Columbo: Season 3, Episode 1

Lovely But Lethal (23 Sep. 1973)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 881 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 4 critic

The formula for a miracle wrinkle cream leads the founder of a cosmetics company to murder. Lt. Columbo is on the case.

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Title: Lovely But Lethal (23 Sep 1973)

Lovely But Lethal (23 Sep 1973) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Viveca Scott
...
Karl Lessing
Sian Barbara Allen ...
Shirley Blaine
...
...
Ferdy
...
Jerry
Fred Draper ...
Murcheson
...
Lab Attendant
...
Sergeant
Richard Stahl ...
Burton (as Dick Stahl)
Marc Hannibal ...
Fingerprint Man
David Toma ...
Policeman
Layne Mathess ...
Fashion Moderator (as Layne Matthess)
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Storyline

Viveca Scott runs Beauty Mark, the cosmetics company whose products are in every woman's home. With sales dropping, she's counting on the miraculous new beauty cream created by her chief chemist to boost sales and overtake her rival, David Lang, but the chemist's assistant steals the formula. Scott attempts to negotiate with him but, in a rage, knocks him over the head with a heavy microscope, killing him. Her rival's secretary finds out and attempts to blackmail her, but the cosmetics queen's worst news is that the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo is on the case. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

23 September 1973 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the film Psycho (1960) in which Vera Miles co-starred, the character Norman Bates gives the famous line "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly". In this episode, the character Viveca Scott played by Ms. Miles gives the line to the ever inquisitive Detective Columbo "I didn't kill Karl Lessing. I couldn't kill a fly." See more »

Goofs

The case resolution centers around the fact that the murderer has a rash from poison ivy and that since there is no poison ivy in southern California she could have only gotten it from the victim. While it is true that poison ivy is not found there (the climate is too dry), poison oak is very common, and could have easily have been the source of the rash. This discrepancy was not addressed and he would not have had a probable cause to arrest her. See more »

Quotes

Viveca Scott: Well, what does David say?
Columbo: [Sarcastically] What does a clam say?
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Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girl from Ipamnema
("Garota de Ipanema") (uncredited)
Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1962)
Portugese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes
English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Toned down instrumental version played at fashion show
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User Reviews

 
Lovely but not quite among the best
29 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a big fan of Columbo, I enjoyed Lovely But Lethal. I think there are better entries in the series, but there are also entries that I deem worse. As always with Columbo, it is well made, slick in the editing and striking in the photography. The music is atmospheric and fitting with the period, Lovely But Lethal is strongly directed, the script has some good lines if a tad basic(there's still the murder but I can think of cleverer and more memorable ones such as with How To Dial a Murder and Swan Song) with the odd contrived moment and the story is well told and intriguing especially with the whole cosmetics industry milieu. The acting is great. Peter Falk is brilliant as always as the iconic Columbo, and while I consider Susan Clark's, Janet Leigh's and Ruth Gordon's female characters a little more interesting, Vera Miles' is credible enough and she gives her all. A young Martin Sheen also makes an impression, as does Vincent Price, part of you does wish there was more of him, but he still delivers with his smarminess and eloquence. Overall, not Columbo's best, but lovely and very watchable. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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