IMDb > "Columbo" Short Fuse (1972)

"Columbo" Short Fuse (1972)

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Jackson Gillis (teleplay by)
Lester Pine (story) ...
View company contact information for Short Fuse on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
19 January 1972 (Season 1, Episode 6)
Pressured to give up his birthright, a chemical company heir enacts a clever plan to get rid of his blackmailing uncle and take over the family business. But Lt. Columbo suspects the man's death was not just a tragic accident. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Reasonably enjoyable but fell short See more (21 total) »


 (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 by)

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

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 verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

In September 2000, the square tram cars seen in this ep were replaced with circular cars, allowing wind to travel more smoothly around the car; The square cars were stopped periodically during high winds until the wind subsided; this is no longer necessary.See more »
Continuity: When Columbo walks over to play an answering machine message, Roger's right hand is on the top of a decanter while his left hand holds his drink. When the camera changes, neither hand is on the decanter and his right hand holds his drink. Also, the glass was just under half-full, but with the camera cut it becomes two thirds full.See more »
Doris Buckner:Roger, I called the Commissioner of Police, and he said he'd send over his very best man.
Roger Stanford:[looking Columbo over] Is that a fact?
Lt. Columbo:Lt. Columbo: Well, my wife, she says I'm second-best, but, uh... She claims there are eighty fellas tied for first.
See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Reasonably enjoyable but fell short, 10 April 2012
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

I am a huge Columbo fan, but while Short Fuse is not one of the worst of the series(Last Salute to the Commodore is for me the worst of the pre-1989 episodes, and No Time to Die, Murder in Malibu, Grand Deceptions and Dead Weight were also underwhelming) it was one of the weaker and blandest entries of that time period. I'll start with the good points. The locations and photography are stunning, the direction was solid enough and the music is well composed and fitting with the mood and period. Peter Falk is brilliant as always, embodying the iconic detective in the way that only he can do. In terms of any effective scenes, the best were the pretty clever murder sequence and the ending.

However, there are a number of problems, including a script that is lacking in wit and fluidity, a story that is good in concept and reasonably well paced but with plot twists that feel laboured and a lack of chemistry between Falk and MacDowell(when there is any it feels vague), disappointing considering that this is one of the best things about Columbo. Roddy MacDowell's performance is nowhere near the worst of the series(Andrew Stevens in Murder in Malibu and almost the entire cast of No Time to Die) but it was a performance lacking in subtlety and felt over-the-top in places, especially the laugh. In conclusion, enjoyable but fell short.

6/10 Bethany Cox

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