Columbo: Season 4, Episode 3

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

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,145 users  
Reviews: 27 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 ...
Susan Gerard
...
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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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patrick McGoohan won an Emmy for his performance as Colonel Lyle C. Rumford in this episode. See more »

Goofs

When Haynes walks into the Commandant's office, in the long shot, there is a solid red furled flag with white stars (it is unclear of whether or not it is a General Officer's flag which would also be in error) over the Commandant's left shoulder but in all other shots, this flag has been replaced with the California State Flag. See more »

Quotes

Col. Lyle C. Rumford: Beware of an excess of compassion, Lieutenant.
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Soundtracks

The Thunderer
(uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

 
Great Battle of Wits
15 August 2003 | by (Cleveland) – See all my reviews

Columbo vs. Patrick McGoohan's character is a classic -- better than many films, keeps you on edge and wondering the whole way. Definitely worth watching if you can find it. Here you see two actors who really know how to fill out a character and make him come to life. Huge fun.


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