Grace Wheeler Willis was a star, a very famous star. Every night in her house she sees one of her old movies. When she decides to set up a new show and her husband refuses to finance it, Grace coldly kills him, staging a suicide. Lt. Columbo is not deceived from her performance. But at the end, the murderer will escape her sentence, or perhaps not. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Did You Know?
The film Janet Leigh refers to at the end from one of the 'leather bound programs that arrived earlier' as having been set in the Caribbean and starred herself, Ned Diamond (who is presumably a substitute for Donald O'Connor since they keep referring to him being her co-star in Walking My Baby Back Home
(1953)), and Donald Meek as a hotel clerk - is a fictitious film. Meek's last 3 films were in 1947 and Leigh's first 2 films were in the same year - none of them together. The only possible connection is that Leigh's second film was If Winter Comes
(1947) (1947) starring Walter Pidgeon. Pidgeon had previously played the titular role in Nick Carter, Master Detective
(1939) and the two sequels Phantom Raiders
(1940) and Sky Murder
(1940), with Donald Meek as his apiary-obsessed sidekick Bartholomew in all three. Long before those Meek played a hotel manager in And So They Were Married
(1936) and a hotel clerk in _Wayward_ (1932). It is not possible that Meek visited the set for If Winter Comes
(1947), since he had died in November of 1946 and production of this film didn't start until summer of 1947. As for Leigh's debut, and only other film that year - The Romance of Rosy Ridge
(1947); it seems production started in the fall of 1946. So if he is in a film with Janet Leigh - it's her first. But more likely though, one might suppose this is Janet Leigh playing the part of her Columbo character who is sick and becoming quite forgetful. See more
Dr. Willis falls asleep with both hands under the book. When Grace Willis enters the room a few minutes later to stage the suicide, his right arm is laying extended against his body above the covers and his left hand is under the covers. See more
Lieutenant, you must be aware of the fact that... that men who retire from very active lives very often go into severe depression for no apparent reason whatsoever. I know. I've been there.
You didn't shoot yourself, did ya? Big difference between being old and unhappy and puttin' a gun to your head. Has to be a reason.
References This Gun for Hire
Walking My Baby Back Home
Music by Fred E. Ahlert
Lyrics by Roy Turk
Heard over main titles of movie that's projected and heard in mirror scene See more