Columbo: Season 5, Episode 6

Last Salute to the Commodore (2 Mar. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 858 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 3 critic

Charlie Clay runs the ship building business of his father-in-law, Commodore Swanson, who turns up murdered; Lt. Columbo is on the case.

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Title: Last Salute to the Commodore (02 Mar 1976)

Last Salute to the Commodore (02 Mar 1976) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Charles 'Charlie' Clay
...
Kittering, Esq.
...
Commodore Otis Swanson
...
Sergeant Theodore "Mac" Albinsky
...
Joanna Clay
...
Joshua Bryant ...
Wayne Taylor
Susan Foster ...
Lisa King
Fred Draper ...
Swanny Swanson
Rod McCary ...
Coast Guard Officer
...
Guard (as J. P. Finnegan)
Joseph Roman ...
Shop Foreman
Hanna Hertelendy ...
Woman
Jerry Crews ...
Watchman
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Storyline

Charlie Clay runs a ship-building business owned by his father-in-law, Commodore Otis Swanson, who is not happy with his profiteering son-in-law's shady dealings. Nor is he pleased with any of the people closest to him, including his alcoholic daughter Joanna Clay, his elderly nephew Swanny Swanson or his lawyer Kittering. Soon the Commodore is murdered, and Charlie Clay covers it up by impersonating the Commodore, taking the corpse out on the man's yawl at night and throwing the body overboard. Lt. Columbo investigates this case with the help of a veteran sergeant and a 29-year-old novice. The rumpled, redoubtable detective knows Clay covered up the crime, but his assumption that Clay committed the crime may prove premature. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

2 March 1976 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dialogue between Sgt. Kramer and Lt. Columbo over smoking (Kramer: "Thought you were gonna quit;" Columbo: "Not yet. No, not yet, Sergeant. Not yet") as Columbo figuratively rides off into the sunset (actually, rowing himself away toward a yacht club), is almost certainly a clever response directly aimed toward intense fan curiosity at the end of season five over Peter Falk returning to play Columbo in subsequent years. See more »

Goofs

Columbo sprawls out on the pier with his left leg extended beneath him, and his right leg up and bent. Then he instantly switches to having his right leg extended below, and his left leg up - then switches back again. See more »

Quotes

Lisa King: Love isn't just... one age or another.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Daddy (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

This Old Man
(uncredited)
Traditional English children's song/nursery rhyme.
On soundtrack in several variations at end as Columbo rows away
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User Reviews

 
A real mystery
2 December 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the better Columbo shows broke the Columbo parameter by making this a real mystery. In this episode however Columbo at first doesn't zero in on a suspect at first and in fact when he does zero in on Robert Vaughn, Vaughn in turn is murdered blowing up the scenario that Peter Falk had in his mind.

The original victim is Commodore John Dehner known yachtsman, but who makes a living building the ships and Vaughn is married to Diane Baker who is Dehner's daughter. Lots of reason to suspect Vaughn until he winds up a victim himself.

Of course Baker and Vaughn have some grounds to think that the old boy has gone a bit bats in the belfry. He's been carrying on with this young hippie airhead and as we learn planned to marry the girl. I'd be a little concerned myself in their position.

Columbo's writers gathered the suspects together Hercule Poirot style and all is revealed in the end when the real murderer of both Vaughn and Dehner trips up. It's one of those peripheral characters in the background who one was not taking seriously throughout the whole show.

People do not like their viewing parameters disturbed, but in this case it worked beautifully.


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