IMDb > "Columbo" The Most Crucial Game (1972)

"Columbo" The Most Crucial Game (1972)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   917 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John T. Dugan (written by)
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Most Crucial Game on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
5 November 1972 (Season 2, Episode 3)
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A good episode, albeit with a disappointing ending See more (26 total) »

Cast

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

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Robert Culp ... Paul Hanlon

Dean Jagger ... Walter Cunnell

James Gregory ... Coach Rizzo

Valerie Harper ... Eve Babcock
Susan Howard ... Shirley Wagner

Dean Stockwell ... Eric Wagner

Val Avery ... Ralph Dobbs
Kathryn Kelly Wiget ... Miss Johnson
Richard Stahl ... Mr. Fremont

Don Keefer ... Deputy Coroner
Cliff Carnell ... Plainclothesman
Joe Renteria ... Box Attendant Jimmy
Ivan Naranjo ... Sgt. Hernandez, L.A.P.D.
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
LeRoy Ellis ... Himself (uncredited)
Keith Erickson ... Himself (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Photographer at Practice (uncredited)
Harold 'Happy' Hairston ... Himself (uncredited)
Jim McMillan ... Himself (uncredited)

Pat Riley ... Himself (uncredited)
Flynn Robinson ... Himself (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Jeremy Kagan 
 
Writing credits
John T. Dugan (written by)

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

Produced by
Edward K. Dodds .... associate producer
Dean Hargrove .... producer
 
Original Music by
Dick DeBenedictis (music score) (as Dick De Benedictis)
 
Cinematography by
Harry L. Wolf (director of photography) (as Harry Wolf)
 
Film Editing by
J. Terry Williams  (as J Terry Williams)
 
Art Direction by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
 
Set Decoration by
John McCarthy Jr. (set decorations) (as John McCarthy)
 
Production Management
Henry Kline .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brad H. Aronson .... assistant director (as Brad Aronson)
 
Sound Department
Edwin S. Hall .... sound
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Grady Hunt .... costumes
 
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Hal Mooney .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... main title design
Jackson Gillis .... executive story consultant
 
Crew verified as complete


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

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
74 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-7 (2005) | UK:PG (video rating) (2005) | USA:Not Rated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The murder victim's (Eric Wagner's) house is the same used in "Columbo: Murder by the Book (#1.1)" (1971) where it was the house of Ken Franklin.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As Columbo sits in his car listening to the Rockets game on the car radio, watch his cigar. The ash falls on his raincoat, and we see that the size of his stubby stogie is barely a butt. Mere milliseconds later, we see the cigar again, magically regenerated, having grown back to almost full size.See more »
Quotes:
Walter Cunnell:What is all this? Autopsy? Lab crews?
Lt. Columbo:Well, just part of a routine murder investigation, sir. Excuse me.
Walter Cunnell:Murder?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited from A Gathering of Eagles (1963)See more »
Soundtrack:
Eine kleine NachtmusikSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
A good episode, albeit with a disappointing ending, 13 March 2011
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

I am a big fan of Columbo. The Most Crucial Game is a good episode if somewhat middling without being the best or the worst of the set. Susan Howard's role is disappointingly limited and she unfortunately doesn't do as much with it as she had the potential to do and the build up to the ending could have been steadied a bit which perhaps would have helped in making it better. I agree the ending was the most disappointing asset of The Most Crucial Game, the idea of the explanation I had no problem with, but it was the way it was executed and tied together that felt rather awkward, particularly with the flaw in the alibi which didn't convince.

However, the production values as are the case with all Columbo episodes are top notch, and the music adds a lot to the atmosphere. The script is excellent on the whole, with some great interaction between Falk and Culp and some thoughtful moments, and the story is well told with a splendid means of murder and premise. The direction and cast are generally on the money too. Peter Falk enjoys himself as Columbo, Robert Culp plays an interesting character and does very well with it and Dean Stockwell is good too.

Overall, the ending was a disappointment but the episode was good. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Columbo" (1971)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Columbo HAD solid evidence but didn't use it (SPOILERS) Bowler-6
Eric Wagner's house GloriaMundy
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