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 1,195 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

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Release Date:

1 March 1971 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Produced as a second pilot for Columbo (1971) three years after Prescription: Murder (1968). Its success led to "Columbo" being made part of a rotating Mystery Movie wheel of programs for most of the 1970s. 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

Lt. Columbo: [to Leslie Williams] No conscience limits your imagination.
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Connections

References Perry Mason (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic Columbo
22 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Ransom For a Dead Man," one of the earliest episodes in the entire "Columbo" series, is also one of the best. Lee Grant is terrific as the arrogant and confident Leslie Williams who is sure that she has succeeded in fooling investigators into thinking that her husband was murdered by kidnappers. Even after Columbo subtly implies that he is on to her plan, she coldly and gloatingly dismisses him in true classic Columbo killer fashion.

Everything comes to a very desirable end with that incomparable seen in the airport. Columbo gives us a wonderful conclusion as he smoothly but surely makes that smile disappear from Leslie Williams' face. Her tribute to him after being nailed serves as very memorable and very uplifting to our hero.


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