IMDb > "Columbo" Dead Weight (1971)

"Columbo" Dead Weight (1971)

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John T. Dugan (written by)
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
View company contact information for Dead Weight on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
27 October 1971 (Season 1, Episode 3)
A war hero shoots and kills his business partner; an easily manipulated young divorcée is the only witness. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Columbo vs. Oliver Douglas See more (22 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Eddie Albert ... Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister

Kate Reid ... Mrs. Walters

Suzanne Pleshette ... Helen Stewart

John Kerr ... Col. Roger Dutton

Val Avery ... Harry Barnes

Timothy Carey ... Bert
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)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bobby Gilbert ... Exibit Patron (uncredited)
Earl Spainard ... Fisherman (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Jack Smight 
Writing credits
John T. Dugan  written by &
Richard Levinson  created by &
William Link  created by

Produced by
Everett Chambers .... producer
Richard Levinson .... executive producer
William Link .... executive producer
Robert F. O'Neill .... associate producer
Original Music by
Gil Melle (music score) (as Gil Mellé)
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography) (as Russell L. Metty)
Film Editing by
Richard M. Sprague 
Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
Set Decoration by
Richard Friedman (set decorations)
Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Barry .... assistant director
Lou Watt .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
David H. Moriarty .... sound
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burton Miller .... costumes
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: theme
Billy Goldenberg .... musical cues (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Donald P. Desmond .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Steven Bochco .... story editor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... main title design
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies
  • Universal TV (from Universal City, California) (as Universal® Studios)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:76 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M (video rating) | Finland:K-7 (2004) | UK:PG (video rating) (1999)

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 »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Lt. Columbo:Look, in order to understand a man, you have to understand his past.See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Columbo vs. Oliver Douglas, 7 September 2011
Author: stones78 from United States

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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