Columbo: Season 1, Episode 0

Ransom for a Dead Man (1 Mar. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,182 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 6 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.

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(teleplay), (story), 4 more credits »
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Title: Ransom for a Dead Man (01 Mar 1971)

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

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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
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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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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

When Columbo is in Barney's Beanery eating chili, and Margaret Williams comes to meet him, they move from the counter to a booth. When they leave the counter, Columbo has stirred his chili but we can see that he has not eaten any. When they get to the booth Columbo's chili is about half-eaten. Furthermore Columbo picks up a large portfolio and tucks it under his arm as he leaves the counter and he seems to have lost it when he gets to the booth. See more »

Quotes

Leslie Williams: [to Columbo as he attempts to fly] Keep the planes nose up. You have to treat the plane like a woman. You have to treat it gently. You have to treat her very gently.
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Connections

References Perry Mason (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very strong second pilot
19 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm a fan of Columbo, and Ransom for a Dead Man is a personal favourite. It does drag towards the beginning and Patricia Mattick is rather annoying. However, the usual ingredients are there. While the production values improved a tad in quality as it progressed, the episode is still very striking to look at, and the music score is one of my personal favourites of any Columbo episode. The story once it gets going is compelling, with a well-used pivotal telephone gimmick and a classic Columbo scene at an airport, and the writing is strong throughout having some funny, thoughtful and atmospheric moments. The performances are excellent, Peter Falk is exceptional as usual and Lee Grant as a very beautiful, cold, confident and also arrogant murderess is superb. In conclusion, a great episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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