Columbo: Season 3, Episode 4

Double Exposure (16 Dec. 1973)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,049 users  
Reviews: 19 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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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)
Dennis Robertson ...
Detective Marley
Harry Hickox ...
2nd Detective
Ann Driscoll ...
Mrs. Halstead


Dr. Bart Keppel has a very high opinion of himself. Notwithstanding that opinion, he is being fired by Vic Norris, so Bart plans a murder, constructing a perfect alibi for himself while building evidence against the victim's wife. He kills Vic while running commentary on a promotional short film; but, even in the most perfect planning, there are bound to be some failures, and you can be sure that Lt. Columbo will find them out. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

16 December 1973 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Columbo had 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 states 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. The slides would have to be rotated 90 degrees and reduced in size, with 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 exist, 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 »


Lt. Columbo: [eating caviar] That's delicious!
1st Detective: It oughta be. Costs $80 a jar.
Lt. Columbo: $80?
1st Detective: Yeah?
Lt. Columbo: O-o-o. That must be about $15 right in my mouth.
[1st detective laughs]
Lt. Columbo: We better get out of here.
[1st detective laughs]
Lt. Columbo: We're gonna get arrested.
[1st detective laughs]
See more »


References High Plains Drifter (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the very best Columbo-episodes
21 December 2000 | by (Alkmaar, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

"Double Exposure" is one of the best in this long running series that peaked in the 70's to my opinion. As these films are no whodunnit's, the detective's opponent needs to be a strong character. You bet Robert Culp is one.And he is in top-form as Bart Keppel with his 'subliminal cuts' in advertisement. I think I've seen this one about ten times now and it's still very good entertainment. Note : Culp is also in one or two other episodes, notably in 'The Most Crucial Game'. Brilliant cat-and-mouse-play.

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