Mark Collier is a psychiatrist and Nadia Donner is a patient of his. Mark is also Nadia's lover and his main concern is for a book he is writing. When Nadia and Mark are caught by her husband, Mark kills him with a poker. When the police arrive Nadia tells an unlikely story about two robbers. But will Lt. Columbo believe her? Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
This is one of the few Columbo episodes where the original murder is a spontaneous act. In most episodes the murder is carefully planned. See more »
The interiors of the Van Wyck house in "Playback" and the Donner beach house in "Deadly State of Mind" are the same. Both have steps leading down from one room into two adjacent rooms at 90 degrees from each other. The door to the house enters at this upper level in "Playback" but the door appears to be covered up by a piece of furniture in "Deadly State of Mind". The fireplace is in the same location. See more »
Average Columbo movie in basically every way but it's good.
Well, this is basically an average Columbo movie in every way thinkable but since all of the Columbo movies are such of high quality and features a great and successful formula, this movie is also a perfectly good one to watch.
This is not the Columbo movie that features the best or most original story but it's even more a bigger shame that this also isn't among the fastest ones. The story is progressing quite slowly, which is also reason why this movie isn't among the most interesting or best Columbo movies to watch that are out there. On top of that, the movie also features some silly and just plain unlikely plot elements.
It features all of the usual Columbo ingredients you would expect. Thankfully this also means that it features some good relieving fun humor, of course all involving the unusual Lieutenant, who basically at times is like a child in the big world, although it of course also often is part of his act to gain the trust of his suspects by playing dumber than he really is, in order to get closer to them and getting his information from them. The killers are often underestimating the Lieutenant, which is often the reason of their downfall.
The directing is quite and average for a made for TV murder mystery. It's part of the reason why this movie never surpasses the level of average but its useful and effective directing for a type of movie such as this one, so it's not a big complaint. The director is Harvey Hart, a man who directed a total of 4 Columbo movie. I don't believe there are more directors who did so many Columbo movies. He did all of his work for the series from 1974 till 1976.
In this movie the role of the murderer is being played by George Hamilton, who is a great actor and also plays a good role in this movie. There is also a fine role from Lesley Ann Warren in the movie and of course Peter Falk is great as usual as the scruffy looking Columbo.
Average but perfectly watchable Columbo movie entry.
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