hostile witnesses, but since Margaret absolutely wanted to testify and therefore wasn’t hostile, it seemed to me that she should have been allowed to say everything she was trying to.

The main thing I was thinking about this film overall? Man, did Perry look good. Seriously, Raymond Burr had clearly lost weight at that point; he looked thinner than Perry did in the last Perry seasons and thinnier than Ironside ever did throughout eight seasons. It was very impressive.

I was a little dismayed at the plot idea of having Perry collapse, as it’s sad to think of him getting so old he’s having that happen, but I was in and out for a few minutes there at the beginning and I gathered that he really didn’t collapse and it was a ruse to get him into the hospital to start looking into the case? I loved the little bit of Della rushing in so worried and then finds that Perry is fine.

Overall, it proved a very worthy member of the Perry family and I look forward to the next one tonight.


  1. I haven't seen all of this movie yet, but what I have seen is really good. Both Perry and Della are in top form and the humor that does happen seems honest and genuine. The bit in the hospital where Perry pulls the cover up to his eyes and tells Della that he's going "under cover" was just priceless and so dang cute :).The look and laugh she gives him is one of amusement.

    As for the case, I didn't envy Margret one bit. She was put into a tight spot. Looking forward to seeing the rest of it when I can. RL has gotten in the way some what.

    Michael Restin is one GOOD nemesis against Perry. He definitely holds his own.

    As for the weight thing, I noticed that too. It was pretty cool that he was able to lose some weight. It's not as easy to do as anyone gets older. Definitely. I never got why people were so judgmental about it. Sheesh, folks get a life. They pretty much thought he was heavy throughout the movies, which this movie shows wasn't the case.

    1. LOL. That was an amusing bit. That mischievous look in Perry's eyes....

      She definitely was. What a terrible position to be in.

      He is. I wish he had been in more than nine of the movies, or however many it was.

      Indeed, that was very cool that he was able to do that. But of course, he's awesome whether he's lost weight or not.

  2. Yea it was. Such an imp lol.

    Yea I wanted to kick that 'priest' through my tv screen.

    I wish too. I wonder if it was a schedule conflict thing?

    Definitely. The sheer presence made all the difference imo.