IMDb > "Columbo" Publish or Perish (1974)

"Columbo" Publish or Perish (1974)

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Peter S. Fischer (written by)
Richard Levinson (created by) ...
View company contact information for Publish or Perish on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
18 January 1974 (Season 3, Episode 5)
A publisher hires a bomb enthusiast to murder a bestselling author of sex novels. Lt. Columbo is on the case. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Mickey Spillane is in for it in this amusing rehash of "Murder by the Book" See more (15 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Jack Cassidy ... Riley Greenleaf
Mickey Spillane ... Alan Mallory

Mariette Hartley ... Eileen McRae

Jacques Aubuchon ... Jeffrey Neal
John Davis Chandler ... Eddie Kane (as John Chandler)

Gregory Sierra ... Lou D'Allessandro

Alan Fudge ... David Chase

Paul Shenar ... Sgt. Young

Jack Bender ... Wolpert
Ted Gehring ... Security Guard
Vern Rowe ... Restaurant Manager
Lew Palter ... Lab Technician
George Brenlin ... Locksmith
J.S. Johnson ... Palmer
Maurice Marsac ... Waiter
James Millhollin ... Elderly Man
Maryesther Denver ... Elderly Woman
Davis Roberts ... Kramer
Rocky Frier ... Parking Attendant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Sikking ... Policeman in office (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Robert Butler 
Writing credits
Peter S. Fischer (written by)

Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

Produced by
Edward K. Dodds .... associate producer
Dean Hargrove .... executive producer
Roland Kibbee .... executive producer
Original Music by
Billy Goldenberg 
Cinematography by
William Cronjager (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Robert L. Kimble 
Art Direction by
John W. Corso 
Set Decoration by
Bill McLaughlin (set decorations) (as William McLaughlin)
Production Management
Brad H. Aronson .... unit manager (as Brad Aronson)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert Gilmore .... assistant director
Sound Department
Wallace R. Bearden .... sound (as Wallace Bearden)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Grady Hunt .... costumes
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
Arnold Baker .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Henry Mancini .... composer: Mystery Movie theme
Hal Mooney .... music supervisor
Other crew
Wayne Fitzgerald .... main title design
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Germany:70 min | Italy:68 min | USA:73 min | 75 min (dvd release)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-18 (2005) (DVD) (self applied) | UK:PG | UK:PG (video rating) (2005)

Did You Know?

Columbo mentions a colleague who was a bestselling author. This is probably a reference to Joseph Wambaugh, a LAPD detective sergeant who rose to fame in the 1970's for his realistic police novels.See more »
Factual errors: Although Greenleaf's publishing company is located in Los Angeles (where Columbo works), a cover letter is addressed to him in New York City.See more »
Lieutenant Columbo:For $100,000, ya don't kill off Rock Hudson.See more »


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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Mickey Spillane is in for it in this amusing rehash of "Murder by the Book", 22 December 2006
Author: J. Spurlin from United States

Riley Greenleaf (Jack Cassidy) publishes the bestselling sex novels of Alan Mallory (Mickey Spillane), who is about to leave Greenleaf and sign with a rival firm eager to publish his new novel set during the Vietnam War. But Greenleaf's firm has a life insurance policy on Mallory. Enter Eddie Kane (John Chandler), a bomb enthusiast and Vietnam veteran, who has written a manuscript called "How to Blow Anything Up in Ten Easy Lessons." Greenleaf thrills him with the promise of getting it published; Kane in turn considers doing a hit job on Mallory a trivial favor. Little does Kane guess what Greenleaf has planned for him after filling that part of the bargain.

"Publish or Perish" is a rehash of a great early "Columbo" episode, "Murder by the Book," which also starred Jack Cassidy. This time Cassidy has a far more complex murder plot—too complex for his own good. There are too many ways it could go wrong, as it inevitably does. Still, he seems to have our rumpled Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) going for awhile. Although Greenleaf makes some tiny Freudian slips, which Columbo immediately seizes upon, he actually seems to convince our brilliant detective that someone is trying to frame him. Then again, we can never quite read Columbo. Is he—as is almost always the case—only pretending to buy the murderer's line of bull?

This is no "Murder by the Book," but it's an entertaining episode with a good cast. Cassidy is fine doing pretty much what he did in "Book." Chandler is perfectly cast as the hit-man and gives a memorably creepy performance. Mariette Hartley appears as a rival publisher, beautifully freckled and free of makeup. Spillane is no actor, but it's fun seeing the real-life pulp novelist in this role. Robert Butler directs Peter S. Fischer's script in a show-offy, but mainly effective manner: the murder scene, at one point, shows us Cassidy, Chandler and Spillane in a thrice-split screen. Billy Goldenberg provides a weird electronic score that I enjoyed. "Columbo" fans will be happy with this one.

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