According to the Internet Movie Database (2016) 1,130 movies have included male characters and 417 have included female characters named Mason. Compare this with 2,344 movies with a male character named Smith, a ratio of 1/2, and the ratio of 1/10 for the names Mason and Smith in the North American population, and the use of the name Mason would appear to be disproportionate. The fact that in the real world the surname Mason is not even in the top fifty most common names in the English-speaking world makes it clear that its prevalence in film is not random.
Unrelated, in the 2011 United States Social Security Administration list of most popular names for newborns, Mason made it into the top five, having risen in the last ten years from 64th place to second.
A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)
Laurel and Hardy are responsible for transporting a coffin containing a very live gangster named Darby Mason.
Back to the Future II (1989)
Marty tells Doc that he's locked in Biff's garage at 1809 Mason Street. [01:11:00].
Dick Tracy Vs. Cueball (1946)
Captain Mason of the S.S.Palomar dicusses a murder with Dick Tracy. [00:06:00]
Minnie sells out Cab Calloway to local gangster, Boss Mason. [00:12:10]
Walter Williams, resides at 1000 Mason Street. [00:29:10].
In a Lonely Place (1950)
John Mason is brutally beaten. [01:02:30].
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
Dr. Mason is the family physician. [09:39:00].
Made for Each Other (1939)
The opening scene identifying James Stewart's character, John Horace 'Johnny' Mason. [00:46:45].
Paris Model (1953)
The fictional Mason's Department Store, perhaps created to sound like Macy's, which is on Herald Square in New York. [00:30:00]
Out of the Past (1947)
The Mason Building. [00:46:45].
Port of Lost Girls (1938)
The principal character is a singer named Della Mason. [00:36:30].
In the English language version the villain is named Larson, but in the Japanese language version his name is pronounced in Japanese as Mason while the English subtitle also reads Mason. [00:20:43].
Hawaiian Eye (1962)
In season 4, episode 4one of 134 episodes"The Broken Thread" Andrew Duggan plays Ralph Mason, a grieving widower. Created by Roy Huggins and written by László Görög. (1962/10/23)
Perry Mason (1958)
The character of Perry Mason was created by fiction writer Erle Stanley Gardner and named according to his biographer after the publisher of his favorite childhood magazine. Perry Mason is featured in more than 80 novels and short stories, a radio series from 1943 to 1955 and a television series broadcast from 1958 to 1966. [00:28:40].
The Simpsons (2006)
Homer believes that he has discovered his real father, millionaire, Mason Fairbanks. [00:08:30]. 8 January 2006, Episode no. 366, (HABF03).
The ratio of the occurance of the surname Smith to Mason in film is a little less than two and a half to one (.40171384056) whereas in the general North American population the ratio is almost fifteen to one (.0675944334). Whether this has any statistical relevence or significance is another question. As a comparison, the ratio of the occurance of the surname Smith to Jones in film is almost one to one whereas in the general population its slightly greater than one and a half to one.
For those interested in statistical analysis, a textfile of movies without masonic references is also available on this website. A list of film characters named Mason is available on the
Internet Movie Database
Mason, as a proper name in film