Dr. Bart Keppel: [at an intersection] Which way?
Lt. Columbo: Beg pardon?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Right or left? You didn't tell me where the murder was committed, Lieutenant, so I couldn't possibly know how to get there, could I?
Lt. Columbo: Turn right.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Nice try, though.
Lt. Columbo: Can't win 'em all.
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 the 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 woulda 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 cut. You used a subliminal cut!
Lt. Columbo: No, quite a few subliminal cuts. From some photos I made. Came in here with Milt last night and we shot some pictures... It must have been the ones around the lamp... Those are the ones that did it. Maybe it was that fella.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Let me... see. May I?
Lt. Columbo: We had them processed last night, and we cut 'em into your movie this morning.
Dr. Bart Keppel: I know one thing, Lieutenant, you have to admit... you never would have solved it without using my technique.
Lt. Columbo: That's right, Doc. If there was a reward, I'd support your claim to it.
[Dr. Keppel laughs, half-mad]
Lt. Columbo: My wife's got no head for crime. We go to those whodunit movies, she always picks the wrong murderer. I wanna tell you something: If my wife decided to murder me, she could come up with a better alibi than you got.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Sounds like you feel a little empty-headed at the moment, but I don't think you're empty-headed at all.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, thank you very much.
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]
Lt. Columbo: Oh, that reminds me, uhh... Mr. Norris' secretary showed me an agenda of a Board of Directors meeting that was scheduled to take place today, and on the top of the list it said "Terminate Keppel." I was just wondering about that, uh... I don't know quite how to put this. How about it, Doc? Were you about to be canned?
Dr. Bart Keppel: I-I think you put it very directly. You're about as subtle as a train wreck.
Lt. Columbo: Doctor? Doctor Keppel? Doctor Keppel? Good afternoon, Doctor! Afternoon. Uh, Doctor? Scuse me, sir.
Dr. Bart Keppel: I gather you are not a golfer.
Lt. Columbo: Uh, no, sir, I do bowl, a little, but you see this hand...
Dr. Bart Keppel: It's customary to be very still when a man is trying to hit a golf ball.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, did I ruin your shot?
Dr. Bart Keppel: No-no, just a little.
Lt. Columbo: Well, listen, I'm sorry. Since it was my fault, maybe they'll let you do it over?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Not at the stakes we play!
Dr. Bart Keppel: Tanya Baker is the kind of girl that a man doesn't like to admit he knows at all, and certainly not if he's married, and I am married. I hope I can rely on your discretion, Lieutenant, now that you know?
Lt. Columbo: Oh, absolutely, sir. Nothing to worry about. No, I'm from, uh, homicide. I'm not from the vice squad.
Dr. Bart Keppel: You stole something from me?
Lt. Columbo: Yeah, nothing serious. Fact is, the night of the murder I was hungry, I saw some of your caviar around and I... took the liberty of helping myself. Just thought I'd mention it.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Don't be silly. As long as you enjoyed it.
Lt. Columbo: That's the funny part. I didn't enjoy it. Too salty. And you know, I didn't notice it when I was eating it, but when I went to the projectionist's later on, I remember I felt a little thirsty. All of the sudden, I wanted something to drink, so he had some iced tea there, thank goodness... Oh, that reminds me. Take a look.
Dr. Bart Keppel: [opens and reads Columbo's document] Autopsy report.
Lt. Columbo: I thought that... if I took caviar and it made me thirsty, I figured maybe it would make him thirsty.
Dr. Bart Keppel: So you ordered an autopsy. That's very astute, Lieutenant.
Lt. Columbo: Thank you very much, Doctor. It was the only way that I could find out whether or not Mr. Norris ate any caviar. According to this report, he did.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Mm-hm. Yeah.
Lt. Columbo: Quite a bit. Pretty big eater. Uh, Doctor?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes.
Lt. Columbo: In light of this new information, I was wondering whether or not... you could find it in yourself to be more helpful at this point?
Dr. Bart Keppel: If the man was thirsty... and he was subjected to several subliminal cuts of, say, a tall, cool drink, that would cause him to get up and leave the screening room and go to find the nearest water fountain... Is that what you mean?
