Columbo: Season 1, Episode 3

Dead Weight (27 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,280 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

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



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Episode complete credited cast:
Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister
Mrs. Walters
Helen Stewart
Col. Roger Dutton
Harry Barnes
Clete Roberts ...
TV Newsman
Ron Castro ...
Officer Sanchez
Glen Vernon ...
1st Officer
Jim Pelham ...
2nd Officer (as Jimmy Pelham)
James Halferty ...
1st Marine Cadet (as Jim Halferty)


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


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Release Date:

27 October 1971 (USA)  »

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 white house on the water that is supposed to belong to Eddie Albert's character is in real life actually owned by "Columbo" star Peter Falk, and is located in Newport Beach, California. See more »


Columbo leaves Helen on the boat for an "overnighter" and goes straight to the diner for chili. From the diner payphone he calls "Mrs. Stewart" at home and she answers. She would have still been on the boat at this time. See more »


Harry Barnes: If you hand me your aft line, Mrs. Wallace, I'll secure your stern.
Mrs. Walters: I beg your pardon!
Harry Barnes: I'll tie up your boat.
See more »

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User Reviews

Not great, but has its interest points
27 June 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a fan of Columbo, I did sort of like this episode but it was also disappointing as well. I do have to agree that the witness was much more interesting and likable than the murderer, and that is probably the first time I felt that since watching Columbo. The pacing is also rather slow and the story is a little uneven, while it is compelling in spots due to the pacing some of it is a little dull as well. The script has its moments, like with Columbo and Albert's character, but it lacks the sophistication and humour that makes other episodes enjoyable. However, it is striking to look at, the direction is good and the score is very nice. Peter Falk is exceptional as usual, while Suzanne Pleshette gives a wholly sympathetic performance and Kate Reid is good too. Only Eddie Albert disappoints, his performance I never quite warmed to, but I think the way the character was written and the fact the murderer isn't as interesting has a lot to do with it. So overall, it is good but it isn't great. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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