Lt. Columbo takes a trip to Acapulco, but finds himself on a new case when a used car dealer commits murder on the cruise ship.



(teleplay by), (story by) | 3 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Frank Pierce
Capt. Gibbon
Poupée Bocar ...
Artie Podell
Curtis Credel ...
The Magician


Hayden Danziger is on a cruise with his older but much, much richer wife Sylvia. Rosanna Wells is on the same ship, as its singer. Rosanna and Hayden were recently lovers, after which Rosanna began blackmailing Hayden; so, having decided to kill her, he has planned the perfect crime - or so it seems, since Lt. Columbo is cruising on that very same ship and the captain has asked for his help. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This story deals with a ship loaded with used car dealers. Actor Curtis Credel, who plays the magician, will later become owner and operator of his own used car lot. See more »


When Columbo goes to the pool to check the filter, there is a lady in an orange bathing suit sitting next to an older man on the edge of the pool and there is a woman with a multi-colored swim cap in the water. The shot cuts to the left-rear angle as Columbo climbs over the railing to get next to the pool and the two women and man have disappeared. The shot changes to Columbo pulling up the filter from the water and the 3 people are back again.

Also, as Columbo starts climbing over the railing, his coat is hanging on his arm as he grabs the railing with both hands. When the view changes, Columbo is holding the coat in his hand, and he never touches the railing with his hands as he crosses over. See more »


Capt. Gibbon: [noting Columbo's raincoat] O-o-oh, tell me, Lieutenant... um... do you expect inclement weather in the Mexican waters?
Lt. Columbo: No, they tell me the weather down there's great this time of the year.
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Crazy Credits

We gratefully acknowledge the co-operation and courtesies furnished by Princess Cruises and the offices and staff of the Sun Princess. See more »


Referenced in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976) See more »


The Girl From Ipanema
Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Played by ship's band
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User Reviews

Par for the formula; nothing that special but fans will still find much to enjoy
2 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Hayden Danziger has it made. He is a successful businessman with an older, very rich wife while also getting a bit of spice with his secret lover Rosanna Wells – who works on the cruise as a singer. However Rosanna is threatening to expose him to his wife and Danziger cannot risk losing it all over a fling with some silly showgirl and plans to kill her. He fakes a stroke by the pool and gets confined to the medical centre where he is the only patient and under 24 hour supervision of the nurse. When the ship band take their break, Danzinger slips out unseen, heads to Rosanna's cabin and shoots her dead. The Captain turns to one of his passengers of help – a certain Columbo, who is taking the cruise with his wife who won it in a competition. Columbo starts to investigate the best he can and, despite it all looking like an open and shut case, he can't get passed the problems that scream out at him.

As with many TV film series (such as Perry Mason), if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. This entry in the Columbo series pretty much follows the usual formula – we know the killer and the "perfect" plan but then watch Columbo follow his hunch and gradually starts to pick holes in the story he is told before eventually finding enough to prove his suspicions. Knowing this ahead of time won't ruin anything for you; it is simply what happens in all the films. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually down to several factors whether or not the Columbo film stands out or if it is just average. With this film the location switched to a cruise and it makes for a nice contrast to the landlocked locations of the other films. One other reviewer has commented on the limitation of the location but for me, like By Dawn's Early Light, the limits make it more enjoyable and tight. The plot is solid enough but hardly anything special. The link with Danziger is a big jump to get him into the usual cat'n'mouse role and from there the clues seem to come a little easily to Columbo but it still manages to produce a fairly enjoyable story.

Falk is his usual good self here and he seems to do better thanks to the doubts of the captain and the fact that he is more out of his element than usual. Vaughn is a bit weaker and doesn't quite engage with Columbo as well as he should. Yes, the two of them interact well enough together but it doesn't work as well as the better partnerships do (although it is miles better than his other Columbo appearance). The support cast are impressive with small but valuable contributions from Stockwell, Macnee and Fox.

Overall an enjoyable film that plays it right down the formula line without doing anything that interesting or special. About average for the series and will please fans as a result but there are much better Columbo films out there than this one.

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

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