Columbo: Season 5, Episode 3

Identity Crisis (2 Nov. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 842 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?


Nelson Brenner (Patrick McGoohan) drives a brand new Citroën SM, US model (round, non-directional headlights), powered by a Maserati engine. After the initial craze (Car of the Year 1972 for Motor Trend magazine) it proved a commercial failure, even being banned in the US in 1974. There were only 12,920 Citroën SM produced between 1970 and 1975, when the bankrupt company was bought out by other French manufacturer Peugeot. Columbo's car is a Peugeot 203 cabriolet, and he claims there are only three others like it in the country. See more »


When Columbo goes to the hot dog stand, there is a salt shaker, sugar, and a ceramic cup on the counter. When the shot is shown from behind Columbo, the ceramic cup is empty. When the shot shows the front of Columbo, the cup is filled with wooden utensils. 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 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

They cut out the clue!
14 August 2004 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

In 1975 I saw this episode on the first run.

Roughly fifteen years later I saw this episode on late night television and they cut the clue scene short five seconds before the clue.

This week I saw this episode on Bravo and they cut out the scene with the clue entirely.

I won't spoil it for you, but it would be a much better episode if they showed the full scene of the perp driving his car in the early morning light, listening to the car radio, the morning after the murder.

(Is it okay to say that there was a murder?)

9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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