Faded movie actress Nora Chandler is being blackmailed by a gossip columnist, Jerry Parks. Parks is also romancing Chandler's secretary, who knows all the great star's secrets. Chandler in desperation blows up the columnist's car - but it turns out her secretary was the one driving. Lt. Columbo, one of Nora's biggest fans, is on the case. Written by
When Columbo first telephones his wife, the boom mic falls into view. See more »
Hey, Lieutenant, did you ever think of getting another car?
Yeah, but I got another car. My wife drives it. Of course, it's nothing special. Just for transportation.
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Frankly, when considering a "Columbo" plot revolving around a faded actress, the 1975 "Forgotten Lady," with Janet Leigh, is far more memorable than this exploration of 70s TV movie-making. The plot seems to borrow bits from various Hollywood sources, such as Shirley Temple and her bungalow at 20th Century Fox in the 30s, etc.
I always enjoy Anne Baxter's performances, but this comes across as a bit over-the-top. Granted, the script requires that she intentionally overact for Columbo, but at times, her supposed "natural" scenes are also a bit camp/vamp.
Even when this first aired in January, 1973, I knew who Edith Head was, and got a kick seeing her cameo.
Director Quine was also at the helm of my least-favorite episode, the one shown prior to this,"Dagger of the Mind." Both exhibit unnecessary scenery chewing, and stray from the formula that usually makes any "Columbo" episode a television classic.
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