Dr. Bart Keppel has a very high opinion of himself, but, notwithstanding his opinion, he is being fired by Vic Norris. So he decides to plan a murder, a perfect alibi for himself and evidence against Mrs. Norris. He kills Vic while running commentary on a promotional short film. But there are bound to be some failures, even in the most perfect planning. And you can be sure that Lt. Columbo will find out these failures. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Columbo alludes to Columbo: Candidate for Crime (1973) in both of the episodes that immediately followed it in the original broadcast schedule. In Double Exposure, Columbo says that he has been "working late on the Hayward case." There can be little doubt that Columbo means Nelson Hayward, the politician who murders his campaign manager in "Candidate For Crime", because "Double Exposure" was the next episode after "Candidate For Crime". This is an unusual acknowledgment that Columbo must handle multiple cases at the same time. Then in the next episode, Columbo: Publish or Perish (1974), Columbo tells killer Riley Greenleaf (Jack Cassidy) that he wants to write a book about his experiences as a policeman. As an example of his potential book material, Columbo describes the plot of "Candidate For Crime". Greenleaf responds, "Lieutenant, very frankly, I don't give a damn about your Senator or your story." See more »
When Columbo arrives at a back office with monitors, he's being tracked by a videocamera. He arrives and sees himself live on the monitor, filmed from behind. What he sees doesn't match with his actual position, judging by a hand resting against a wall. See more »
Dr. Bart Keppel:
Your innuendos keep clumping through our conversations like hob-nailed boots! And if I didn't find you an extraordinarily..."amusing" fellow, I might even be offended.
See more »
A Season 3 Columbo episode that is particularly underestimated for its engrossing qualities, which are facilitated by a very tightly-structured plot and script with very few secondary characters, brisk pacing and an enormous amount of screen time between Columbo and villain.
Robert Culp makes his third and final appearance as a Columbo villain, playing a motivational research specialist whose blackmailing scheme, involving his potential (married) business clients and a model he is using for the advertising campaigns, is threatened to be exposed by one of his clients...
Quite possibly this is Culp's best performance of the three; remarkably calm, assured and purposeful throughout despite the increasingly intrusive nature of Columbo's questioning. There are some great scenes between the two in a supermarket and (even better) on a golf course.
The quality of the episode is all the more remarkable given the moderate quantity of circumstantial clues, yet the basic murder set-up is really quite ingenious, particularly as the murderer is able to hide the murder weapon in a very clever and almost foolproof manner. This accentuates the lack of predictability in this story as Columbo has to be really smart to uncover the truth: the finale is superbly ironical and the elements of smartness possessed so markedly by the villain in the preceding sequences are wonderfully transferred to the dogged and ultra-persistent hero.
Addicts may also note that Columbo mentions the "Hayward case" early on in this story, which interestingly refers to the previous episode entitled "Candidate for Crime."
An undoubtedly solid episode, which is precise in its intentions and very competent in its delivery.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?