IMDb > "Columbo" Swan Song (1974)

"Columbo" Swan Song (1974)

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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:
An enjoyable "Columbo" show for fans; but Johnny Cash doesn't quite pull it off See more (22 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:
W.S. Holland ... Band Member (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Man Tallying Figures (uncredited)
Bob Wootton ... Band Member (uncredited)
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Episode Crew
Directed by
Nicholas Colasanto 
Writing credits
David Rayfiel (teleplay)

Stanley Ralph Ross (story)

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
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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: As Tommy Brown (Johnny Cash) walks away from Colombo to board a flight he sings, soto voce, 'Kris Kristofferson''s "Sunday Morning Coming Down" which was a huge hit for Cash.See more »
Revealing mistakes: The building where Edna Basket Browns funeral celebration takes place is the same building (or only facade) where The Great Santini in "Now You See Him" is performing his show.See more »
Tommy Brown:You got a good ear for music.
Lt. Columbo:Well, you know I'm Italian.
See more »
I Saw the LightSee more »


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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
An enjoyable "Columbo" show for fans; but Johnny Cash doesn't quite pull it off, 22 December 2006
Author: J. Spurlin from United States

Tommy Brown (Johnny Cash) is a hugely successful gospel singer unable to enjoy the usual benefits of his fame and wealth. His zealous wife (Ida Lupino) can prove he had committed statutory rape with one of his backup singers, Tina (Janit Baldwin). With this weapon she blackmails him from enjoying the company of other women and even from spending his own money. She wants every penny to go towards building a tabernacle for the Lord. Brown, an experienced pilot, takes his wife and Tina up in a plane; but he's the only one who comes back down alive. It's up to our rumpled Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) to figure out how he did it.

This is a fairly entertaining episode, but it has serious flaws. The effectiveness of the murder sequence is undermined by some awful special effects showing the plane in bad weather and the equally phony-looking shots from inside the plane. The script is badly padded: the comic sequences with the funeral director, the colonel and the seamstress all could have been cut, and no one would have missed them. Johnny Cash is an okay actor: he's naturally talented but too inexperienced to pull off a role this large and complex—even though it was clearly tailored for him. Still, the plotting is good if you ignore the extraneous scenes; and the ending is satisfying. Cash sings two or three enjoyable songs; and his acting is best in the scenes that are always the heart of any "Columbo" episode: when the clever killer and the brilliant detective match wits. Fans will enjoy this one.

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