Columbo: Season 1, Episode 0

Ransom for a Dead Man (1 Mar. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,163 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 5 critic

A brilliant tort attorney gets rid of her boring husband by faking his kidnapping and keeping the ransom. The FBI may be fooled, but not Columbo.

Director:

Writers:

(teleplay), (story), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 911 titles
created 17 Aug 2011
 
list image
a list of 80 titles
created 07 Nov 2011
 
a list of 1963 titles
created 12 Jul 2012
 
a list of 311 titles
created 15 Dec 2012
 
a list of 2601 titles
created 16 Apr 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ransom for a Dead Man (01 Mar 1971)

Ransom for a Dead Man (01 Mar 1971) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
1 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
John Fink ...
Michael Clark
...
Patricia Mattick ...
Margaret Williams
...
Hammond
...
Phil
Charles Macaulay ...
Richard
Hank Brandt ...
Attorney (as Henry Brandt)
...
Pat (as Jeane Byron)
Richard Roat ...
Perkins
Norma Connolly ...
Celia
Harlan Warde ...
Paul Williams
Bill Walker ...
Crowell
...
Bert
Edit

Storyline

Leslie Williams, a brilliant tort attorney is bored by her husband, a respected member of the state supreme court. After trading on his famous name to get ahead, she tries to get her freedom by murdering him and concocts a scheme to make it appear that he's been kidnapped and held for ransom. After she pays the ransom to herself, his dead body is found. She may have fooled the FBI but Lt. Columbo, who is aided by her vengeful stepdaughter. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The plane Columbo and Leslie Williams are flying in is a 1968 Beech 36 Fixed wing single engine, registration number; N7835R. See more »

Goofs

Early in the pilot when Lee Grant's character leaves her husband's 1971 Lincoln sedan at the stop sign and goes to a mailbox to mail the ransom note she is startled by an approaching car. As the car approaches it is a Corvette. However as the car is shown driving away the rear of the car is a 1971 Lincoln sedan; possibly the same car and/or a sequence planned for earlier in the scene. See more »

Quotes

Leslie Williams: Where will all your friends be, Margaret? You haven't the money to buy them anymore.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Virtual Springfield (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very promising pilot
3 September 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Three years after the original Columbo pilot "Prescription: Murder", the great man got another chance for immortality in this film. Of course, the rest is history as Columbo went on to become one of the greatest and best-loved TV characters ever.

This pilot sets a high standard (which wasn't always maintained, let's be honest) and has strong writing and characterisation, as well as showing some visual flair with slow fades, jump cuts and other effects.

Columbo here is the Lieutenant we will come to love, absent-minded, rambling, but with pin-sharp instincts and a deep sense of justice ("I couldn't have you convicted on false evidence" he says at one point. He wants to catch the criminal but he will do it fairly and properly). The performances of Peter Falk and Lee Grant are excellent.

Some reviewers have felt the suspect wouldn't be stupid enough to use the ransom money after being so smart in planning the crime and covering her tracks. I think the fact the money was going into a *Swiss* bank probably made her feel it was a risk worth taking - you can't get any information out of those guys, so no-one would know it was the ransom money. Besides, she really doesn't have a conscience.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Last Salute to the Commadore Calumette
Guest stars you would've love to have seen in the 70's episodes old-skool101
An Exercise In Fatality: 'He Slipped'? newdickmorris
In Now You See Him why does Columbo damonn
Has this ever happened in Columbo? Nexusfactor
Favorite Detectives? newdickmorris
Discuss Ransom for a Dead Man (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?