Columbo (1971–2003)
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Death Lends a Hand 

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.

Director:

(as Bernard Kowalski)
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Investigator Brimmer
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Mrs. Lenore Kennicutt (as Patricia Crowley)
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Arthur Kennicutt
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Ken Archer
Eric James ...
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Medical Examiner
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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 Kennicutt, 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 Kennicutt about it and proposes Mrs. Kennicutt to act, in return for Brimmer's silence, as a "pipeline" for information involving powerful persons with whom her husband is involved. When Mrs. Kennicutt 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 Kennicutt assigns Brimmer to assist Columbo in the ... Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

6 October 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

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 Kennicutt 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're more electrical impulses in this room than in your brain.
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User Reviews

 
Solid early outing for the crumpled detective
8 September 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

DEATH LENDS A HAND is a perfectly serviceable episode of the COLUMBO TV detective show, featuring a prime Peter Falk pitting his wits against a devious Robert Culp. This instalment is notable for featuring one of the most straightforward murder cases out there, although the motive is more muddled. The twist comes in having the actual murderer helping our detective out by conducting his own investigation, in much the same way as the coroner would "help" out Columbo in the later episode A TRACE OF MURDER.

The production values of this story are very good, and Robert Culp gives a good portrayal of a complex and surprisingly likable man driven to an extreme act. The ever-dependable Ray Milland is excellent in support, while Falk brings plenty of humour and wry charm to his role. The eventual denouement is quite predictable with Columbo pulling one of his favourite tricks, but this is a short and snappy story that never outstays its welcome.


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