Columbo: Season 4, Episode 4

Troubled Waters (9 Feb. 1975)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,013 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 3 critic

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.



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Title: Troubled Waters (09 Feb 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Robert Douglas ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

9 February 1975 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (dvd release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The magician's box of props is labeled with the name of the actor playing the magician, Curtis Credel. See more »


The murder weapon is determined to be a .38 caliber revolver, yet no one bothers to tell Columbo that the magician performing on-board has what appears to be a genuine .38 revolver which is later shown being used in his act. See more »


Lt. Columbo: [seasick] The same thing happened to me last year. My wife and I were checked into this motel with a water bed. I thought I was gonna die.
See more »

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 »


It's Not Unusual
Written by Les Reed and Gordon Mills (1965)
Playd by ship's band
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User Reviews

Taking a cruise with Lt. Columbo.
4 July 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

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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