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"Columbo" Troubled Waters (TV Episode 1975) Poster

(TV Series)

(1975)

Goofs

Jump to: Character error (2) | Continuity (3) | Factual errors (2) | Miscellaneous (3) | Incorrectly regarded as goofs (2) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (2) | Spoilers (2)

Character error 

Danziger suffers from an apparent heart attack, yet Mrs. Danziger is never once shown visiting her husband in the sick bay.
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Columbo mishandles key pieces of evidence during the case. He loosely keeps the bullet from the murder in his pocket. Because of this it's subject to being damaged and he cannot prove a chain of evidence and it would not be admissible as evidence. When he is handling the surgical gloves and checking them for fingerprints he handles them with his bare hands, which would also make useless as evidence.
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Continuity 

When Columbo is talking to the doctor, he asks if there was any bruises on Miss Wells' body, and is told, "No bruises". But Danziger (Robert Vaughn) punched her in the face in her cabin just a few hours earlier, knocking her down. It's unlikely this would have left no bruise.
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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.
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There is supposedly one band aboard the ship, but in different scenes there is a right-handed as well as a left-handed bass player visible.
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Factual errors 

The fake heart attack caused by amyl nitrite is a major plot point. However, amyl nitrite is used to counteract a heart attack. It expands blood vessels, resulting in lowering of the blood pressure. So it could not be used to simulate a heart attack. Also it comes in glass vials covered with gauze, as Colombo found in the pool filter. It is a liquid, not "crystals." That's why the ads for erectile dysfunction remedies warn not to use if the patient is taking nitrites.
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The ship's medical staff do not appear to know what they are doing. When the doctor is listening to Hayden's heart he holds his stethoscope over his chest instead of laying it on the chest, and twice the nurse takes Hayden's blood pressure by putting the cup around his elbow, which would give an invalid reading.
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Miscellaneous 

Lloyd Harrington can be seen sitting at the piano during the magician's act. This comes right after the captain had confined him to his quarters for the murder of singer Rosanna Wells.
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When Hayden Danziger kills miss Wells and disposes of the gun in the laundry room, he is locking and unlocking doors, however there is clearly no key is his hands and he is just pretending to turn one.
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When Columbo and Danziger are playing shuffle board after they leave the game one older man plays a bit then leaves and runs down the steps but stops when he thinks he is off camera. Then he looks back at where the camera is and quickly continues exiting the scene.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Columbo is timing himself to see how long it takes to reach Miss Wells cabin he asks a crew man if there is another way to her cabin. The crew man fails to mention the crew stair way, which he would surely have known about, even more so as he is standing right by it. However, Columbo was asking about a shorter route from the International Lounge, not the sick bay, so the crew member answered truthfully and knowingly.
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Columbo uses graphite dust to reveal the fingerprints and palm print in a sickbay glove. He turns the glove inside out, to put the prints on the outside. Normally when this type of glove is worn and then removed, the glove is turned inside out, but since Hayden was trying to frame Lloyd, he would have been careful to either remove the gloves so the did not turn inside out or to turn them back so the power burns would be clearly visible, thus once again Columbo knew what he was doing.
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Plot holes 

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.
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Revealing mistakes 

As Hayden goes to enter Rosanna's cabin after throwing the key-making device overboard, there is a door immediately to the left of the door Hayden unlocks, indicating another room. When the scene switches to the interior shot there should be a wall just to the right of the door (since it is a reverse-angle) but instead the wall is to the left of the door.
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When the clarinet player goes to see where Rosanna is, he knocks her cabin door, then tries to see if it's open without turning the handle. He also tries pulling the handle instead of pushing it.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Character error 

Dr. Pierce speculates that amyl nitrate could have been used by the murderer to fake a heart attack, noting that it is used to divert blood to the heart in angina cases. It's actually amyl nitrite which is used in this manner; amyl nitrate is actually used as a diesel fuel additive and reagant in the synthesis of organic compounds. As a doctor, one would expect him to know the difference between a nitrate and a nitrite, and to remember the name of each correctly.
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Continuity 

When Mr. Danziger runs downstairs to commit the murder, he passes the same stairwell twice, judging by a sign and a trolley with plates.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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