Columbo: Season 3, Episode 7

Swan Song (3 Mar. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,121 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 5 critic

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.



(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: Swan Song (03 Mar 1974)

Swan Song (03 Mar 1974) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Brown
Edna Basket Brown
Roland Pangborn
J.J. Stringer
Bill McKinney ...
Luke Basket
Mr. Grindell
Janit Baldwin ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

3 March 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In-joke: Tommy Brown refers to his unseen music arranger as "Nick Solacanto"; the director of the episode is Nicholas Colasanto. See more »


When Tommy is playing with the band in the back yard, you can tell his singing is amplified. However, there is no microphone. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Say, that's delicious. I never tasted chili like that before.
Luke Basket: That's a special recipe made out of squirrel meat. That good, ain't it?
Lt. Columbo: [pause] Hmm. Yeah, that explains it.
See more »


Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
Written by Kris Kristofferson
Performed by Johnny Cash
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User Reviews

Columbo vs. Johnny Cash
24 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

While not one of my favourite episodes, it is one of the more interesting ones for me. It is strikingly filmed, with a score that is atmospheric, clever dialogue and a compelling story that benefits from one of the most ingenious murder scenes of any Columbo episode. It has some great songs, footage of Cash's in concert and Cash himself in tremendous voice. I liked the comic scenes, the undertaker scene was priceless, and the ending was overall satisfying. Peter Falk once again embodies the character of Columbo, and I think Johnny Cash deserves credit for trying his best in a large and complex role. He may be inexperienced, but there are a number of scenes especially in the fantastic rapport between him and Columbo where he is at ease. John Randolph's small part is as juicy as the juiciest orange. The episode is a little slow moving at times with a couple of scenes that felt padded and although the murder was ingenious the scene was almost cheapened by special effects that are pretty lame even for the 70s. Overall though, it is a very good episode and an interesting one too. 8/10 Bethany Cox

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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