Columbo: Season 4, Episode 3

By Dawn's Early Light (27 Oct. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,005 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 3 critic

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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Title: By Dawn's Early Light (27 Oct 1974)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Burr DeBenning ...
Madeleine Sherwood ...
Miss Brady (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Tom Simcox ...
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Sergeant George Kramer (as Bruce Kirby Sr.)
Sidney Armus ...
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Karen Lamm ...
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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

This is the only "Columbo" episode out of the four Patrick McGoohan appears in which he did not direct. See more »

Goofs

As Columbo joins Rumsford for dinner, he is given a plate with a good-sized steak, accompanied by sweetcorn, carrots and something green, all in small neat piles. A few shots later, when the assistant cadets are excused from the table, his plate is there with the steak, but absolutely piled high with peas and green beans, but no sweetcorn at all. Then when he adds bread to his plate, it has the same ingredients as the first plate. See more »

Quotes

Col. Lyle C. Rumford: This country is going to have the best damn army in the world!
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Soundtracks

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

 
a pinnacle of Columbo episodes
18 January 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

maybe my favourite Columbo and maybe the best too.

Just look at McGoohans eyes behind that stiff and unyielding exterior, particularly in the one scene where he unbends a little in the office interview with the Lieutenant. No wonder he won the Emmy for this performance.

The contrast in his style with Falks is the highlight of this episode, no wonder they became good friends with many invitations to come back as yet another murderer and also to direct. They bounce off each other superbly taking an already high quality TV series into new realms.

Highly recommended.


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