Columbo: Season 4, Episode 1

An Exercise in Fatality (15 Sep. 1974)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 856 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 4 critic

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

Director:

(as Bernard Kowalski)

Writers:

(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: An Exercise in Fatality (15 Sep 1974)

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Cast

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 ...
Jerry
Raymond O'Keefe ...
Sgt. Rickets
...
Medical Examiner
Eric Mason ...
Fred
J.R. Clark ...
Harry Lassiter (as J. R. Clark)
Mel Stevens ...
Dr. Freeman
Manuel DePina ...
Photographer
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alibi | spa | barbell | police | murder | See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even architecture has been known to make a comeback appearance in "Columbo". A Columbo film that displays the opening street scene to "An Exercise In Fatality" on a TV monitor is Columbo: Death Lends a Hand (1971), near the beginning, in Brimmer's office. See more »

Goofs

When Columbo finishes walking on the treadmill at the gym he enters the office to talk to Milo Janus. Just before he leaves the office he borrows a pencil from a black box on the desk. When the camera switches from Columbo to Janus the number of pencils change from three to one, and they are also pointing in a different direction. When Columbo puts the pencil back in the box there are two pencils, but the next angle shows three pencils as Columbo is heading toward the door. See more »

Quotes

Columbo: Oh, Mr. Janus, just one more thing, please.
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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 »

Soundtracks

This Old Man
(uncredited)
Traditional English children's song
Sung by Peter Falk on beach
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User Reviews

One of the best Columbos ever
30 March 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

One of the most clever murders in the Columbo series were stud Robert Conrad breaks his victim's neck and rigs it up to look like he was lifting weights which killed him. He also tries to mask the time of death by forging a phone call. When Peter Falk shows up to investigate, boy, do the enemies ever get sick of each other fast. In a hospital-set scene, Columbo even yells that he believes Conrad is responsible for the death- rare for Columbo, who tries to hide that fact normally. Interesting watching the lieutenant sort through the clues, and the office-set conclusion has the viewer hooked. Highly recommended.


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