IMDb > "Columbo" Death Lends a Hand (1971)

"Columbo" Death Lends a Hand (1971)

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Richard Levinson (written by) &
William Link (written by) ...
View company contact information for Death Lends a Hand on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
6 October 1971 (Season 1, Episode 2)
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the best "Columbo" episodes See more (19 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Robert Culp ... Investigator Brimmer

Pat Crowley ... Mrs. Lenore Kennicutt (as Patricia Crowley)

Ray Milland ... Arthur Kennicutt

Brett Halsey ... Ken Archer
Eric James ... Denning

Don Keefer ... Medical Examiner
Len Wayland ... Capt. Of Detectives

Lieux Dressler ... Ceil Gentry
Barbara Baldavin ... Brimmer's Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marvin Goux ... Leo Gentry (uncredited)

Bill Hickman ... Traffic Cop (uncredited)
Mark Russell ... Brimmer Agency Detective (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Bernard L. Kowalski  (as Bernard Kowalski)
Writing credits
Richard Levinson (written by) &
William Link (written by)

Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Produced by
Richard Levinson .... producer
William Link .... producer
Robert F. O'Neill .... associate producer
Original Music by
Gil Melle (music score) (as Gil Mellé)
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography) (as Russell L. Metty)
Film Editing by
Edward M. Abroms 
Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
Set Decoration by
Richard Friedman (set decorations)
Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Barry .... assistant director
Sound Department
David H. Moriarty .... sound
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burton Miller .... costumes
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: theme
Transportation Department
Donald P. Desmond .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Steven Bochco .... story editor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer: main titles
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
76 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-7 (2004) | UK:PG (video rating) (2004)

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: When Brimmer, seated at his desk, is writing the receipt for Columbo he's writing on the folder cover in the first shot. In the second shot he's writing on a receipt pad.See more »
Teddy:[being pushed on the swing] I said higher!
Columbo:Higher? All right, listen, you go higher and I'll eat your ice cream. All right?
See more »


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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
One of the best "Columbo" episodes, 31 May 1999

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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