Columbo: Season 1, Episode 2

Death Lends a Hand (6 Oct. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,226 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 6 critic

When the CEO of a private detective agency threatens the wife of a publisher with blackmail and she threatens to expose him, he accidentally kills her.

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(as Bernard Kowalski)
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Title: Death Lends a Hand (06 Oct 1971)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Investigator Brimmer
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Mrs. Lenore Kennicut (as Patricia Crowley)
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Arthur Kennicut
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Ken Archer
Eric James ...
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Medical Examiner
Len Wayland ...
Capt. Of Detectives
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Ceil Gentry
Barbara Baldavin ...
Brimmer's Secretary
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Storyline

Brimmer, a short-tempered private detective, is hired by Arthur Kennicut, a prominent Los Angeles publisher, to investigate the publisher's wife's activities under suspicion of an extra-marital affair. Although his investigation discovers an affair with a golf instructor, Brimmer chooses not to tell Kennicut about it and proposes Mrs. Kennicut to act, in return for Brimmer's silence, as a "pipeline" for information involving powerful persons with whom her husband is involved. When Mrs. Kennicut refuses to cooperate and threatens to tell her husband about Brimmer's unsavory proposal, Brimmer becomes enraged and accidentally kills her. He then transports her body across Los Angeles and dumps it in an industrial area, hoping her death will look like a robbery gone awry. Enter Lieutenant Columbo, the cigar-smoking detective in a rumpled raincoat, who does not accept the murder-by-mugging theory surrounding the woman's death. When Kennicut assigns Brimmer to assist Columbo in the murder ... Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

6 October 1971 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Culp's character of Investigator Brimmer wears a green single breasted blazer as one of his costumes. Culp also wore a green blazer in both of his other appearances as the murderer, Paul Hanlon in "The Most Crucial Game" and Dr. Bart Keppel in "Double Exposure". See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, Brimmer is shown driving his black Cadillac Eldorado at night with the body of Lenore Kennicut in the trunk. For 3 seconds, we then see Lee Grant from "Ransom for a Dead Man" driving a green Lincoln Continental. Then the film cuts back to Brimmer. See more »

Quotes

Denning: [Showing Columbo the company computer] This is our memory bank, lieutenant. Millions of bits of information, all cross-filed and on tape immediately available. There are more electrical impulses in this room than in your brain.
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User Reviews

 
One of the best "Columbo" episodes

The second official episode of the "Columbo" series ("Murder by the Book," filmed later, hit the airwaves first), "Death Lends a Hand" is also among the best. Robert Culp, who would match wits with Peter Falk's detective in several future installments, is terrific as the short-tempered head of a sophisticated private detective agency who murders a client's wife (Patricia Crowley) when she refuses to cave-in to his blackmail schemes.

Ray Milland plays the client. With the addition of a toupee, he'd return the next season as a killer in "Greenhouse Jungle."

Falk and Culp are well-matched in this clever cat-and-mouse exercise. Trivia fans might like to know that the scene featuring a crashing mirror was directed by Steven Spielberg for the "Eyes" segment of the 1969 "Night Gallery" pilot. Universal was so impressed, they added it to their library of stock footage.

Brian W. Fairbanks


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