Columbo: Season 2, Episode 3

The Most Crucial Game (5 Nov. 1972)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 908 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 5 critic

The manager of a football team murders its callow owner, making it look as if the young man had had an accident in his swimming pool. Lt. Columbo is on the case.

Director:

Writers:

, (created by), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 453 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 20 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 2785 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 21 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 10 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Most Crucial Game (05 Nov 1972)

The Most Crucial Game (05 Nov 1972) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
« Previous Episode | 11 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »
Edit

Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Paul Hanlon
...
Walter Cunnell
...
Coach Rizzo
...
Eve Babcock
Susan Howard ...
Shirley Wagner
...
Eric Wagner
...
Ralph Dobbs
Kathryn Kelly Wiget ...
Miss Johnson
Richard Stahl ...
Mr. Fremont
...
Deputy Coroner
Cliff Carnell ...
Joe Renteria ...
Box Attendant Jimmy
Ivan Naranjo ...
Sgt. Hernandez, L.A.P.D.
Edit

Storyline

The owner of a football team is found dead in his swimming pool. It looks like an accident, a slip and fall; however, Columbo doesn't really believe in this being an accident and investigates as if it was a murder case - but the person he suspects has a powerful alibi. Written by Maarten Hofman <jen@cistron.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1972 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The murder victim's (Eric Wagner's) house is the same used in Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971) where it was the house of Ken Franklin. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the game after the kickoff, it is 1st and 10 at the 38 yard line. The quarterback is sacked for a 5 yard loss and the radio announcer states that it is now 2nd and 15 but the ball is on the 30 yard line. That would make it 2nd and 18. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: I thought I had trouble with my TV when my wife used the hairdryer, so the electrician, he explained it to me. You find this boring?
See more »

Connections

Edited from A Gathering of Eagles (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik
(uncredited)
composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good mystery with a somewhat awkwardly executed ending
12 August 2004 | by (Port Talbot, South Wales,UK) – See all my reviews

A refreshingly originally plotted Season 2 Columbo episode which sees the general manager of an American Football team, Paul Hanlon (played by Robert Culp) bump off the lazy, unambitious and wasteful owner, Eric Wagner (played by Dean Stckwell).

The script adds one or two nice twists along way and Culp, in his second outing as a Columbo villain is consistently stern-faced and oddly humourless throughout; in fact, he encapsulates the devious, selfish determination of his character and his scenes with Columbo are increasingly confrontational.

There is humour afoot in this story too: the scene when Columbo goes to call-girl Eve Babcock's home to question her is really funny, as she thinks Columbo is one of her customers.

There are however some nagging minus points - some aspects of the script rely too heavily on coincidence and luck. For instance, Eric Wagner was obviously a stubborn person - Hanlon's pestering manages to ensure that he is the pool so he can orchestrate his murder. This happens too easily for my liking...

Furthermore, the sealing clue is both inconclusive and rather contrived: amongst other things, Columbo's damning of Hanlon's alleged alibi-creating phone call takes place at exactly the same clock time it was perpetrated some days earlier. Therefore, Columbo miraculously judges his typical end-of-case wrant to perfection....

A very curious episode in many ways....worth a look for its's controversies.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Last Salute to the Commadore Calumette
Swan Song IloveMuggy
Guest stars you would've love to have seen in the 70's episodes old-skool101
Terrible goof in 'Friend In Deed' frasgurl
An Exercise In Fatality: 'He Slipped'? newdickmorris
In Now You See Him why does Columbo damonn
Discuss The Most Crucial Game (1972) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?