Columbo (1971–2003)
28 user 7 critic

Dead Weight 

A war hero shoots and kills his business partner; an easily manipulated young divorcée is the only witness.



(created by), (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode complete credited cast:
Ron Castro ...
Glen Vernon ...
1st Officer
Jim Pelham ...
2nd Officer (as Jimmy Pelham)
Jim Halferty ...
1st Marine Cadet


While on a sailing-boat, Helen Stewart witnesses far-away, inside a room, a man with a gun killing another. She notifies the fact to the Police and Lt. Columbo begins to investigate. The man is the famous General Martin Hollister, a war hero. Lt. Columbo searches his house and afterwards he is very doubtful about Helen's statement. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 October 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Columbo flashes his badge in this episode, his first name, "Frank" can be seen alongside his photo. See more »


General Hollister says he is sending his memorabilia items to his Alma mater, Marine Military Institute, MMI. This real life boys military academy was only founded in 1965. Even if the general were part of the first class and a senior at the time (approximately 17 or 18) he is too old in 1971 (episode air date) to have gone there only 6 years before. See more »


Helen Stewart: Some men, Lieutenant, do not wanna look like an unmade bed!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Columbo vs. Oliver Douglas
7 September 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is a very solid segment of Columbo, and the main reason is the performance of special guest killer Eddie Albert, who solidly portrays General Holister with a brazen arrogance. Some motives in other episodes leave something to be desired, but the one here is much better and believable. It turns out that Holister murders a fellow officer(John Kerr) because of their shady involvement in construction projects, which are about to be investigated; it's hard not to feel bad for the victim, because he came to visit Holister to warn him and promises he'll keep his name clear and take the fall himself. Without going into detail about the entire plot, Suzanne Pleshette puts in a good performance as Helen Stewart, who claims that she saw the General shoot this man while she was boating with her mother, played by Kate Reid; a few other Columbo actors, Val Avery and Timothy Carey, also make appearances. The scenery at the shipping docks and the beach houses also add to this fine episode. The real star though is the cocky Albert, and most of his scenes are memorable. Perhaps my only flaw is that maybe he's too cocky with Columbo, as he acts very guilty at certain times. I thought the ending was decent, but too easy for Columbo to arrest him, as the suspect keeps the murder weapon on display for the public to see. This is still a terrific episode with quirky characters and interesting scenes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Paul Scheer on Why There Are No Bad Movies

Paul Scheer discusses The Disaster Artist and his love of awesomely bad movies. Plus, we dive into the origins of midnight movies and explore how The Room became a cult classic.

Watch now