A health club owner murders one of his franchisees; Lt. Columbo is on the case.


(as Bernard Kowalski)


(teleplay by), (story) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gretchen Corbett ...
Jessica Conroy
Buddy Castle (as Pat Harrington)
Ruth Stafford (as Collin Wilcox)
Philip Bruns ...
Gene Stafford
Jude Farese ...
Darrell Zwerling ...
Dennis Robertson ...
Raymond O'Keefe ...
Sgt. Rickets
Medical Examiner
Eric Mason ...
J.R. Clark ...
Harry Lassiter (as J. R. Clark)
Mel Stevens ...
Dr. Freeman
Manuel DePina ...


Milo Janus owns a chain of health clubs, but one of his franchisees discovers the man is cheating him - and can prove it to the authorities. Janus responds by murdering his partner and making it look as if he had accidentally killed himself trying to lift a barbell that was too heavy for him. Janus creates a would-be perfect alibi for himself involving a tape recording of his victim's voice, a phone that doesn't light up, a sexy secretary, a party for friends at his house, and a pornographic horror movie. But no alibi is perfect when the rumpled Lt. Columbo is on the case. Written by J. Spurlin

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Plot Keywords:

alibi | spa | barbell | police | murder | See All (85) »


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Release Date:

15 September 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (DVD release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Even architecture has been known to make a comeback appearance in "Columbo". In {Death Lends a Hand (#1.2)}_, near the beginning, the opening street scene to "An Exercise In Fatality" can be seen on a TV monitor in Brimmer's office. See more »


Columbo's hair, sweat and towel whilst exercising on the treadmill vary from shot to shot. See more »


Milo: He won't find anything, and in eight months I'm going to be in my villa overlooking the Adriatic with two million in Swiss francs to keep me warm.
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Crazy Credits

During the end credits the usual theme music is not heard. In its place is a jingle for the fictional Milo Janus fitness club instead. See more »


Stout-Hearted Men
Music by Sigmund Romberg (1928)
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Instrumental variation heard satirically whilst Columbo (Peter Falk) is jogging.
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User Reviews

Brain meets Brawn

Excellent "Columbo" finds the perceptive detective matching wits with health guru Robert Conrad who bumped off a business partner and made it look like murder. The contrast between the self-effacing but brilliant detective and the vain, arrogant icon of physical fitness is highlighted throughout. Conrad never dares Falk to knock a battery off his shoulder, but his sense of superiority makes him less sympathetic than most of Columbo's adversaries, and it's very satisfying when the usually mild-mannered detective displays a rare flash of temper during a conversation with his prey. One of the best episodes in the series.

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