Columbo: Season 5, Episode 4

A Matter of Honor (1 Feb. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 708 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 critic

When a famous bullfighter's trusted bookkeeper turns up dead in a bullring, Lt. Columbo suspects murder--with a bull as the murder weapon.

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Title: A Matter of Honor (01 Feb 1976)

A Matter of Honor (01 Feb 1976) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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...
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Commandante Sanchez (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
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Curro Rangel
Jorge Rivero ...
Carlos
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Miguel (as Emilio Fernandez)
Enrique Lucero ...
Jaime Delgado
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Chambermaid (as Evita Munoz Chachita)
Robert Carricart ...
Hector Rangel
...
Nina Montoya
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Storyline

Famed matador Luis Montoya is a national hero in Mexico. His ego cannot countenance any blemish on his reputation; so, when one of his best friends witnesses an event that could shatter that reputation and tries to leave Montoya's sphere of influence, the bullfighter acts quickly and decisively with a clever murder. Unfortunately for him, Lieutenant Columbo finds himself stuck in Mexico, and local police ask him to assist in the investigation. Columbo quickly finds that he must take the bull by the horns if he wants to take down a legend like Montoya. Written by Leaper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bull | bullfighter | murder | police | hospital | See more »


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Release Date:

1 February 1976 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In "A Matter of Honor", Columbo talks about Columbo: Troubled Waters (1975) with the local police chief in Mexico, referring to it modestly as the time he got seasick. Columbo learns that the case has made him a hero in Mexico, where all of the newspapers reported how he solved the murder at sea. Columbo's fame from "Troubled Waters" is probably what saves him from getting his car permanently confiscated after his traffic accident in "A Matter of Honor". See more »

Goofs

As Columbo discusses the report on Hector's death with Sanchez, they walk through a public square toward a juice bar where Columbo puts his right hand upon the right side of his face. In the next shot he has his left hand on the left side of his face instead. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: [to Sanchez] Yes, I can see that, but it's important to be thorough - especially when a man dies alone.
See more »

Connections

Features The Hour of Truth (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

A Good Colombo.
12 March 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Most of the first Colombo series were pretty good, and this is one of the better ones. The whole series in fact ranks up there among the most enjoyable, each episode sprinkled judiciously with touches of originality in the script and characters, if not always in the plots. Colombo, from the beginning, always made effective use of such props as his raincoat, his cigar, and his car. Later episodes, alas, showed signs of flagging interest on the part of the writers and producers. Several of them had a disgusting ice-cream-eating floppy eared dog. That dog represented nothing more than desperation, and contempt for the viewers who, it must have been assumed, were getting bored with jokes about the raincoat. I have a cat. Or at least I did until the perfidious beast took off on me three weeks ago.

No dog in this one though. The car figures in the plot. And the script is engaging as Colombo, a complete ignoramus when it comes to Mexican culture, unravels a plot centering on bullfighting mores.

Here's Montalban's car caretaker (Jorge Rivero, who was the strutting Pierre Cordona in Hawks' "Rio Lobo") to Colombo: "Why are you asking me all these questions?" Colombo: "I can't help being a policeman. It's an occupational hazard." Rivero: "Occupational hazard?" Colombo: "Yes, that's what we call it. No matter where you go you take your work with you." Rivero: "Oh. We call that 'loco'."

Interesting location shooting too, presumably Tijuana. Colombo is waylayed by the Mexican police while carrying one of those multi-striped woven bags that every American tourist must buy. Many of the crew were Mexican, and the score is written by an Hispanic too, and sounds appropriate.

Most of the actors are up to par, except for Martinez who, in this company, sounds lightweight. And the girl is, how you say, no importa? But Ricardo Montalban should receive some kind of prize from the Gerontological Society of America. Holy Guacamole, that man looks good. He's awesomely fit, and handsome too. And he does a splendid job in the role of Senor Montoya, El Matador. Stern, proud, and irritable. The whole episode is, in a way, a tribute to the Mexican film industry, what with Montalban, Rivero, and the son of Pedro Armendariz, all of them stars in their own country. (Where is Gabriel Figueroa?)

The audience learns a little about bullfighting too (but not much). If there's a problem, it's a problem that tended to recur in the series. Colombo stumbles accidentally on clues and interprets them with improbable accuracy. Sometimes he seems to have ESP. He walks into a room he's never been in before, glances around the walls, walks over and picks up what looks like one pool cue out of half a dozen in a rack, and says, "This was Hector's lance?" How did he know that? He practically intuits the nature and method of the murder.

But it doesn't matter. It's an enjoyable entry.


4 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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