Columbo (1971–2003)
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Ransom for a Dead Man 

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.

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Writers:

(teleplay by), (story by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Michael Clark
...
Patricia Mattick ...
Margaret Williams
...
Hammond
...
Phil
Charles Macaulay ...
Richard
Hank Brandt ...
Attorney (as Henry Brandt)
...
Pat (as Jeane Byron)
...
Perkins
Norma Connolly ...
Celia
Harlan Warde ...
Paul Williams
Bill Walker ...
Crowell
...
Bert
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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 not Lt. Columbo, who is aided by her vengeful stepdaughter. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

1 March 1971 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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

The interior of the Buckner residence in Short Fuse is the same set as the interior of the Williams residence in Ransom for a Dead Man. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: You see the thing is with me, eh... I'm a strange guy.
Leslie Williams: Really?
Lt. Columbo: Yeah, I worry. I mean little thing bother me. I'm a worrier. I mean, little insignificant details, I lose my appetite, I can't eat. My wife she says to me: "You know, you can really be a pain", you know what I mean?
Leslie Williams: I get the general picture.
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Middling murder-mystery with Lt. Columbo indeed resorting to a shopworn bag of tricks...
29 July 2007 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Lee Grant, smirking and narrowing her eyes like a cat about to pounce, plays a hotshot lady lawyer who kills her attorney husband and makes it look like a kidnapping-turned-homicide; Lt. Columbo, curiously on the case from the very beginning (before there is a dead body), matches wits with Grant, eventually using Lee's hostile step-daughter as a tool to uncover the truth. This early "Columbo" teleplay by Dean Hargrove, with an original story conceived by the team of Levinson & Link, gives us some fun background details on Columbo himself (he's nervous in planes, likes root beer and always orders chili at Barney's Beanery in Los Angeles), but skimps a bit on the lieutenant's investigation. Without showing us the homework involved, Columbo seems to be picking details out of the air (always the right details, naturally), and when he talks about the victim's car keys missing, or the car-seat being too close to the wheel, it's unfair to spring these details on us as afterthoughts (there's no suspense involved when Columbo does his puzzle-solving off-camera). Aside from cunning Grant--and Peter Falk doing his usual solid work--the acting here is relatively mediocre, and the cut-and-dried climax seems a little flat.


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