Columbo: Season 4, Episode 5

Playback (2 Mar. 1975)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 932 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

A gadget-happy inventor murders his mother-in-law; Lt. Columbo is on the case.

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, (as Booker T. Bradshaw) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Playback (02 Mar 1975)

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Harold Van Wick
...
Elizabeth Van Wick
...
Arthur Meadis
...
Francine
...
Margaret Meadis
...
Baxter (as Herb Jefferson Jr.)
Trisha Noble ...
Marcy
Bart Burns ...
Thompson
...
Officer Banks
Joe Ohar ...
Attendant (as Joe O'Har)
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Storyline

Electronics expert Harold Van Wick has wired his estate-home with closed-circuit television cameras and video recorders. His costly fascination with gadgetry raises the ire of his frugal mother-in-law, who owns the firm where Van Wick is the chief executive. She orders him to resign, threatening to reveal his philandering ways discovered by her private detective, but Van Wick has already set in motion a scheme to murder his angry mother-in-law, recording her demise on video tape while feeding a recording of an empty study to the guard monitoring the estate's rooms on television screens at the gate to the Van Wick estate. Having already forced open a window and planted footprints outside it to make the kill look like the deed of a burglar, Van Wick timer-sets the recording of the murder to play while he is away at a social function, thus giving him an alibi. But Lieutenant Columbo - that super-smart detective in a rumpled raincoat - suspects Van Wick and asks incessant questions as he ... Written by Kevin McCorry <mmccorry@nb.sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

2 March 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martha Scott plays the mother of Gena Rowland's character in this episode. In reality Scott was only six years older than Rowland. See more »

Goofs

Lieutenant Columbo asks Van Wick to compare the two video recordings. After zooming in at the desk, Columbo reaches into his trench coat pocket and removes Van Wick's art gallery invitation which appears on the desk in one monitor but not the other. The invitation's paper - as removed from his pocket - is noticeably folded vertically with a slight horizontal crease. When Columbo holds the invitation up next to the monitor in the next closeup shot, the invitation is barely creased vertically with no visible horizontal folds. In the following wide shot, the paper invitation is once more noticeably creased both vertically and horizontally. See more »

Quotes

Columbo: How can a man walk through seven feet of soil covered in mulch, climb through the window and not leave any traces.
Harold Van Wick: Maybe he took his shoes off.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Stronger Than Steele (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballade No.1 in g-minor, op.23
(uncredited)
Written by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

 
A Columbo as it should be
15 December 1998 | by (Rochester, NY, USA) – See all my reviews

Again Columbo seems to be completely out-classed, but again his usual turn around and asking just that one question, harassing the person he thinks has done it until some progress is made. There also is the enjoyable presence of his dog, but as usual, his wife isn't there.


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