Columbo: Season 3, Episode 2

Any Old Port in a Storm (7 Oct. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 1,165 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 5 critic

A connoisseur running a California winery murders his younger half-brother to prevent him from selling the family business. Lt. Columbo is on the case.



(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Any Old Port in a Storm (07 Oct 1973)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Jillson ...
Joan Stacey
Gary Conway ...
Enrico Guiseppe Carsini
Karen Fielding
Maitre d'
The Drunk
Billy Fine
Regis Cordic ...
Lewis (as Regis J. Cordic)
Reid Smith ...
Andy Stevens
John McCann ...
Monte Landis ...
Steward (as Monty Landis)


Adrian Carsini is a fanatical wine connoisseur who operates an elite winery on the California coast. When Adrian's indifferent brother, who owns the winery property, threatens to sell it, Adrian bludgeons him in a fit of rage, then binds and places his brother in his air-tight wine vault while he travels to New York to attend a conference. Adrian disposes of the body on his return in such a way as to make his brother's demise look like a scuba diving accident, but Adrian hadn't reckoned on the canny Lieutenant Columbo from LAPD's Homicide Division (a cigar-smoking detective with many fetishes: a constantly referred-to but unseen wife, an old car, and a rumpled raincoat). In his usual patronizing manner, Columbo suspects Carsini almost immediately, befriending him while slyly searching for clues to link Carsini to the killing. Written by Kevin McCorry <> / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

7 October 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Any Old Port in a Storm' originally aired October 7, 1973. The story often mentions Tuesday the 18th. The only months in 1973 in which the 18th fell on a Tuesday were September and December. Much of the story takes place 6 days after the 18th, making it the 24th, but since there's no mention of Christmas Eve, the action must be taking place in September. See more »


At the end of the film, when Columbo is explaining to Carsini how he solved the case, he lights a cigar which he then removes from his mouth with his right hand. The shot changes to a close-up - in the middle of a line of dialogue so there is no delay - and he is now holding the cigar in his left hand and the book of matches in his right. See more »


Adrian Carsini: May our enemies never be as happy as we are at this moment.
See more »


References This Gun for Hire (1942) See more »


This Old Man
English children's folk song
Whistled by Peter Falk
See more »

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User Reviews

A very strong entry in the series
2 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Adrian Carsini loves his wines and has both made and lost a fortune buying and selling expensive and famous wines. However his brother Enrico wants to make money from the family business by increasing production and selling lower quality wines but in bulk. Trapped and facing losing his beloved work, Adrian explodes into a rage and hits Enrico with a lamp. Using a trip to New York as an alibi, Adrian hides the body and, on his return dumps him in the ocean and makes it look like a scuba-diving accident. Columbo gets involved because missing persons manage to dodge the case but, rather than wonder why it is his job, Columbo finds one or two details just failing to make sense.

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. Knowing this ahead of time won't ruin anything for you; it is simply what happens in all the films. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually down to several factors whether or not the Columbo film stands out or if it is just average. Having watched a couple of the "new" Columbo films recently, I was glad to return to the vintage fold to find that the formula was all very much in place here. The story opens with a sudden moment of rage that is different from the usual plans in the series. The way Columbo gets involved is a bit contrived but from here on in it all works really well – the reasons why Adrian become the focus are played out in a great scene where Adrian says things that don't ring true and a close-up shot of Columbo shows us the confusion growing within him. The mystery builds well and moves easily and professionally – being enjoyable from start to finish.

Falk is the reason his character has become so well known and, as always, he is spot on. Whether playing the simple characteristics or allowing more complex thoughts to come across on his face, it is a typically strong performance. He is helped by having a director in Penn who understands where Falk is and how to best capture it on film. Pleasence is a typical piece of class and his performance works really well whether he is blowing up, slyly playing with Columbo or finding himself trapped. It is a strong performance that stands out as one of the stronger of the series. As usual the support cast are less important but Harris is good in a minor role as Adrian's secretary even if Jillson and Conway are only par for the course.

Overall a typically strong entry in the series that deserves the repeated bad puns made on this site about it being a "vintage". The story is clever and well delivered while the performances are very good where it counts (the lead two) and are helped by a director that seems to understand what it is all about.

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