IMDb > "Columbo" Swan Song (1974)

"Columbo" Swan Song (1974)

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David Rayfiel (teleplay by)
Stanley Ralph Ross (story)
View company contact information for Swan Song on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
3 March 1974 (Season 3, Episode 7)
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Oh that evil Johnny Cash! See more (23 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Johnny Cash ... Tommy Brown

Ida Lupino ... Edna Basket Brown

John Dehner ... Roland Pangborn

Sorrell Booke ... J.J. Stringer
Bill McKinney ... Luke Basket

Vito Scotti ... Mr. Grindell
Janit Baldwin ... Tina

John Randolph ... The Colonel
Lucille Meredith ... Jean the seamstress

Richard Caine ... Bennett
Don Mantooth ... Phil (as Donald Mantooth)
Jefferson Kibbee ... Frank
Bonnie Van Dyke ... Maryann Cobb
Douglas Dirkson ... Jeff the airport mechanic (as Doug Dirkson)
Larry Burrell ... TV Reporter Hal Fisher
Michael Lally ... TV Cameraman (as Mike Edward Lally)
Tom McFadden ... Police Pilot
Harry Harvey ... Manager (as Harry Harvey Sr.)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marshall Grant ... Band Member (uncredited)
W.S. Holland ... Band Member (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Man Tallying Figures (uncredited)
Bob Wootton ... Band Member (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Nicholas Colasanto 
Writing credits
David Rayfiel (teleplay by)

Stanley Ralph Ross (story by)

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

Produced by
Edward K. Dodds .... producer
Dean Hargrove .... executive producer
Roland Kibbee .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dick DeBenedictis (music score) (as Dick De Benedictis)
Cinematography by
William Cronjager (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Bob Kagey 
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
Phil Cook .... assistant director (as Phillip Cook)
Sound Department
Wallace R. Bearden .... sound (as Wallace Bearden)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Grady Hunt .... costumes
Editorial Department
Richard Belding .... editorial supervisor
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:
99 min | USA:98 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-18 (2005) (DVD) (self applied) | UK:PG (video rating) (2005)

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 »
Factual errors: The cabin heater in the aircraft being flown is operated by pulling a mechanical knob. Tommy Brown turns off the heater with a switch. The switch appears to be one appropriate for the aircraft, relabeled from some other function.See more »
Lt. Columbo:You know what the problem is? You're a celebrity. Because of you, my boss, he won't let me close up this case until I covered everything. Every loose end's gotta be tied up. Hey, make you crazy. So that's the problem.
Tommy Brown:That's a cryin' shame. It really is. Man with your talent, real killers loose out there, and they got you chasin' smoke.
Lt. Columbo:Whadda ya gonna do? That's the job, right? You take the good with the bad.
See more »
I Saw the LightSee more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Oh that evil Johnny Cash!, 9 July 2008
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands

This is quite a special Columbo movie, not because it's very original or is of exceptional quality but because it features famous singer Johnny Cash as the murderer.

Of course Johnny Cash also plays a musician in this movie and he more or less plays himself. This is always an handy and safe approach when you work with an actor that is not really an actor in the first place. As a matter of fact, Cash spends halve of the time singing in this movie.

Besides Johnny Cash and Peter Falk the movie, among others, also features Ida Lupino. Columbo movies often featured movie stars from the 'old days'. Ida Lupino actually also starred before in the other previous Columbo movie "Columbo: Short Fuse". Lupino is best known for the work she did in the 40's, with movies such as "High Sierra", "The Sea Wolf" and "They Drive by Night" on her resume.

The movie is directed by Nicholas Colasanto, who also directed the most excellent Columbo movie "Columbo: Étude in Black". That movie was mostly great since he left the two main leading men, Peter Falk and John Cassavetes, lots of room to improvise and do things their own way, rather than being hold down by a script or directed. But of course with a movie that stars non-professional actor Johnny Cash you can't really afford to choose this approach, even though he obviously still gave some of the other actors some room. The directing for this movie also most certainly is not bad, it's actually quite great but it can't really touch "Columbo: Étude in Black". Nicholas Colasanto himself by the way still better known to the world as an actor, who portrayed the character Coach in the hit-series "Cheers", right till his death in 1985.

Nicholas Colasanto's directing style on the other hand has as a consequence that the movie is slow moving in parts and you have the feeling at times that Colasanto's overdid it perhaps at times with his directing approach.

An all in all good Columbo movie, that is obviously especially worth watching for the fans of Johnny Cash.


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