Columbo: Season 5, Episode 5

Now You See Him (29 Feb. 1976)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 1,095 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

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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Title: Now You See Him (29 Feb 1976)

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Episode complete credited cast:
The Great Santini
Sgt. John J. Wilson
Harry Blandford
George Sperdakos ...
Redmond Gleeson ...
George Thomas
Patrick Culliton ...
Robert Gibbons ...
Michael Payne ...


The Great Santini, a successful Los Angeles night-club illusionist, is really an ex-Nazi named Stefan Mueller. When his employer, Jesse Jerome, threatens to reveal his true identity to the Israeli government, Santini kills Jerome in a cleverly conceived scheme to commit the crime while in the process of performing an act on stage, in which he is bound by chains and submerged in a tank. Lieutenant Columbo, the cheaply dressed yet extremely intelligent detective from the LAPD's Homicide Division, arrives to investigate Jerome's murder and instantly suspects Santini. Columbo patronizingly pursues Santini with incessant questions while searching for a clue to prove Santini's guilt and to dispel the illusionist's "perfect" crime. Written by Kevin McCorry <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

29 February 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In what appears to be pure coincidence, given the timing, the main character of this segment is named The Great Santini, the title of Pat Conroy's autobiographical novel published the same year, later made into a film starring Robert Duvall. See more »


While performing the water trick for the second time Santini take off his cape twice See more »


Santini: Oh, didn't I tell you? I always have brandy brought to me exactly at the same time each evening. It calms the nerves.
See more »


References Charade (1963) See more »


Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by cabaret singer and incorporated into the background score
See more »

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User Reviews

Jack Cassidy, we still miss you!
20 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

All I knew about Jack Cassidy was his sons who were in the Hardy boys. He died before I got to know him. I think this is my favorite Columbo episode with him as a magician with a secret, he was a Nazi in Germany during World War II. Cynthia Sikes plays his lovely daughter who is clueless about her father's identity and history but she is memorable and she is better known for her role in St. Elsewhere. Sadly, I hated reading about Jack Cassidy's tragic death. Wherever you are Jack, we miss you still after 30 years. Columbo always catches his man or woman even in this episode. As Columbo always says, there is no such thing as a perfect murder. Just when you think he's got away with his crimes, nothing could be further from the truth. If you love Columbo, you will love this episode and how he catches his man is just as much fun to watch and learn.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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