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
'Chuck Mccann (I)', who plays Keppler's projectionist, played the title role in the 1971 movie, The Projectionist (1971). See more »
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 »
I usually watch Columbo for the guest villains/murderers, and this episode stars the arrogant Robert Culp, who's in my opinion second only to Jack Cassidy as far as great guest stars/killers go. Culp perfectly portrays Dr. Bart Kepple, a research specialist who's responsible for this new fangled gizmo called subliminal messaging, and he's a very proud and confident man. The method of the murder is quite original, yet very risky, but Culp makes any routine murder that much more interesting. Kepple naturally underestimates Columbo, and tries to outsmart him, even though Columbo is adept at playing dumb to the arrogant suspect. Speaking of dumb, that award goes to the film projectionist, who stupidly blackmails Kepple and practically asks to get himself killed, in which Kepple obliges. Lastly, the conclusion is better than many other episodes, as Columbo uses Kepple's technique against him.
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