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 1,255 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
...
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

The first regular Columbo episode filmed, after two pilot movies. It was the second episode aired, however. 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: [being pushed on the swing] I said higher!
Columbo: Okay, you go higher and I'll eat your ice cream.
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User Reviews

 
excellent early entry in Columbo series--impressive direction and acting
9 December 2004 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

This was the second entry in the regular Columbo series, and it holds up well today. As I am able to look at it closely now on DVD and see how it is constructed, I am very impressed with the direction of Bernard L. Kowalski (who directed the fine MACHO CALLAHAN as well as countless TV episodes)--watch how the post-murder actions of the killer are shown on a split-screen effect on his two eyeglasses, watch how the murder itself is shown in montage fashion, watch the point-of-view shot from the perspective of the corpse. Also, the wild but impressive avant-garde musical score from noted jazzman Gil Melle was incredible and helped so much to create atmosphere. And the supporting performance of Brett Halsey as the golf pro was wonderful--such subtlety and complexity in a role that nine out of ten times would be a one-dimensional cutout. The "formula" had not yet been set when this episode was filmed, so there are still some surprises in Columbo's methods. Of course, Falk, Robert Culp, and Ray Milland are the highest-quality actors and it's a pleasure to see them work--all men are familiar from many other roles yet lose themselves in their characters here. In all, this entry in the Columbo series--and MANY of the others--are as well-crafted as a very good feature film.


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