Columbo: Season 2, Episode 1

Étude in Black (17 Sep. 1972)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,324 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 5 critic

An amoral conductor murders the gifted pianist with whom he is having an affair. Lt. Columbo is on the case.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(teleplay by), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Étude in Black (17 Sep 1972)

Étude in Black (17 Sep 1972) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Paul Rifkin
...
Janice Benedict
...
Jenifer Welles
...
Lizzy Fielding
...
Billy Jones
...
...
The House Boy
...
Sam (scenes deleted)
Michael Fox ...
Dawn Frame ...
Audrey
Charles Macaulay ...
Durkee
...
Everett
Wallace Chadwell ...
TV Director
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Storyline

Music conductor Alex Benedict has an affair with a pianist. When the pianist threatens to reveal their affair to Benedict's wife, whose wealthy mother owns the company on which Benedict's career is dependent, Benedict decides to permanently silence his mistress. He arranges for her death to look like a suicide by kitchen stove gas asphyxiation. Lieutenant Columbo, a cunning detective in a rumpled raincoat, doesn't believe the pianist took her own life and suspects that Benedict was responsible for her death. He pesters Benedict with constant questions as he searches for clues to place Benedict at the murder scene. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 September 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The set for the TV control room at the shows conclusion is the maestro's dressing room from Act I, re-set. See more »

Goofs

When Alex is outed as the murderer and talks to Columbo, Columbo's left arm is in different positions between shots, sometimes with his hand at his navel, sometimes halfway up holding a cigar. See more »

Quotes

Alex Benedict: Now, you're always imagining that I'm... I'm... leaping into beds all over town. I've never done that.
Janice Benedict: Oh, Alex, don't. I know you.
Alex Benedict: Why do all these people feel that they know me?
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Chopsticks
(uncredited)
Composed by Euphemia Allen (aka Arthur de Lulle) 1877
Played by Peter Falk on piano.
See more »

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User Reviews

A Columbo adventure that hits the right notes in most places!
23 August 2004 | by (Port Talbot, South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

A slightly unoriginal plot aside, this is a well-unravelled, holding Columbo story, highlighted by some thoughtfully conceived and executed sequences involving real-life friends Peter Falk and John Cassavetes; a fact which unquestionably amplifies the script's effectiveness.

Ordinarily, the quality of the sequences of banter between detective and villain is a significant yardstick in the overall success of the episode; in this case, despite this characteristic, other scenes could have been expanded to better effect - no motive is really ever discussed and Columbo seems to latch onto the villain with less evident evidence than in some other experiences (the important factors about the pink carnation are not significantly developed until later).

One other slight fault is that there are less pieces of evidence to grab hold of here, but in one respect, the script-writer is very clever in intimating that the carnation is going to play an important part in this story, but the nailing of the villain is perhaps not as straightforward as one might have expected.

Generally, a very pleasing episode, which is not as predictable as one may think.


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