Columbo (1971–2003)
7.5/10
1,129
31 user 4 critic

An Exercise in Fatality 

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

Director:

(as Bernard Kowalski)

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Edit

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
Edit

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 All (85) »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 September 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbo meets Milo at the same beach where Jim Rockford lives in the Rockford files. He walks down to meet him past the restaurant outside Rockford's trailer. 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

Milo: What the hell gives you the right, Columbo?
Columbo: This, sir. This is a warrant. This gives me the right.
See more »

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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Does Columbo's clue prove guilt or innocence?
27 March 2006 | by (California) – See all my reviews

*****This contains Spoilers*****

Overall, I really enjoy watching this episode. Both Falk and Conrad play well off one another. But this comment concerns the shoe evidence that trips up (no pun intended) the murderer's alibi. Columbo explains in detail how someone else had tied the victim's shoe laces on his gym shoes. He explains how when right handed people tie their shoes the big loop of the lace ends up over the same toe every time. However, the victim's gym shoe laces show the big loop over the opposite toe; which conflicts with the way his work shoes were tied. Proving that someone killed the victim and then dressed him in his gym clothes and tied the gym shoes from the opposite direction; and by the killer's sworn statement he said the victim told him he had already changed his clothes. This leads Columbo to the conclusion that the killer couldn't have known the victim was in his gym clothes unless he was the one that changed the clothes. Now, as logic goes, that's not a bad supposition. However, in one of the earlier scenes the victim is seen writing with his left hand; which by Columbo's reasoning would conclude that the victim tied his own gym shoes. Seems like all the killer would've had to do was to tell Columbo that bit of news.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lovely but Lethal...... popweasel-125-514813
Was getting divorced THAT big a deal? lorraine1232
Dial a Murder annmason-44849
I Just Binge Watched Columbo spin73
Columbo's Family sternfan88
Who did not deserve to be murdered? dinandwoesthof
Discuss An Exercise in Fatality (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?