Columbo (1971–2003)
7.6/10
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29 user 6 critic

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)
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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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Release Date:

1 March 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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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

At the beginning Leslie Williams is shown constructing the bogus ransom letter without wearing any gloves. Her fingerprints would have been all over it, showing that it was she who had actually made the letter. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: I don't know how you do it.
Michael Clark: Do what?
Lt. Columbo: Work for a woman.
See more »

Connections

Features Double Indemnity (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

"From one old bag to another......."
13 January 2002 | by (Down the pub with Leopold Alcocks) – See all my reviews

A distinct improvement on PRESCRIPTION: MURDER, especially in the visual field: this was actually released in cinemas in Britain, in 1973, and it's easy to see why. Despite some gimmicky camera effects, dating the show as the product of the early 70's (but why the hell not), the style of the visuals, particularly the opening murder scene, and the atmospheric music lend the TV production an enjoyable air of assured professionalism more associated with the big screen. (Especially, one might add, with Hitchcock, whom Levinson and Link had previously written for.) Lee Grant is a simply superb adversary, coldly beautiful and never once descending to the "chink-in-the-armour" factor that let down some of the later COLUMBO murderesses. Falk looks no different in this second pilot (in effect a special, anticipating the series' current status) than he would in the series, and has also raised his voice above the near monotone employed in PRESCRIPTION: MURDER, although his loss of temper with Grant's obnoxious stepdaughter is quite unlike the easy-going Lieutenant we all know.


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