Perry Mason (1957–1966, CBS-TV) is known for its formulaic plots—attorney Mason (Raymond Burr) defends an innocent client and forces the real murderer to confess in a courtroom finale. With its stylish noir filming, outdoor locations, and deep background characterizations, the series arguably also featured a prescient queer subtext. Burr was a gay man who led a covert life, but on the show, Mason is consistently paired with his investigator, Paul Drake (William Hopper), in harmonious, sometimes domestic contexts—especially notable in the episode we’ll screen: The Case of the Borrowed Baby (1962). 50 min. With commentary by Drake Stutesman, Adjunct Professor of Cinema Studies (TSOA) and Costume Studies (Steinhardt), NYU.
Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of Cinema Studies, TSOA; and Grey Art Gallery.