Columbo (1971–2003)
7.8/10
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29 user 3 critic

By Dawn's Early Light 

The commandant of a military academy murders the chairman of the board, who wants to oust him. Lt. Columbo takes up residence in the barracks to expose the killer.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Burr DeBenning ...
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Miss Brady (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
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Sergeant George Kramer (as Bruce Kirby Sr.)
Sidney Armus ...
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Karen Lamm ...
Susan Gerard
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Cadet Morgan (as B. Kirby Jr.)
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Storyline

Colonel Lyle C. Rumford, the proud Commandant of a military academy, is incensed that William Haynes, the owner of the property, wants to turn it into a co-ed college. So, Rumford plots to kill Haynes with a back-firing cannon that Haynes is due to fire in a ceremony. Rumford arranges for the cannon to explode by blocking its discharge with a cleaning rag and thereby making the explosion seem an unfortunate accident caused by a clumsy attendant. Los Angeles Police Department's Lieutenant Columbo comes to the academy to investigate Haynes' death and instantly suspects that Rumford had something to do with the explosion, which Columbo believes was not accidental. Columbo unrelentingly seeks to prove that Rumford had motive and opportunity to rig the cannon. Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

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27 October 1974 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The campus scenes were filmed at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. See more »

Goofs

In Rumford's office, after Columbo gives the Colonel a match to light his cigar and he strikes it, we see the end of the cigar in frame a few seconds later: it remains unlit. McGoohan clearly just didn't try to light it. See more »

Quotes

Col. Lyle C. Rumford: Don't you expect me to be contrite, Lieutenant. It had to be done, and I'd do it again tomorrow.
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Soundtracks

National Emblem
(uncredited)
Music by Edwin Eugene Bagley
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User Reviews

Excellent mystery with good logical conclusion
29 December 1999 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

Another fine Columbo episode, as the detective investigates a murder at a military academy. Patrick McGoohan plays Col. Rumford, the academy commander, in one of his best Columbo performances. He is always good at roles like this one, playing characters who are extremely controlled and keep their inner lives veiled. His use of psychology to lure his victim to his death and to set up an obnoxious cadet to take the fall is beautifully matched by Columbo's parallel study of psychology as he starts to unravel the plot. The conclusion of the mystery is particularly satisfying, as it depends not upon tricking an admission from the murderer, but from linking together his own statements and trapping him in his own words. McGoohan is great in the last scene, accepting his defeat without flinching.


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