Columbo (1971–2003)
7.6/10
1,581
26 user 7 critic

Étude in Black 

A ruthless 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 by) | 3 more credits »
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On Disc

at Amazon

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Paul Rifkin
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Janice Benedict
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Jenifer Welles
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Lizzy Fielding
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Billy Jones
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The House Boy
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Sam (scenes deleted)
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Dawn Frame ...
Audrey
Charles Macaulay ...
Durkee
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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 jazz club seen in this episode reappeared later as the basement of the wax museum in Columbo: Dagger of the Mind (1972). See more »

Goofs

When Columbo is talking to Paul Rifkin in the nightclub, the position in which he holds his glass and the amount of liquid in it vary between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Columbo: Well listen. Audrey, it's been nice talkin to ya, and I appreciate the advice about the dog.
Audrey: [Looking at the dog] What's his name?
Lieutenant Columbo: Ya know, I don't know the name yet? What do you think about 'Fido'?
Audrey: [sarcastically] Oh, WOW, how'd you ever think of THAT one?
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Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

6th Symphony, 4th Movement
(uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

Wonderful interaction between Cassavetes and Falk.
10 September 2004 | by (Knoxville, TN) – See all my reviews

Interesting to see this movie 30 years later; it's still good theater, even better TV. I think the unique qualities of this particular Columbo episode may have been largely due to the relationship between Falk and Cassavetes off screen, but it certainly worked in this show. This one reiterated Columbo's quirky, irritating methods; and again, one of the reasons the entire series was so watchable was the low-key progression of the drama. This is one of the few 'cop shows' I ever watch because it's based in human interaction and pyschological issues, not in violent shocks. I think Bochco did a very good job on this film.


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