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
Probably an unique thing is that the movie features the Columbo character from about the first shot on. He just happens to present at a location (aboard a cruise ship) where a murder gets committed, like a Jessica Fletcher type of murder-mystery. This is a new sort of approach for a Columbo movie. It's unfamiliar and new ground for a Columbo movie and doesn't follow the usual patterns of a Columbo movie, which makes this a bit of an odd Columbo movie, when compared to the others. It also puts Columbo outside of his familiar environment. Not of course that this movie is horrible but I just prefer the old fashioned Columbo approach over this.
As soon as Columbo gets introduced in the story, as soon as he disappears out of it again, until the actual murder occurs. It takes for too long for the murder to occurs and on top of it the entire build up to it and the complexity surrounding it is just a bit overdone. The clues that are left out for the lieutenant also are a bit too obvious, which makes the murder far from the perfect one and not halve as clever as most other murders committed in a Columbo movie, despite its long and complex execution of the murder in this movie.
I've always liked Robert Vaughn. He's just one of those actors that don't seem to have changed ever since the '60's on till now. He also always plays the same sort of characters. Besides Vaugh, the movie also features other well known and respected actors such as Dean Stockwell and Patrick Macnee as the captain.
It's fun to see Columbo out of his usual environment for a change, which obviously adds some nice comical touches to the movie. Of course he gets seasick and remarkably enough he keeps his famous trademark trench-coat on during for most of the sunny trip. It are not necessarily the settings that are bad but it's more that it does not really work out for a Columbo movie, or perhaps it could had, if it had a better script to work with.
A different but definitely not better than average Columbo entry.
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