Lt. Columbo: I had something like that in mind, yes. And that COULD happen?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Oh, yes, indeed.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, thank you very much. You've been VERY helpful.
Dr. Bart Keppel: [having listened to Columbo's theory] You're an interesting man, Lieutenant, very interesting.
Lt. Columbo: I take it, that's a compliment?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes, it tis; however, you have to take it a bit further. You may really be onto something; you have to take the next step.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, what is that, sir?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Look at the film, examine it carefully, see if there are any subliminal cuts. Oh, of course, I should have realized. You've already done that.
Lt. Columbo: I have.
Dr. Bart Keppel: What did you find?
Lt. Columbo: No splices.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Aw, that's too bad. What a shame. Such a good idea.
Lt. Columbo: Could've been two prints.
Dr. Bart Keppel: TWO prints! Well, that's an interesting notion, too. If I were you, I'd get busy and find that second print. Your entire case could rest on that.
Lt. Columbo: Doctor, I don't think I'm gonna find the second print.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Really? Why not?
Lt. Columbo: I think that the criminal in this case is much too intelligent to leave that kind of evidence around. Of course, I'm gonna check all the film duplicating labs, but I got a feeling this guy did his own duplicating.
Dr. Bart Keppel: That must be very frustrating for you, Lieutenant.
[Doctor Keppel leaves but Columbo follows and catches up]
Lt. Columbo: Uh, Doc? I just wanted to thank you for all your help.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Anytime.
Lt. Columbo: Dr. Keppel?
Dr. Bart Keppel: [growns] Ohh... Lieutenant, what is it?
Lt. Columbo: May I speak to you privately?
Dr. Bart Keppel: [sighs; to his narrator] Charles, why don't you watch the film. We'll talk afterwards.
Dr. Bart Keppel: [to the projectionist] Go ahead and run.
Dr. Bart Keppel: [finally to the lieutenant] Columbo, what do you want?
Lt. Columbo: I'm sorry to disturb you, Doctor. I have sad news. Mr. White, your projectionist, he was just shot.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Is it... bad?
Lt. Columbo: Dead, sir.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Uhhhh... I would be very interested to know if there is any connection between that and the Norris murder. Would you keep me informed?
Lt. Columbo: You know, Doctor, I'm going over there now, and I was wondering, uhh...
Dr. Bart Keppel: You were wondering if I would go with you... to the scene of the crime?
Lt. Columbo: How d'you know that?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Oh... Lieutenant, I know where you're coming from, and I know where you're going, and it isn't very difficult to figure you out.
Lt. Columbo: I don't understand.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Well, for some reason, you have come up with the remarkable notion that I am guilty of Vic Norris' murder. Never mind that I have no motive, or that I scarcely knew the man, or that he was my best... client. Your innuendos keep clumping through our conversations like hobnailed boots, and if I didn't find you a... an extraordinarily... amusing fellow, I might even be offended.
Lt. Columbo: Doc, if I'd have known I was making that kind of impression, I would have left and never come back. The fact of the matter is, I knew White worked for ya, and I thought you might wanna come. And I thought you might be able to help. Honest. I think you'd be a great detective.
Dr. Bart Keppel: All right, Lieutenant... I'll play.
Lt. Columbo: Uh-oh. Another bad one, huh, Doc?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes, that's a bad one!
Lt. Columbo: Let's see if I can help you find that!
Dr. Bart Keppel: Why don't you come to the point, Lieutenant?
Lt. Columbo: The real point?
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes. The real one. That one. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Lt. Columbo: I think you're guilty of homicide. I think you killed Mr. Norris, and I think you killed the projectionist.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Lieutenant, how could I have killed Mr. Norris, or anybody else, when I was standing in plain view of everyone in the screening room at the time?
Lt. Columbo: You couldn't.
Dr. Bart Keppel: No.
Lt. Columbo: So you weren't.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes... but they DID see me.
Lt. Columbo: No, sir. They heard you. And you had a tape recorder. And it was dark.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Wait a minute. Let me get one thing straight. I was told that all of the testimony was unanimous. Everyone in the room swore they saw me there. Is that true?
