Columbo: Season 1, Episode 4

Suitable for Framing (17 Nov. 1971)

TV Episode  |  PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,352 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

A wealthy art collector is murdered, and all signs point to a robbery gone wrong. But the dead man's nephew alibi is a little too convenient, and Columbo pulls a fast one to ferret out the killer.

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Title: Suitable for Framing (17 Nov 1971)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Frank Simpson
...
Edna Matthews
Rosanna Huffman ...
Tracy O'Connor
Joan Shawlee ...
Mitilda
Barney Phillips ...
Captain Wyler
...
Landlady
...
Sam Franklin
Sandra Gould ...
Matron
Curt Conway ...
Evans
Claude Johnson ...
Policeman
Dennis Rucker ...
Parking Boy (Joe)
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Storyline

Lt. Columbo investigates the murder of Rudy Matthews, an art collector found shot to death in his home. The killer is the dead man's nephew, art critic Dale Kingston, who, with the help of his accomplice Tracy O'Connor, effectively masks the time of death to give himself an alibi at an art exhibit. From the outset, Columbo can't quite understand why the thief would have first selected a painting of lesser value before suddenly switching to the two most valuable paintings after the killing. Kingston tries to point Columbo in the direction of his aunt, Matthews' ex-wife Edna. The fact that Matthews left his entire art collection to her seems to support that idea. Columbo isn't buying it and sets a clever trap for him. Written by garykmcd / corrected by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

17 November 1971 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosanna Huffman who portrays Ross Martin's girlfriend, Tracy O'Connor, is the wife of series co-creator - and writer of this episode - Richard Levinson See more »

Goofs

In "Prescription: Murder", the reception room of Dr. Fleming's office features a distinctive painting (trees and white houses with red roofs) which is shown in several scenes. The same painting appears in "Suitable for Framing", as part of the art collection sliced and stolen by Dale Kingston. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: [coming to talk with Dale Kingston after he finishes hosting his TV art program] Uh, so this is a television studio, huh?
Dale Kingston: Yes.
Lt. Columbo: Quite a place.
Dale Kingston: Well, it's a barn, really. I'm sure it's not as glamorous as you thought it'd be.
Lt. Columbo: That's right, it isn't, uh, but things aren't really what they seem to be, are they?
Dale Kingston: My, how observant you are.
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Soundtracks

Etude in E major op. 10 No. 3
by Frédéric Chopin
Heard during the murder sequence
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User Reviews

 
Gut Instinct
5 August 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A nice cast is the prime attraction for this Columbo episode where a noted art critic murders his uncle in order to inherit his art collection. Ross Martin plays the critic who is one of the least sympathetic villains ever in a Columbo feature.

For one thing Martin commits two murders, not only the uncle but also of a fawning art student whom he cons into helping him with the murder. And also he spends the entire episode smirking at Peter Falk who can't quite touch him. Finally when cornered a bit, he throws suspicion on the estranged wife of the victim played by Kim Hunter.

Actually Martin should have gotten away with it. He very cleverly faked the time of death with a really simple gimmick I won't reveal to give himself an alibi. But since Columbo got the scent he spent the episode just working on gut instinct that Martin was the killer.

Don Ameche as the family attorney, Rosanna Huffman as the luckless art student and Mary Wickes as her landlady all contribute nicely to the story. But Martin is one villain you are really glad to see Columbo nail.


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