Columbo: Season 5, Episode 3

Identity Crisis (2 Nov. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 872 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:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Columbo (Falk) is admiring Brenner's (McGoohan's) pictures on the wall, if you look closely at the top left there is a picture of McGoohan in costume as James the Earl of Moray in 1971 movie "Mary Queen of Scots" (Moray was Mary's illegitimate half brother). 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: Lieutenant, I think that I should warn you that I am not an unworldly man. I have powerful and important friends, even in the police department. I respectfully request... that you do not... harass me.
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
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User Reviews

The ending
9 August 2009 | by (Norfolk) – See all my reviews

Several have commented that the murderer gives up too easily.

Well - whatever the verdict of a jury Columbo has anyway proved that he is a double-agent who has killed one of the Agency's best operators. The murderer is finished whether a jury would convict him or not. Given that McGoohan delivers a splendidly world-weary performance the murderer may not even mind too much!

Some fine acting and direction here and the settings for most of the scenes are very attractive. If you like the average Columbo then you will love this. If you don't like the average Columbo then why are you reading this?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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