IMDb > "Columbo" Lovely But Lethal (1973)
"Columbo: Lovely But Lethal (#3.1)"
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"Columbo" Lovely But Lethal (1973)

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Overview

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7.0/10   847 votes »
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View company contact information for Lovely But Lethal on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
23 September 1973 (Season 3, Episode 1)
Genre:
Plot:
The formula for a miracle wrinkle cream leads the founder of a cosmetics company to murder. Lt. Columbo is on the case. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A rather lightweight but watchable Columbo story See more (13 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Vera Miles ... Viveca Scott

Martin Sheen ... Karl Lessing
Sian Barbara Allen ... Shirley Blaine

Vincent Price ... David Lang

Gino Conforti ... Ferdy

Colby Chester ... Jerry
Fred Draper ... Murcheson

Bruce Kirby ... Lab Attendant

John Finnegan ... Sergeant
Richard Stahl ... Burton (as Dick Stahl)
Marc Hannibal ... Fingerprint Man
David Toma ... Policeman
Layne Mathess ... Fashion Moderator (as Layne Matthess)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Dianne Travis ... Blonde Instructor (uncredited)
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Episode Crew
Directed by
Jeannot Szwarc 
 
Writing credits
Jackson Gillis (teleplay)

Myrna Bercovici (story)

Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Produced by
Douglas Benton .... producer
Robert F. O'Neill .... associate producer
Richard Levinson .... producer (uncredited)
William Link .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dick DeBenedictis  (as Dick De Benedictis)
 
Cinematography by
Harry L. Wolf (director of photography) (as Harry Wolf)
 
Film Editing by
Larry Lester 
 
Art Direction by
Loyd S. Papez 
 
Set Decoration by
George Gaines (set decorations)
 
Production Management
Kenny Williams .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack Doran .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Terry Kellum .... sound
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Grady Hunt .... costumes
 
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: Mystery Movie theme
Hal Mooney .... music supervisor
 
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... main title design
Jackson Gillis .... executive story consultant
 

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Richard Levinson  creator
William Link  creator

Production Companies
  • Universal TV (from Universal City, California) (as Universal® Studios)
DistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:73 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-18 (2005) (DVD) (self applied) | UK:PG (video rating) (2005)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In the third scene of the movie, we get to see excerpts from a vintage Universal musical. Actually, these selections have been taken from When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950), in which Vera Miles made her first movie appearance.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Safe door is already open before she turns the dial to unlock it.See more »
Quotes:
Viveca Scott:Lieutenant, I did not kill Karl Lessing. I couldn't kill a fly.See more »
Movie Connections:
References Frankenstein (1931)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Girl from IpamnemaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A rather lightweight but watchable Columbo story, 22 April 2002
Author: The Welsh Raging Bull (leighton.phillips@sihe.ac.uk) from Port Talbot, South Wales, UK

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."

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