The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-17-2012, 05:53 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Perry Mason's Office Decor

I love this old TV show-I've been watching it quite a bit. At any rate, Mason was a very successful defense attorney-so he could afford high class digs. His office suite seems to have a bust of Voltaire (or Rousseau?)..there is also a "polynesian" "tiki" style mask on a wall-along with the usual case law books.
Anybody know what significance the tiki mask might have? Voltaire-maybee Mason was a philiosopher?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-17-2012, 06:22 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 28,370
Or a WW2 veteran of the Pacific Theatre.
__________________
"The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer, and the vessel of state is driven between anarchy and despotism."
~~~~(Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1821)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:41 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Burr and his boyfriend bought a 4,000 acre island in Fiji in 1965, which was about when the series ended. One of his passions was raising orchids. I suppose he could have had an interest in Polynesian culture. As the star, he had a lot of control on the series, getting CBS to keep William Talman, although in a reduced role, after Talman was arrested on a morals charge. So I assume the mask was his.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Burr
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:38 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 34,883
He picked it up on his visit to Tokyo.

In any case, I doubt anything had any significance other than it looked cool in Perry's office. At most, the bust probably was meant to indicate he was well-read and the mask that he had visited Trader Vic's.
__________________
Author of Staroamer's Fate and Syron's Fate, now back in print.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:29 AM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
In any case, I doubt anything had any significance other than it looked cool in Perry's office.
Heh. And it'd sure help if you need to repurpose that set for something else later in the episode, right? "Look, nobody's going to notice that we're using Perry's office to double as the embezzling businessman's office; you just move the table and chairs around, swap out the eye-catching Polynesian mask for a big garish clock or a too-large painting, replace the recognizable bust of Voltaire with an odd-looking lamp, throw in a wall calendar, Bob's your uncle, cut, print, that's a wrap."
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:02 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Thanks for the replies-as I mentioned, I really like the old TV series. Mason is such a cool guy-never gets rattled.
The old geezer that plays Lt. Trigg-he's always getting off on the wrong tangent.
Would that real courtroom trials are so dramatic-most of them are rather sleep-inducing.
Mason had quite an office suite-lots of nice decor-waht kind of wood paneling on the walls was that?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:10 AM
Oly Oly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Lt Tragg (on witness stand): Yes, I recognize that gun. (pointing) That's my mark on it.

My brother and I always waited for that line, which seemed to appear sooner or later in just about every episode.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-19-2012, 08:21 AM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oly View Post
Lt Tragg (on witness stand): Yes, I recognize that gun. (pointing) That's my mark on it.

My brother and I always waited for that line, which seemed to appear sooner or later in just about every episode.
Did that happen more, or less, than the incidental witness breaking down on the stand and confessing?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:12 AM
astorian astorian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
Did that happen more, or less, than the incidental witness breaking down on the stand and confessing?
Ray (Tragg) Collins had a lot of health issues and missed a lot of episodes. In the last few seasons, he was replaced either by "Lieutentant Anderson" or "Lieutenant Drumm."

But someone confessed on the stand almost EVERY week in every season.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:59 AM
Jim's Son Jim's Son is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oly View Post
Lt Tragg (on witness stand): Yes, I recognize that gun. (pointing) That's my mark on it.

My brother and I always waited for that line, which seemed to appear sooner or later in just about every episode.
I was always a fan of Hamilton Burger "I object, your Honor. That is incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial. Counselor is on another of his well-known fishing trips". Hamilton would be sustained on his first few objections but would eventually get overruled and Mason would begin his march to get the wrongly accused defendant free and the guilty party to confess in public, 5 minutes before the hour.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-19-2012, 11:06 AM
Labdad Labdad is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 3,133
I always wondered how Hamilton Burger kept getting reelected as DA when he was so utterly incompetent in the courtroom!

Of course Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg) was part of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre, and played Boss Jim Gettys in Citizen Kane.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:20 PM
BwanaBob BwanaBob is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York & Maryland
Posts: 3,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labdad View Post
I always wondered how Hamilton Burger kept getting reelected as DA when he was so utterly incompetent in the courtroom!

Of course Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg) was part of Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre, and played Boss Jim Gettys in Citizen Kane.
I think Ham Burger only lost cases against Perry. He'd wipe the floor with lesser defense attorneys.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-19-2012, 03:34 PM
jerseymule jerseymule is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
I watched Perry Mason all the time when I was a kid. I hadn't heard the word "defendant" before, and from watching Perry Mason episodes all the time, I figured that the word meant "a person who is accused of a crime, but is innocent." Because the defendant on the show was never, ever, guilty.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-19-2012, 04:01 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 17,219
There was a time (50's?) when Polynesian decor was the cat's meow, and not unusual in high-class offices.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-19-2012, 04:38 PM
Starving Artist Starving Artist is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13,411
That's right. Polynesian and Tiki decor and artifacts had become popular in the late fifties and early sixties, and the purpose of the mask was probably just to lend a further air of contemporariness to Mason's modern office. Raymond Burr likely wasn't a big enough star at the time the series started to have any say in the set decoration. For example, he is said to have hated the painting behind Mason's desk and even took to making small alterations to it from time to time to see if the producers would notice. One would think he could have just had it changed, but apparently not.

Regarding the bust, in the novels it was a bust of Sir William Blackstone, an important British jurist of the 18th century. If the bust in the TV series was of Voltaire, it was probably used merely as a stand-in for Blackstone, for whom actual busts most likely have been hard to come by. I doubt if one viewer in a thousand at the time (no internet) would have known the difference.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:11 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 23,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labdad View Post
I always wondered how Hamilton Burger kept getting reelected as DA when he was so utterly incompetent in the courtroom!
The official answer to this, from William Talman (the actor who played Burger), was "You only see the cases we try on Saturdays."
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-21-2012, 12:33 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Another think I have been noticing=Perry Mason works late! Frequently, the windos are dark-and Perry (with Della Street) turn the lights off on the way out.
Paul Drake (Perry's Private Eye/investigator)-was he on permanent retainer?
As I say, if I ever get in trouble, I want a lawyer like Perry Mason!
Anybody know who wrote the theme music-always liked it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-21-2012, 12:49 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 23,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
Anybody know who wrote the theme music-always liked it.
"Park Avenue Beat" was written by the great Fred Steiner.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.