A top CIA operative commits murder the way only a brilliant spy can, never guessing he'll have to contend with a man like Lt. Columbo.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Otis Young ...
Lawrence Melville
Geronimo / "A.J. Henderson"
Phil Corrigan
Salvatore Defonte
William Mims ...
Gallery Attendant
Coroner Anderson
Cliff Carnell ...
Photo Shop Man
Edward Bach ...
Angela May ...


Nelson Brenner, a top CIA operative, is really a double agent who finds it necessary to rid himself of a fellow spy and make it look like a mugging. Brenner inadvertently leaves tiny clues in a photo shop at a carnival, on Brenner's corpse at the beach, in a tape recording he makes while in his Agency-approved identity as a speech-writing consultant - the kind of clues that no one would ever pick up on. No one, that is, except the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. The indefatigable detective will find himself followed by mysterious agents, visited by the top man himself and entertained with a recording of "Madame Butterfly" in Brenner's own mansion before solving this difficult case. Written by J. Spurlin

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Plot Keywords:

agent | cia | spy | murder | mansion | See All (92) »


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Release Date:

2 November 1975 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Leslie Nielsen's second Columbo appearance. See more »


when McGoohan's character is recording the speech which will be delivered later, and this is when he is trying to establish his whereabouts for his alibi, he has turned the clock to coordinate the time and he starts to speak and then gets up to close the blinds, which is the clue for Columbo, but as he is speaking there is no chiming of the clock, however, when it is played back you can hear the chiming, oops... See more »


Geronimo/A.J. Henderson: [Entering the amusement pier] There'd'b more privacy on a freeway.
Nelson Brenner: Oh, I don't know. Wasn't it you that said you should never have a clandestine meeting in a clandestine place? Besides which, I've always had a certain perverse affection for amusement parks.
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References The Prisoner (1967) See more »


Un bel di vedremo
from Madama Butterfly
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Heard over the End Credits
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User Reviews

Major plot error !!
18 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The very murder this episode of Colombo is about makes it impossible for the Lt. to have been summoned to investigate. The murder takes place underneath the Santa Monica Pier which is in the City of Santa Monica, so since Colombo is L.A.P.D, he would not been called for this case.

Never the less, I enjoyed seeing the pier as it was in the 70s when I used to hang out there. The Santa Monica Pier is the home of the old-fashioned wooden merry-go-round, carousel that is seen as the home of Paul Newman in The Sting, it is still in use. I also enjoyed the scenes of the Long Beach Pike, (amusement park), which no longer exists as the site of the Pike is now the shopping and dining village adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center. This area was also used in the filming of the conclusion of the chase in it's a Mad, Mad, Mad, World, which was also shot in the state park near the Santa Monica Pier where the Big W was set up and you can see the taxis driving up n down the road from PCH to the park.

Jon Jax 71

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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