Columbo: Season 5, Episode 3

Identity Crisis (2 Nov. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 835 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 3 critic

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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Title: Identity Crisis (02 Nov 1975)

Identity Crisis (02 Nov 1975) on IMDb 7.4/10

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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 ...


The deceptively absent-minded police lieutenant, Columbo, investigates a complex murder case, pitting his wits against a wily secret agent working for a covert government organisation. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

agent | cia | spy | murder | madame butterfly | See more »


See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 November 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mrs. Columbo is said by her husband to love classical music, especially Beethoven and Mozart. Her favorite piece is Puccini's "Madame Butterfly". See more »


Two goofs in one scene: When Columbo first meets Nelson Brenner in the hallway outside the lecture room, Columbo hands a photo to Mr. Brenner, who looks at it then hands it back to Columbo. In the very next shot, as Brenner walks away, he is handing the photo back AGAIN to Columbo. Then Columbo and Brenner go into a nearby room where Brenner pulls out a small address-book type notepad and writes in it. In the next shot, suddenly the small notebook in Brenner's hands is replaced with a full-sized pile of papers. See more »


Nelson Brenner: Colorado is a river.
Geronimo/A.J. Henderson: Geronimo is an Indian.
Nelson Brenner: There is no beach like a long beach, an amusement park.
Geronimo/A.J. Henderson: When?
Nelson Brenner: In two hours.
See more »


References The Prisoner (1967) See more »


Un bel di vedremo
from Madama Butterfly
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Heard over the End Credits
See more »

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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

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

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