IMDb > "Columbo" Short Fuse (1972)

"Columbo" Short Fuse (1972)

« Prev | 7 of 68 Episodes | Next »

Photos (See all 2 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   1,097 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Director:
Writers:
Jackson Gillis (teleplay)
Lester Pine (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Short Fuse on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
19 January 1972 (Season 1, Episode 6)
Genre:
Plot:
A chemical plant's director gets threats and issues threats, and one of the employees develops and plants a bomb in his car. When the car turns out to be missing, Columbo is called to find out what happened. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A typically enjoyable Columbo film See more (18 total) »

Cast

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

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Roddy McDowall ... Roger Stanford

Anne Francis ... Valerie Bishop

James Gregory ... David L. Buckner

Ida Lupino ... Doris Buckner

William Windom ... Everett Logan
Steve Gravers ... Sergeant
Lawrence Cook ... Quincy [Murphy in credits]
Rosalind Miles ... Nancy
Lew Brown ... Farrell
Jason Wingreen ... Policeman
Eddie Quillan ... Ferguson

Stuart Nisbet ... Pinstripe
Annette Molen ... Girl
Jim Neumarker ... Plainclothesman
George Sawaya ... Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mike Lally ... Tram Operator (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Edward M. Abroms 
 
Writing credits
Jackson Gillis (teleplay)

Lester Pine (story) &
Tina Pine (story) and
Jackson Gillis (story)

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

Produced by
Richard Levinson .... producer
William Link .... producer
Robert F. O'Neill .... associate producer
Everett Chambers .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Gil Melle  (as Gil Mellé)
 
Cinematography by
Harry L. Wolf (director of photography) (as Harry Wolf)
 
Film Editing by
John Kaufman  (as John Kaufman Jr.)
 
Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
 
Set Decoration by
Charles S. Thompson (set decorations)
 
Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kevin Donnelly .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Melvin M. Metcalfe Sr. .... sound
 
Visual Effects by
Albert Whitlock .... special photographic effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Burton Miller .... costumes
 
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
 
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: Mystery Movie theme
 
Other crew
Steven Bochco .... story editor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... main title design
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production Companies
  • Universal TV (from Universal City, California) (as Universal Studios)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
75 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-7 (2004) | UK:U (video rating) (2004)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The last episode of the first season of "Columbo" to be filmed, though it aired before "Columbo: Blueprint for Murder (#1.7)" (1972)See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The position and amount of the plastic string in Columbo's hair changes from shot to shot.See more »
Quotes:
Lt. Columbo:You know, Roger, the truth is hard to find - sometimes, but sometimes it's right in front of us, and we can't prove it.See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
A typically enjoyable Columbo film, 28 March 2005
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

When his Uncle uncovers compromising evidence against him, Roger Stanford is offered an ultimatum – sign away his rights to his Aunt's corporation or be exposed. Without any options Roger plants a bomb in his Uncle's car and kills him on a remote mountain road. When someone as important as Doris Buckner calls in a missing person, the Police Commissioner sends his best man (Lieutenant Columbo) to investigate. Whenever the wreckage of the car is discovered at the bottom of a ravine, it appears like an accident but a phone message, strange burn patterns and a curious Stanford make Columbo suspect that something untoward may have caused the fatal crash.

As with many TV film series (such as Perry Mason), if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. This entry in the Columbo series pretty much follows the usual formula – we know the killer and the "perfect" plan but then watch Columbo follow his hunch and gradually starts to pick holes in the story he is told before eventually finding enough to prove his suspicions. Saying this is not a spoiler – it is simply what happens in all the films. Here the film is pretty obvious throughout but does have some nice touches along the way. The main problem is that Roger is about the least subtle murderer that the series has seen – not only eccentric but with loads of motive and ability, Columbo goes after him as usual but the game is not as good it can be mainly because the character is so unusual. However the film has a neat ending that is tense and enjoyable even if it is a bit obvious. The fact that it has dated very badly is a bit of a problem, thanks to loads of seventies touches in the music, the direction and, most hilariously, the costumes. It isn't much of a problem but it is funnily distracting at times. The lack of consistent tension is more of a problem and the lack of clues means that the "investigation" is more of a speculation rather a building case.

Falk is his usual self – crumpled, self-deprecating and with a good line in mocking wit. He is as comfortable as an old pair of shoes and is very good value. McDowall is not as good but the problem is more to do with his character than anything else. He is an oddball and he drips suspicion at every turn, he never convinced me that he was the genius that the script would have us believe he was and, what's worse, he never once came across as a match (or anything like a match) for Columbo. The two have vague chemistry but there are no sparks between them and you almost feel pity for McDowall by the end because it was all so easy. The support cast threw up a flashback in the shape of Ida Lupino but it is Falk that steals the film as usual.

Overall this is a standard entry in the series that has the usual formula that will please fans but lacks anything special to really make it stand out. It is enjoyable on these terms but I didn't get much more from it than the average – watch it if you like the films generally but don't expect it to win you over if you have no particular love for the crumpled little policeman.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (18 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Columbo" (1971)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Roger Stanford' sports car electrowen
Roddy.... PACman66
See more »

Related Links

Main series Episode guide Full cast and crew
Company credits External reviews IMDb TV section
IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.