Columbo (1971–2003)
31 user 4 critic

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?


Paul Hanlon's distinctive fireplace fan in "Negative Reaction", which was also in Nelson Heyward's house in Columbo: Candidate for Crime (1973). See more »


As Dick Van Dyke brings the handgun from behind the briefcase in his left hand, I see that it's a German Luger, made mostly between the early 1900s through WWII. This type of gun has a toggle action, which is held open and up after the last shot or when you cock the gun on an empty magazine, and it's up just before he shoots it. The gun cannot be shot in this condition unless the toggle is pulled back and released with a magazine that's got at least one round in it. This is akin to trying to shoot a modern gun while the slide is locked back after the last shot. It must be released first on a magazine with rounds in it. Locked up and open the gun won't even go "click". See more »


Paul Galesko: Well, Lieutenant, that man was blind drunk. He didn't know WHAT he heard.
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Featured in Brilliant But Cancelled (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Columbo top 5 candidate

Ranks in my top 5 Columbo episodes. Van Dyke plays against type as slimy murderer and the scene with Falk picking up Drivers Test examiner Storch is the funniest of the series. Columbo trips up Van Dyke as he often does his suspects however with a more believable trap than usual.

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