Columbo (1971–2003)
23 user 4 critic

Now You See Him 

A stage illusionist kills his employer and makes it look like a contract killing; it's up to Lt. Columbo to trick the master trickster.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Redmond Gleeson ...
Patrick Culliton ...
Danny Green
Robert Gibbons ...
Michael Payne ...


A stage illusionist kills his employer after the latter threatens to expose his true identity and past occupation as a prison guard for the SS during WWII to the Israeli government when the illusionist refuses to be a victim of his employer's blackmailing.

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 February 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Cassidy was one of few actors to make repeat appearances in Columbo, guest starring in three unrelated episodes as the murderer. (Others were "Murder by the Book" in 1971 and ""Publish or Perish" in 1974.) This episode, "Now You See Him..." , was Jack's last third and final appearance on Columbo as Jack died later that year (1976). See more »


The building The Great Santini is performing his show is the same building (or only the facade) where Edna Basket Browns funeral celebration takes place ("Swan Song") and the manager tries to sell Columbo a funeral plan. See more »


Jesse Jerome: Tell me, Santini, last month before you left for New York, you didn't by chance break into this office and search through my effects?
Santini: What a silly question. Of course I did. And I stole your Manet, your Picasso, and got a lovely price for your Reubens. You know I didn't.
Jesse Jerome: I thought not. It was dreadful of me even to, uh, suggest it.
Santini: Thank you.
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References Charade (1963) See more »


Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by cabaret singer and incorporated into the background score
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User Reviews

Corny but cool.
18 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

This episode of Columbo has a very strong whiff of cheese about it. Think of a really bad 1970's parady of a magician and you have The Great Santini. He murders his employer who has found some damning evidence against him. Columbo has to find out whodunnit. Santini has a cast iron alibi - he was doing his "piece de resistance" escaping from a box routine. The venue for his "World famous" tricks appears to be a recently vacated Indian restaurant. Wearing his velvet cape and huge bow tie, Jack Cassidy plays Santini with a camp aloofness that obviously had paid off with his part as gay Miles in The Eiger Sanction a year previously. All I can tell you is that if I had been one of the fortunate wealthy to have paid to see The Great Santini, I would have felt hard done by. Obviously constricted by the types of magic tricks they could blow the cover on, the producers of this episode had to stick with the "chained up in a box and trap-door" routine.

Columbo takes a surprisingly long time to catch him out, naively believing a trick that isn't even worthy of Paul Daniels. The best bits involve the run up to the box trick, Santini doing a routine with a top hat and doves (yawn). Then, when he is in the box a woman in a leotard does a trick with a long tape on a stick (something I used to do quite well as a five old). In the background, to increase the tension (!) a percussionist does the Tss tss tsstss tss tsstss brrrrum tss tss, etc that always leads up to a finale and enthusiastic applause as Santini emerges unscathed. How did he do that? You will have to watch it and see, but I guarantee to those Columbo fans like myself that this is an entertaining yarn and in some instances downright amusing. Columbo's mannerisms are, as always, are at their usual eccentric best.

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