Lt. Columbo: Yes, sir.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Has someone CHANGED their testimony?
Lt. Columbo: No, sir.
Dr. Bart Keppel: No, they haven't! Well, when they do, we'll be able to pursue this fascinating line of speculation. Ah! Here's my ball. There it is. I'll just toss it out a bit... and no one will ever know... and I can go on with my game.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, by the way, sir, before I interfere with your swing... I won't be able to be your alibi for last night when Mr. White was shot.
Dr. Bart Keppel: I'm so sorry to hear that. Why not?
Lt. Columbo: Because I was only with you from 7:30 on... and Mr. White was killed before 7:30.
Dr. Bart Keppel: That's more speculation?
Lt. Columbo: No, sir. Mr. White was not killed during the second reel of that film. He was killed during the first reel, and that would have given you plenty of time to get to your office.
Dr. Bart Keppel: How did you come up with this conclusion?
Lt. Columbo: Because there was no nickel.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Uhhh... I beg your pardon?
Lt. Columbo: No nickel. Under the #2 projector, on the floor, there was no nickel. How do you like that? You see, this fellow White, the projectionist, he told me he had a little trick. He takes a nickel and he puts it in the reel down by the end, so that when the nickel falls out, he knows it's time to change the reel. Under the #2 projector there was no nickel. In my opinion, sir, Mr. White did not change the second reel. You did.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Ahhhh... I marvel, at you Lieutenant. I... I really... I am fascinated by your imagination, but... as far as I know, a court of law in this country still requires some... SOME kind of... evidence, don't they?
Lt. Columbo: That's right, Doc. And I don't have any.
Dr. Bart Keppel: I don't see any. Do you?
Lt. Columbo: Not enough to convict,
Dr. Bart Keppel: I can't see how, so we'll just have to let it go at that for the time being, since we don't have any alternative, and I really can now get on with my game.
Lt. Columbo: Nice shot, Doc.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Yes!
Lt. Columbo: For a while there, I thought I was gonna spoil your game.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Not a chance, Lieutenant.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Well, Lieutenant, unless you think I can be of any further help, in my opinion, as you people say... that about wraps this up.
Lt. Columbo: I don't think she did it.
Dr. Bart Keppel: You are an incredibly stubborn man. After all the facts you've established, it's obvious the projectionist and Mrs. Norris were in it together.
Lt. Columbo: I STILL don't think she did it.
Dr. Bart Keppel: In that case, I am deeply grateful for one thing.
Lt. Columbo: And what is that, Doctor?
Dr. Bart Keppel: That you've established that White was killed between 7:30 and 8:00, because you and I have been together constantly since 7:30, starting in the cutting room and ending, I hope, now; otherwise, I'm positive you'd still be accusing me.
Lt. Columbo: Oh, Doctor, I've never accused you of anything.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Heh... I'll ignore that, because I'm convinced that my only real protection in this matter is the fact that you, personally, are my alibi.
Lt. Columbo: And that's a tough nut to crack.
Dr. Bart Keppel: That's not tough. That's impossible. Uh... I imagine you can find someone to get you back to your car.
Lt. Columbo: Certainly.
Dr. Bart Keppel: Good. In that case... goodbye... Lieutenant.
Dr. Bart Keppel: [voiceover narration for motivational film] Nothing can happen in this country until someone sells something. We are traditionally a nation of salesmen but, most importantly, we have advanced salesmanship to a creative art. It has been the ability of salesmen representing American products and capital around the globe that has made American business preeminent.
[as the speech continues via tape recorder, Dr. Keppel slips out, kills Vic Norris, and returns, picing up the speech many lines later]
Dr. Bart Keppel: Salesmanship, a profession that has become a way of life, our most powerful weapon in the war of ideas and economies, a tribute to American creativity.
Lt. Columbo: I had an uncle who made a killing in real estate up in San Dimas.
Roger White: Do tell.
Lt. Columbo: You know what this guy did before he started sellin' dirt?
Roger White: Mm-mm.
Lt. Columbo: Drove a school bus.
Roger White: Wow.
Lt. Columbo: Now he's got a ranch, a couple of Cadillacs, sends out embossed Christmas cards.