Doctor Ray Flemming is a Psychiatrist, he is married to Carol who is a rich woman and one of his patients is Joan Hudson who is also his lover. Ray decides to murder his wife with Joan's help. And so he does, making sure he has a perfect alibi. Lt. Columbo is in charge of the investigation and he is almost sure that Doctor Flemming is guilty. So a duel starts between the cold Doctor and the seemingly naive detective. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
In "Prescription: Murder", the reception room at Dr. Fleming's office features a distinctive painting, of trees and white houses with red roofs, which is prominent in several scenes. This same painting later appears in Columbo: Suitable for Framing (1971), as part of the art collection sliced and stolen by Dale Kingston. See more »
At the airport check-in, "Mrs Flemming" is asked if she has any hand luggage to carry on and she replies; "No." Yet she clearly has a large white handbag on her arm. See more »
Dr. Ray Flemming:
Is there something I can do for you?
Oh no, not really, doctor, no. I, I just came up to bring back your pen. I forgot to give it to you at the inquest.
[hands it over]
Dr. Ray Flemming:
Well thanks, I missed it.
You know, that's my trouble, I got a bad memory. My wife tells me I ought to have strings on all ten fingers.
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The beginning credits feature a series of brightly colored animated splotches. The splotches were mean to resemble the ink blots used in a Rorschach test, as the villain in this movie was a psychiatrist. See more »
This is a fascinating early outing for one of the greatest TV characters ever created. Filmed about three years before the great man was given a regular series, in an uncanny way it both stands alone and acts as a guide to what was to come.
The Columbo formula is in place: immediate suspicion leads to the hounding of the suspect until Columbo's psychological pressure is too much to bear and the victim is helplessly trapped.
I like to think that Columbo spent the years between 1968 and 1971 refining his methods, becoming subtler and more suggestive in his probing while letting his appearance become dowdier and even less threatening. Certainly this is one of the few occasions when he loses his temper on a case. Even when Columbo loses his temper, he is generally working to provoke a reaction.
There are some nice directorial touches here, too, particularly a cut based on the murderer's hands, a hand hitting a piano keyboard with a discordant 'plunk' (very Hitchcock) and Columbo's reflection materialising in a broken mirror.
After years of watching Columbo I am surprised anyone in Los Angeles even thinks about committing a murder. Surely the man is a legend in the local media? What do you mean: 'He's not real'?
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