Columbo (1971–2003)
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Negative Reaction 

A photographer murders his wife and blames her death on a bungled kidnapping. But Lt. Columbo has an even sharper eye than the Pulitzer Prize winner.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alvin Deschler
Frances Galesko
Sgt. Hoffman
Lorna McGrath (as Joanna Cameron)
Thomas Dolan
Alice Backes ...
Mrs. Moyland
Harvey Gold ...
Bill Zuckert ...
Capt. Sampson
Adrian Ricard ...
DMV Clerk
Thom Carney ...


Paul Galesko is a famous photographer married to Frances, a nagging woman and a grumbler. Paul is moreover in love with his assistant, Lorna, so he decides to stage a fatal abduction of his wife. Everything seems to go very well to Paul, and the police accept his version of the events, but Lt. Columbo has some doubt. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 October 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


(dvd release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the time of original broadcast, Dick Van Dyke was the spokesman for Kodak Instamatic (110 size film) cameras in a series of TV and print ads. See more »


The glue cap/brush that Columbo is using in the evidence room at the end of the show changes positions on the desk between shots. First it is closer to Columbo towards the edge of the desk. The shot changes to Galesko, then back to Columbo and the cap is now farther away, closer to the bottle. Then at the end of the scene, the cap is back on the bottle even though no one screwed it back on. See more »


[Paul Galesko enjoys a successful showing of his work with his assistant and his publisher]
Ray: Ooh, ooh, ooh, and, and, uh, talking about books, that funny little man came by my office again yesterday.
Paul Galesko: What man?
Ray: Oh, you know, the uh, policeman.
Paul Galesko: Bombarded you with questions, I suppose, huh?
Ray: Oh, yeah. Yeah, but he bought one of your volumes, so it wasn't a complete waste of time, eh?
Lorna McGrath: You know, he did take quite an interest in your work the other day.
Ray: Mm-hm.
Paul Galesko: [spots Columbo at a distance] And today as ...
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Featured in Brilliant But Cancelled (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

There's something eerie from the opening scene ...
12 July 2002 | by (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) – See all my reviews

I've seen many Columbo movies; Negative Reaction is exceptional. There's something eerie from the opening scene where Paul Galesko's [superbly played by Dick Van Dyke] wife Frances is heard through the darkroom door. Nagging, haunting.

The movie was made in 1974 with all the attitudes and charm of that period. Luckily, I taped this movie and will watch it many times to fully enjoy the actors. Dick Van Dyke is at his wits' ends once Colombo gets finished with him. That's what is so enjoyable about this fine movie.

The ending scene where Colombo sits on a desk is flawless. Of course I'm an extreme Colombo fan, but this movie reminded me somewhat of Dial M For Murder, although the plot and characters are totally and absolutely different. If there are other Colombo fans out there who have seen this particular movie, please feel free to contact me to discuss it.

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