A gospel singer wants to be rid of his zealous wife. But a murder made to look like an airplane accident does not fool the wily Lt. Columbo.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Brown
Edna Basket Brown
Roland Pangborn
J.J. Stringer
Luke Basket
Mr. Grindell
The Colonel
Lucille Meredith ...
Jean the seamstress
Don Mantooth ...
Phil (as Donald Mantooth)
Jefferson Kibbee ...
Bonnie Van Dyke ...
Maryann Cobb
Douglas Dirkson ...
Jeff the airport mechanic (as Doug Dirkson)


A popular folk singer's plane has crashed. Two passengers have died, and one has escaped with minor injuries. Was it really an accident? How could it not have been? Or, was it really a nearly perfect murder? Columbo is called in to find out. Written by Cindy

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Release Date:

3 March 1974 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tommy Brown (Johnny Cash) spikes the coffee with drugs hidden in his guitar case. This actually happened to Cash in real life and was arrested while going through customs. See more »


As Tommy Brown throws out the thermos, you can see he is pushing on the door hard to open it. But when he prepares to bail out, he first opens the door, and then grabs on his chute. You can clearly see the door opening by its own weight. See more »


Tommy Brown: You got a good ear for music.
Lt. Columbo: Well, you know I'm Italian.
See more »


I Saw the Light
Written by Hank Williams
Performed by Johnny Cash
See more »

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User Reviews

Cash holds his own with Emmy-winner Falk
21 January 2006 | by (Camilla, GA) – See all my reviews

In one of his rare opportunities to show his acting talent, Johnny Cash plays a gospel artist that has to deal with his shrewish wife (Ida Lupino) and his proclivities for dalliances with somewhat younger women. When his wife threatens to expose his infidelities and continues to hold tight to the purse strings, Cash has no option but to plot murder...and a dandy one it is.

The two-hour episode allows Cash to do what he does well: sing. However, he gets to stretch his thespian legs as he matches wits with the clever detective.

In addition to a bravura performance from Cash, veteran character actor John Randolph has a brief but memorable part as a gung ho and slightly deaf military man.

This episode is, most definitely, in the Top 10 of all Columbo episodes.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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