IMDb > "Columbo" Ransom for a Dead Man (1971)
"Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man (#1.0)"
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"Columbo" Ransom for a Dead Man (1971)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   1,283 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Dean Hargrove (teleplay)
Richard Levinson (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ransom for a Dead Man on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
1 March 1971 (Season 1, Episode 0)
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
very good, but kinda long See more (25 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Lee Grant ... Leslie Williams
John Fink ... Michael Clark

Harold Gould ... Agent Carlson
Patricia Mattick ... Margaret Williams

Paul Carr ... Hammond

Jed Allan ... Phil
Charles Macaulay ... Richard
Hank Brandt ... Attorney (as Henry Brandt)

Jean Byron ... Pat (as Jeane Byron)
Richard Roat ... Perkins
Norma Connolly ... Celia
Harlan Warde ... Paul Williams
Bill Walker ... Crowell

Timothy Carey ... Bert
Judson Morgan ... Judge
Richard O'Brien ... Priest

Celeste Yarnall ... Gloria
Lisa Moore ... Nancy
Lois Battle ... Waitress
Reginald Fenderson ... Mechanic
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Angelo De Meo ... Desk Clerk (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Richard Irving 
 
Writing credits
Dean Hargrove (teleplay)

Richard Levinson (story) &
William Link (story)

Richard Levinson (based on a character created by) &
William Link (based on a character created by)

Gene Thompson  uncredited

Produced by
Dean Hargrove .... producer
Richard Irving .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Billy Goldenberg 
 
Cinematography by
Lionel Lindon (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward M. Abroms 
John Elias (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
John J. Lloyd 
 
Set Decoration by
Bert Allen (set decorations) (as Bert F. Allan)
 
Production Management
Donald L. Gold .... unit manager (as Don Gold)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
George Bisk .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Robert R. Bertrand .... sound (as Robert Bertrand)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burton Miller .... costumes
 
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min | USA:98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-7 (2004) | Sweden:11 | UK:PG (video rating) (2000) (2004) | UK:U (theatrical release) (1972)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Produced as a second pilot for "Columbo" (1971) three years after Prescription: Murder (1968) (TV). Its success led to "Columbo" being made part of a rotating Mystery Movie wheel of programs for most of the 1970s.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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:
Margaret Williams:I Know you did it. I know it.
Leslie Williams:I think you ought to see a doctor, Margaret.
Margaret Williams:Do you?
Leslie Williams:Yes I do, I think you're a very sick girl.
[Margaret turns her back. After a beat]
Leslie Williams:Are you listening?
Margaret Williams:Yes, but it's very difficult because I'm so sick.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Perry Mason" (1957)See more »

FAQ

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
very good, but kinda long, 29 October 2010
Author: stones78 from United States

If I recall correctly, Lee Grant won or was nominated for an award for her great performance of Leslie Williams, a cold blooded killer and confident lawyer who is both arrogant and greedy. She exhibits no remorse whatsoever during the entire episode, as we get to see her coldly murder her influential husband. She manipulates the detective in charge, but when the husband's body finally surfaces, Columbo is in charge and he sees right through Leslie, even when she falls apart at the bad news in front of several people. Without describing in detail the rest of the episode, there are some memorable scenes which has Columbo attempting to fly Leslie's plane, and how Leslie's step daughter Margaret constantly hounds her, because she feels that Leslie murdered her father. I thought perhaps there was a bit too much Margaret, as her tirades towards her step mother go on and on for much of the latter half of the segment. Anyhow, you'll have to sit through close to 2 hours before we finally get to the underwhelming finale when Columbo finally arrests Leslie, which seems slightly convenient rather than grand.

This is a solid season 1 episode, and watch for the fine portrayal by Lee Grant, who makes this Columbo a memorable one. Peter Falk also does a fine job as he's on the hunt after the killer.

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