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 1,176 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Alpha House Premieres Today

All ten episodes of the second season of "Alpha House" are available starting today. Watch them now, only on Prime Instant Video.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 8 titles
created 05 Feb 2012
 
a list of 311 titles
created 15 Dec 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 7 months ago
 

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 not 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

Although Billy Goldenberg scored the opening "Columbo" stories in 1971, his commercially released "Columbo Theme" recorded as such by Norrie Paramor and His Orchestra ("Law Beat" album, Contour Records 2870 369) did not become a regular feature of the show. The theme is first heard during the helicopter sequence of "Ransom for a Dead Man" but Goldenberg did not use it as a title theme and composed mainly fresh music for "Murder by the Book" and all his subsequent scores. The "Columbo" series never had any recognizable theme tune of its own. 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

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.
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 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


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Identity Crisis - motive and missing clue? billdz-geo
Columbo's First name is Frank and His Wife is Named Rose. Master_Timelord
Last Salute to the Commadore Calumette
Columbo Goes To College- |Steven Caffery Calumette
Swan Song IloveMuggy
Guest stars you would've love to have seen in the 70's episodes old-skool101
Discuss Ransom for a Dead Man (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?