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

Director:

Writers:

(teleplay by), (story by) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Edit

Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1973 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The uniquely shaped lab at Beauty Mark, with observation windows above, was also used as the operating room in Season 2 "A Stitch in Crime". 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

Columbo: Uh, what I really wanna do is clear up some gossip I keep hearing - and this'll be my last question: Miss Scott, you're a beautiful woman, you got a lot of life in ya, handsome young man comes to work for ya, Mr. Lessing is an attractive single man...
Viveca Scott: And you heard that I might've dated him a couple of times, is that it? Well, that's quite true. Do you know how long ago that was? That was two years ago, and there've been hundreds since then. I like young men, Lieutenant, lots of them, and if ...
See more »

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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A rather lightweight but watchable Columbo story
22 April 2002 | by (Port Talbot, South Wales,UK) – See all my reviews

A cosmetics queen tries to save her flagging Beauty Mark empire by acquiring a revolutionary wrinkle-removing cream from a disloyal chemist working within her company, who is ready to sell the formula to one of her rivals. Realising his total reluctance to do a deal with her she kills him in a rage....

Not a particularly strong Season 3 opener, which has an interesting if somewhat far-fetched plot. Vera Miles's characterisation does not quite have the complexity and substance of other murderesses in the series (e.g. Susan Clark and Janet Leigh) and despite her best efforts, she cannot bring much out of her rather bland part.

The approach by the script-writer (the prolific Jackson Gillis) is rather subdued and subtle. Columbo scenes with the murderess don't really have much impact until the finale and the one main clue (which leads Columbo to deduce that the murderer was woman),where he finds a magazine at the murder scene with sums of money written on it in eyebrow pencil, is symptomatic of a rather unintelligent murderess and a struggle for the script-writer to point Columbo in the direction of that person.

Disappointingly, Vincent Price, only has two scenes and his character could have been developed much more, especially as Columbo curiously seems to get very little information from him. Ultimately, one can't help thinking about Vincent Price's calibre as a Columbo murderer - he would have really shone with the right script!

The contagious nature of poison ivy becomes an all-too-easy focal point of the episode also, since both Columbo and the murderess catch it from the same source.

Two other things: the coincidence that gives Columbo the case is not particularly believable and the second murder (of the murderesses's rival's blackmailing secretary) is not referred to in a slightly rushed ending, which is also guilty of no significant build-up.

Despite the somewhat negative comments, this is generally an average but distinctly watchable Season 3 story, which is well above the quality of the series's weak episodes like "Dead Weight", "Fade Into Murder", "Old-Fashioned Murder" and "Last Salute To The Commodore."


22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite multi-killer (actor)? MaggieMarlowe
I'M HERE BECAUSE OF EPISODE Any Old Port in a Storm AND JULIE HARRIS! egyptianempire
Was getting divorced THAT big a deal? lorraine1232
Columbo's Family sternfan88
Lovely but Lethal...... popweasel-125-514813
Who did not deserve to be murdered? dinandwoesthof
Discuss Lovely But Lethal (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?