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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Release Date:

29 February 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jesse T. Jerome was born on August 3, 1923. See more »


When we see the outside of the magic club where Santini is working, the sign says it is "The Cabaret of Magic", which is also the name mentioned by the emcee introducing Santini. But if you look closely at the letter written to the Department of Immigration by club owner Jesse Jerome, Jesse refers to his club as "The Magic Circle Club". 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.
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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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