Columbo: Season 3, Episode 4

Double Exposure (16 Dec. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 898 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 5 critic

A self-styled "motivation research specialist" uses subliminal cues to commit a murder. Lt. Columbo is on the case.

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Title: Double Exposure (16 Dec 1973)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Robert Middleton ...
Vic Norris
...
Roger White
Louise Latham ...
Mrs. Norris
...
Tanya (as Arlene Martell) (credit only)
Danny Goldman ...
Press photographer
John Milford ...
1st Detective
...
Film Editor
Richard Stahl ...
Ballistics Man
Francis De Sales ...
Patterson (as Francis DeSales)
...
Housekeeper
Dennis Robertson ...
Detective Marley
Harry Hickox ...
2nd Detective
Ann Driscoll ...
Mrs. Halstead
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Storyline

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

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Release Date:

16 December 1973 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Columbo had those photos of himself shot to splice them into the 35mm movie print, to lure out the murderer. The photos taken are 35mm slides (he shows them framed) and Columbo only stated that he had them processed and spliced into the film. Problem: Those slides would have to be converted into 35mm cine film frames. 35mm cine film runs vertical as opposed to the horizontal stills camera film. So the slides had to be rotated 90 degrees, reduced in size, the edges chopped to fit into the standard 35mm full frame "academy" aspect ratio (the movie shown was not wide-screen but rather "academy", similar to standard 16mm or Super8mm. In the 1970s, test screenings used a mechanically linked soundtrack (either 35mm or 17.5mm with 35mm sprocket holes, as opposed to the final optical (or magnetical) soundtrack-on-film, so the soundtrack and in-sync wouldn't be affected by the splice as long as no frames are missing. This all takes place in LA where all kinds of specialized labs are, but still, this is a very complex procedure involving highly specialized optical step printer facilities. Can't find those in a matter of hours, not even in LA. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: Finally got some hard evidence! What is that, Doctor? I'll be a son of a gun. A calibration converter. Do you have a key to that case? looks like a .22. Fit nicely into a .45 automatic. That's why the barrel and chambers were clean when ballistics checked out the gun... That's a lovely touch. A converter. I never figured on a converter. And one hidden in a lamp! Doc... I would a sworn you had a gun hidden in here. And I was trying to smoke you out... But I never figured on this.
Dr. Bart Keppel: A subliminal ...
[...]
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Connections

References High Plains Drifter (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most interesting Columbo episodes
13 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I don't put Double Exposure up there with the very best of the Columbo episodes, but it is one of the better and more interesting ones. While the episode does start off a tad slow, where Double Exposure interests most is in the subliminal images/cues which are very well-done.

Visually, once again Double Exposure looks great with fine photography, lighting, costumes and locations, and the music both adds to the atmosphere and fits well with the 1970s period. The story has very rare a dull moment, has some great interaction between Falk and Culp, has some decent clues and a well thought-out ending where Culp's character is at his most interesting, while the script has its funny and thoughtful moments as one would expect.

The cast do very well and are helped by some good direction. Peter Falk is stellar as always, and Robert Culp is also rock-solid and delightfully snotty. Overall, very interesting, well thought-out and beautifully played. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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