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 948 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)

By Dawn's Early Light (27 Oct 1974) on IMDb 7.7/10

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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 ...
...
...
Sergeant George Kramer (as Bruce Kirby Sr.)
Sidney Armus ...
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Karen Lamm ...
...
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: Do you have a first name?
Lt. Columbo: I do. My wife is about the only one that uses it.
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Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredoted)
Arranged by Daniel Butterfield
Played by unseen bugler
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User Reviews

Two Bruno Kirby's for the price of one
29 April 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

While I have always liked this episode for McGoohan's stiff propriety, I always loved the interaction between the Sergeant Kramer and Columbo. I also got a kick out of seeing a very young Bruno Kirby playing a cadet. Sergeant Kramer is a recurring character played by a character actor that I had seen many times on TV (Barney Miller, Kojak, Rockford, even Hogan's Heroes) and had always liked, but hadn't seen him too often in movies, and so didn't know his name. I resolved to sit through the credits at the end to finally learn the actor's name, and lo and behold it turns out to Bruno's father Bruce Kirby Sr. Kirby the Elder was most recently seen in the 2004 season of The Sopranos, but some of his most fun work was on Barney Miller and Columbo.


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