Riley Greenleaf is a publisher and Alan Mallory, a successful writer, is his principal asset. But Alan Mallory has decided to change publishers. Riley threatens to kill Alan. Then he hires Eddie Kane, a Vietnam veteran, to murder Alan and to leave evidence that the killer is Riley himself, who has an excellent alibi. But a key will betray him. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Of course basically all of the Columbo movies are more or less the same and they mostly can distinct itself mainly through its directing. This is one of the better directed Columbo movies and its made with lots of pace and style.
It's a Columbo movie that got made with a lot of class. It features cinematic tricks such as split-screens and also the cinematography is not just only static.
But director Robert Butler also knows how to handle its actors. Peter Falk is in good form in his Columbo role, who acts more in a police role this time than perhaps is the case in any other Columbo movie. Jack Cassidy also plays a good role as the movie its main suspect. Columbo movies almost always featured famous actors in the role of the key suspect. Jack Cassidy is not the best known actors of this bunch but he has played some good roles throughout his career, including a role in the previous Columbo movie "Columbo: Murder by the Book", directed by Steven Spielberg.
The main suspect in this movie uses a very original tactic. He tries to make himself look as suspicious as possible at first, by leaving clues and leaving suspicious statements, even though he himself did not commit the murder but hired someone for it to do it.
The approach and its actual story and the way it progresses also makes this a good and special Columbo movie to watch, that provides plenty of entertainment value. It also has plenty of twists and turns in it, although it of course also all remains rather predictable for most part till some extend.
One that's among the better ones of the Columbo movies.
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