Columbo: Season 5, Episode 3

Identity Crisis (2 Nov. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 871 users  
Reviews: 26 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


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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?


Patrick MacGoohan's accent could hardly be described as neutral. It would be best described as British (or Irish). It seems that when he does attempt the American accent, it is masked by the latter as when he played the warden in "Escape from Alcatraz". See more »


When Columbo goes to Brenner's house, the two are seated on the patio. Brenner reaches out and grabs a pitcher of orange juice on the table in front of him. On the reverse shot Brenner's hands are nowhere near the the pitcher. See more »


Lawrence Melville: [amused] You sure are strange, Mr. Steinmetz.
Nelson Brenner: [disguised as Steinmetz] It's a strange world.
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

Another mystery thriller from the master sleuth
24 November 2001 | by (Whittier, California) – See all my reviews

This episode has all the trademarks: Guest appearances by Hollywood notables; memorable one-line throwaway gags; a baffling mystery; familiar L.A. locations; problems with the car ("there's only three like this in the country" he says; and Columbo's tying things together by staying on that one thing that doesn't make sense.

Guest was Leslie Nielsen, looking younger and much more serious than in the other roles I've seen him in.

Can we catalog the great one-liners in these 68 movies? Here are two from this episode: Columbo: "Do you have any wine?" McGoohan: "I have a whole cellar full." Columbo (waving his hand) "Oh, I'll just have a glass." Another classic: McGoohan: "Do you like music?" Columbo: "Oh, I hear it all the time."

Seeing the action at Travel Town, where I took my daughter 10 years ago, added to my enjoyment of this episode.

Maybe it's my tv adjustment, but the clash is getting greater between the color of Columbo's suit and his raincoat ...

Stay the course, Lieutenant Columbo, stay the course.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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