Columbo: Season 1, Episode 4

Suitable for Framing (17 Nov. 1971)

TV Episode  |  PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,275 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

Noted art critic Dale Kingston kills his uncle for his valuable collection of paintings. Despite Columbo's suspicions, all the clues point to the dead man's ex-wife. Can the lieutenant reveal the true culprit before it is too late?

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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. Colombo investigates the murder of Rudy Matthews, an art collector who is 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, tries to mask the time of death and then give himself an alibi by attending an art exhibit From the outset, Colombo can't quite understand why one of the two missing paintings was by a lesser artist and why a thief wouldn't have taken something more expensive. Kingston tries to point Colombo in the direction of his aunt, Matthews ex-wife Edna. The fact that Matthews left everything, including his entire art collection, to her seems to support that idea. Colombo isn't buying it and sets a clever trap for him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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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

Ross Martin, who plays the killer, was Peter Falk's acting teacher. See more »

Goofs

Dale removes several paintings from the wall. Then, when Tracy enters, we see her admire the paintings still on the wall, including two of the painting that Dale had taken down already. These two paintings not only have jumped back onto the wall, they also mended themselves where Dale had sliced them with a knife. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: I'm gonna tell you something. Do you know that there is a reasonable explanation for everything, if you just put your mind to it? Course, sometimes these things... pop up. Like with alibis. Do you know in most cases, people, they don't remember what time it is. They forget all that. Like the artist fella; he's all mixed up about the time. And Mrs. Matthews... she don't even remember what time she went to bed last night!
Dale Kingston: Being sober might help, I suppose.
Lt. Columbo: Now with you, Mr. Kingston, it's just ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Promenade
from Pictures at an Exhibition
by Modest Mussorgsky
Heard during the cocktail party sequence in the art gallery
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User Reviews

Good start for the 70's supersleuth
22 April 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is one of the first in the series and also one of the best. The clever storyline revolves around an acclaimed art critic who murders his wealthy relative in order to get at the inheritance. This episode sets the central theme for the whole of the series. All of Columbo's suspects appear to be members of high society and own plush apartments or large modern houses.

One of the things that attracts me to early Columbo's is how amusingly dated they now appear. In this episode the first thing you notice is the dreadful crushed velvet dinner-jacket and huge bow tie that the central character, Dale Kingston, wears. Later, he goes to a chitzy art exhibition where lots of art luvee's wearing silk neck-ties reside. In every scene, you hear a never-ending bossa-nova tune in the background as Kingston makes cutting remarks and jokes with artists. The cars people drive are ridiculously huge with ultra springy suspension. After all this is 1971, when flares were just starting to become wider and cars were pre-emissions. There are interesting appearances by Don Ameche and Kim Hunter, the latter will be best remembered for being a monkey in the Planet of the Apes series. If you like Columbo and like to see how tasteless wealthy Americans were back then, watch it.


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