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 1,237 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>

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6 October 1971 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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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

Teddy: [Columbo's pushing Teddy on a swing] Higher!
Columbo: Higher? If I push you any higher you're going to go clear over the top.
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User Reviews

 
One of the best early Columbo episodes
27 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am a huge fan of Columbo, and while Death Lends a Hand is not my favourite of the entire series, it is one of my personal favourites of the early episodes. As with all Columbo episodes the production values are first-rate with location work that is striking and camera work that is skilled and always well placed. The music also is fitting with the episode's mood and with the setting, the script is sharp, funny, clever, sophisticated and with structure and the story while going at a purposefully steady pace has plenty of delightful scenes, like when Columbo pretends to palm read, is compelling and never any less than that with an intriguing final solution. The acting is great, Peter Falk is brilliant and very natural as Columbo, and Robert Culp matches him perfectly in perhaps his best episode and performance of the Columbo series. Ray Milland(in a very sympathetic performance) and Patricia Crowley also excels as does Brett Halsey who brings gravitas to a character that could've easily been one-dimensional and bland. The episode is very stylishly directed as well. Overall, a very strong Columbo and one of the best of the early episodes. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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