IMDb > "Columbo" Death Lends a Hand (1971)
"Columbo: Death Lends a Hand (#1.2)"
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"Columbo" Death Lends a Hand (1971)

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Richard Levinson (written by) &
William Link (written by) ...
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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:
The accidental murderer See more (17 total) »


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

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Robert Culp ... Investigator Brimmer

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

Ray Milland ... Arthur Kennicut

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:

Bill Hickman ... Traffic Cop (uncredited)
Mark Russell ... Brimmer Agency Detective (uncredited)
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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 believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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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 »
Miscellaneous: While at the driver license facility they show an eye chart with the line 8 characters being D E F P O T E C. After getting the line 7 characters read off properly the lady is asked to read line 8 in which she states the letters are F D P T C E O and is told she is perfect.See more »
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.
See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
The accidental murderer, 11 March 2013
Author: Paul Hughes

After Culp's character, a private detective named Brimmer, inadvertently kills Kennicut's wife, the lieutenant must show how, and even why. This is going to be interesting, because Brimmer himself isn't sure why: this is the first accidental killing in Columbo.

Not that it matters: it's Brimmer's temper — he's … well, brimming … with it — and there would certainly be a legal situation here, anyway. And in fact there is.

Because Brimmer had already been trying to blackmail the missus, who was making time with someone who was not the master. Culp's character hopes to use this as leverage against her, or more precisely with her for leverage against her husband, who owns newspapers.

He looks that part, too: much more Charles Foster Kane than the goofy dude in the first episode of next season — a guy who also supposedly owns a newspaper.

So when Mrs. Kennicut makes the classic TV mistake of telling the major bad guy everything you're going to do, well her trajectory is set. Of course she didn't know he would … well watch.

In this episode, I think Columbo suspects the killer fairly quickly: he seems "on" immediately … he gets a sense of Brimmer's temper … and really, there aren't many other options.

Culp's Brimmer merits special mention: he's excellent. The terseness in speaking, in actions — he is precise, cutting, and careful, and not careful enough. And you'll like watching him try not to bust out laughing when Falk is into his patter.

Meanwhile, Columbo is always noticing, always asking questions — and he's funny about it, as in the palm reading scene, and he's audacious, as when he's riffling the golf pro's appointment book.

He keeps moving forward — what's the other guy going to do? Resist?

Culled from The Columbo Case Files: Season One.

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