IMDb > "Columbo" Dead Weight (1971)

"Columbo" Dead Weight (1971)

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Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (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:
Too Much Interest 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 ... Exhibit Patron (uncredited)
Earl Spainard ... Fisherman (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Jack Smight 
Writing credits
Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

John T. Dugan (written 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 verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther 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?

Kate Reid, who played Mrs. Walters, Helen Stewart's mother was only 6 years older than Suzanne Pleshette (Helen Stewart).See more »
Miscellaneous: When repacking the Maj.Gen crate after Columbo takes out the uniforms they leave his hat on the floor and start to reseal the crate.See more »
Lt. Columbo:I'm terribly sorry to disturb you, sir, but we have this report, uh, about this shooting.
Maj. Gen. Martin Hollister:A shooting?
Lt. Columbo:Yes, sir. In this house.
Maj. Gen. Martin Hollister:That's quite an opening line, Lieutenant.
See more »


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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Too Much Interest, 22 July 2012
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

As many retired military officers do, especially if they have good reputations as heroes, Eddie Albert has gone into the defense contracting business. One night he gets a hurried visit from one of his aides telling him that the business is about to blow up and he's leaving country. Not good enough for Albert who shoots him right then and there in the living room of his bay front house.

But off in the distance is Suzanne Pleshette sailing with her mother Kate Reid who sees someone shoot someone through Albert's window. A call to the police brings the intrepid Lt. Columbo to the scene.

This is where the episode truly is one of the weaker Columbos. There is an old saying that if you're caught doing wrong by the cops, keep a cool head and say nothing until you've obtained counsel. Peter Falk has absolutely nothing to go on with this one, not even the hint of a crime scene as Albert has taken the body on his yet and dropped it into the ocean.

But Albert does some investigating on his own and finds out who put the police on him and when he finds out he makes some moves on Pleshette and that arouses Columbo's interest. If he had sat back and done nothing, they could never have caught him.

One of the lesser Columbos, but even at that Peter Falk is always a treat.

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