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:


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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Nelson Brenner is talking to Columbo about where he got his cigars, he says, "The Bay of Pigs wasn't a total disaster." In the movie "The Inlaws", Peter Falk's character tells Alan Arkin's character the Bay of Pigs was his idea. See more »


Joyce the camera lady's hands are both down on the counter when Columbo says "Let me check over something." The camera changes and Joyce's left hand is now up, touching her face. See more »


Lt. Columbo: What do you have to do to win one of them things?
Shooting gallery attendant: Knock down the ducks ten out of ten.
Lt. Columbo: Yeah, my wife would go for that.
Shooting gallery attendant: Oh, no, sir, Lieutenant. Hey... hey, you're a pro.
Lt. Columbo: Aw, forget about it. If I'm standing on the dock, I couldn't hit the water.
See more »


References Secret Agent X-9 (1945) 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

McGoohan resurrects the secret agent for one last outing
25 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Leslie Nielsen dying in the first few minutes tells you that this is going to be a good TV film after all! However he does get to accompany McGoohan at the funfair first. McGoohan's portrayal of a cynical killer who is kind to little girls takes us all right back to those gallant Danger Man days! Then he even has the nerve to deliver the line "Be Seeing You" repeatedly, a farewell to his Prisoner devotees? What a star! Peter Falk shuffles in and you know even McGoohan's time is limited but what a lot he packs in first! McGoohan even gets to do his favourite 'pretending to be a very old man' party-piece. As other reviewers have said, an excellent piece with many strands. Columbo was always great but some episodes were brilliant. The only criticism of this one would be that even Columbo would never have caught this guy!

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

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