Columbo: Season 1, Episode 3

Dead Weight (27 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,057 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

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



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Title: Dead Weight (27 Oct 1971)

Dead Weight (27 Oct 1971) on IMDb 6.8/10

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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

Plot Keywords:

war hero | witness | general | police | soldier | See more »


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Release Date:

27 October 1971 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Columbo flashes his badge in this episode, his first name can be seen, alongside his photo (it's Frank). See more »


The picture of Eddie Albert as a Major General appears to have an incorrect number of stars. His uniform is shown and has the correct number, two. The painting appears to show four. See more »


Helen Stewart: There are some men, Lieutenant, that do not want to look like an unmade bed!
See more »

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User Reviews

Columbo vs. Oliver Douglas
7 September 2011 | by (United States) – 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.

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