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Prescription: Murder (1968)

TV Movie  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  February 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,503 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 5 critic

A psychiatrist uses a patient he is having an affair with to help him kill his wife, but his perfect alibi may come apart at the hands of a seemingly befuddled LAPD lieutenant.



(teleplay), (teleplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Prescription: Murder (TV Movie 1968)

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Complete credited cast:
Katherine Justice ...
Susanne Benton ...
The Blonde
Ena Hartman ...
Sherry Boucher ...
Air Hostess
Anthony James ...


A psychiatrist who is married, is having an affair. His wife threatens to divorce him and take him to the cleaners if she ever catches him. So along with his mistress he plans to kill her and make it seem like she was killed by an intruder. He goes out of town as part of his plan and returns to find the police there investigating and the man investigating is Lt. Columbo. Columbo is a little odd and he asks the man some questions that he finds intrusive. Columbo continues to question him and the man's friend an ADA warns Columbo to watch his step. But Columbo goes on. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Columbo: Prescription Murder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The house with pool used in the final scene is the same house and pool used in The Rockford Files: Backlash of the Hunter (1974) and later in Columbo: The Most Crucial Game (1972). See more »


When Dr. Flemming returns to argue with his wife at 1 AM, Los Angeles appears from their balcony in the light of dusk, the same lighting that appears in another scene (actually set at dusk). Another reviewer points out that you can see a shadow on that LA backdrop in a scene. See more »


Dr. Ray Flemming: Well, what is it? Tell me!
Lt. Columbo: Well, um, somebody broke in here and tried to kill her.
Dr. Ray Flemming: [Flemming feigns shock for a moment when the words register] "Tried" to kill her?
Lt. Columbo: That's right, Doctor. She's lucky she's still alive.
Dr. Ray Flemming: [feigning relief] She's still alive! Well, where is she now? Is she conscious? Has she been able to say anything?
Lt. Columbo: Well, I'm afraid not. She's been in a coma.
Dr. Ray Flemming: Well, what's her condition right now? Oh, come on, I must know the truth!
Lt. Columbo: It's not very good, Doctor. We only hope she comes ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Referenced in Another You (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Colombo Unplugged
7 March 2005 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

One of the best entries in the series, and the first. "Colombo" followed the usual trajectory of commercially viable TV series. A few good episodes while the cast and writers got their acts together, then a string of iconic hits, followed by a slow deflation. Sometimes, as with "Colombo", the series is resurrected to see if there may be another nickel worth squeezing out of it.

Come to think of it, lots of art styles follow the same route. Exactitude followed by sloppiness followed by decadence. Egyptian hieroglyphics of three thousand years ago used a very carefully carved picture of a snake. Borrowed and passed on, the picture got sloppier until it turned into our letter "N".

The style presented in this particular episode can be called primitive but careful. Colombo is recognizable, but he has not yet become his rumpled and wrinkled self. His tie is straight, his hair is short, his shirt laundered, and his raincoat pressed. (We don't see his shoes.) And he can become forceful and harsh when the situation calls for it.

The plot's complicated but not hard to follow. Colombo doesn't appear until post crime, about midway through the movie. As usual his suspicions are aroused by tiny bumps in the scenario, which everyone else can find good, sound reasons for. And he rambles on without apparent point about his losing the pencils his wife gives him every morning.

It's efficiently done. Not exactly part of the glorious golden age which was to follow, but a first-rate prelude. Gene Barry's head looks awesomely brachycephalic from behind, like a small bowling ball. Katherine Justice is is patient mistress, or patient/mistress, complicit in the murder of Barry's wife. I swear that if you close your eyes when she delivers her lines, you can hear Kim Novak speaking.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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