Columbo (1971–2003)
24 user 8 critic

Suitable for Framing 

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



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Episode complete credited cast:
Frank Simpson
Edna Matthews
Rosanna Huffman ...
Tracy O'Connor
Captain Wyler
Sam Franklin
Curt Conway ...
Claude Johnson ...
Dennis Rucker ...
Parking Boy (Joe)


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


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 November 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


When Columbo sets down his coffee cup and unrolls the painting of the blue horse, he holds the painting open with both hands, left hand holding his cigar. Camera changes to a shot of the painting from Columbo's perspective, now held only with his right hand, left hand gone. When the scene reverts to the previous camera, both hands again hold the painting, but now his cigar has impossibly transferred to his right hand. Also, the coffee cup which Columbo set on the table has moved, now twice as far from the edge as where Columbo placed it. See more »


[Dale Kingston's confederate recoils at the sight of the body of Dale's uncle]
Dale Kingston: Pull yourself together. There's no reason to be frightened. Just my uncle. I assure you he's far more amiable now than he ever was when he was alive.
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Etude in E major op. 10 No. 3
by Frédéric Chopin
Heard during the murder sequence
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User Reviews

Short and snappy early Columbo
30 December 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A straightforward Columbo story, short and snappy enough to never outstay its welcome. The background involves the world of art collection with the main murder suspect an art critic who bumps off his wealthy uncle in order to inherit his priceless art collection.

The backdrop is a decent one and allows for some good-natured scenes in which the bumbling detective attempts to get to grips with the world of modern art. Although the guest villain, Ross Martin, was unknown to me, he gives a fun performance and gets to harangue the dogged detective at key moments, which is always fun.

The supporting cast incorporates the familiar faces of Don Ameche and Kim Hunter (star of the PLANET OF THE APES films) who give good support. Falk is on strong form here and the presence of an almost unbreakable alibi makes the mystery solving fun. As a whole, SUITABLE FOR FRAMING is a story hard to dislike.

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