Columbo (1971–2003)
22 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.



, (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode complete credited cast:
The Great Santini
Sgt. John J. Wilson
Harry Blandford
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


See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 February 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The smiling lady with short brown hair who is in the Cabaret of Magic as an appreciative fan/customer (seated at the bar) in an early scene is later seen briefly as a kitchen worker in the background behind Columbo. See more »


When Santini is performing a trick at Columbo's table next to the stage, Colombo accidentally knocks the menu off the table and onto the floor. In the next shot, the menu is back on the table. See more »


Lt. Columbo: [applying deductive reasoning to the crime scene] He never did what he came up here to do. He came up here to count his money, double-locked the door, put the money on his desk, but he never opened the box. Why? Was it because he got absorbed in listening to music, or did he have something more important to do?
Sgt. John J. Wilson: I would assume it was because he had something more important to do.
Lt. Columbo: I think he had something more important to do.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Murderous antics with a mad magician
19 April 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Jack Cassidy returns for the third and final time as a Columbo villain in this thoroughly entertaining episode of the show. Cassidy had previously essayed villainous turns in PUBLISH OR PERISH and MURDER BY THE BOOK so by now he was an old hand at the show and his turn as a murderous magician is delightful. Columbo would later turn back to the magic world in COLUMBO GOES TO THE GUILLOTINE, but this earlier episode is definitely the stronger one.

Aside from Cassidy, this TV film has plenty of reasons to watch. The magical backdrop means there's a whole smoke-and-mirrors feel to the story, with mystery lurking in every corner. The supporting cast members include a reliable Robert Loggia and a fine and sympathetic turn from Bob Dishy as one of the detective's helpers. Humour comes from Columbo's new coat, which is a poor fit in comparison to his beloved overcoat. There's nothing really to dislike about this story, which is one of the strongest of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: