Columbo: Season 2, Episode 1

Étude in Black (17 Sep. 1972)

TV Episode  |  Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,249 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), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: Étude in Black (17 Sep 1972)

Étude in Black (17 Sep 1972) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Paul Rifkin
...
Janice Benedict
...
Jenifer Welles
...
Lizzy Fielding
...
Billy Jones
...
Mike Alexander
...
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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The jazz club in "Etude In Black" reappeared later as the basement of the wax museum in Columbo: Dagger of the Mind (1972). See more »

Goofs

The position of the carnation dropped under the piano is first shown to the left of the piano leg, then under the piano not near the piano leg, then finally behind the piano leg. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Columbo: Listen, I really appreciate your taking the time to chat with me like this. You know, this is a lonely business, and it's nice just to have someone that ya... well, just air out your thoughts with.
Alex Benedict: You know, it's shocking... SHOCKING when you think about suicide, the word. Now, see, I can understand how she might have killed herself, but what possible reason for someone to kill her?
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Lover Man
(uncredited)
Composed by Jimmy Davis
Played by James Olson's combo at jazz club.
This is NOT Jimi Hendrix's "Lover Man." It's the classic jazz song.
See more »

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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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