Columbo: Season 6, Episode 2

Old Fashioned Murder (28 Nov. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 698 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 3 critic

The spinster head of a family run museum murders her brother when he threatens to dissolve the financially strapped institution.



(teleplay), (story) (as Lawrence Vail) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Old Fashioned Murder (28 Nov 1976)

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Episode cast overview:
Ruth Lytton
Janie Brandt
Edward Lytton
Mrs. Brandt
Peter S. Feibleman ...
Milton Shaeffer
Jon Miller ...
Sgt. Miller
Jess Osuna ...
Dr. Tim Shaeffer
Anthony Holland ...
Lucy Saroyan ...
Gary Krawford ...
Watch Salesman
Eloise Hardt ...
2nd Detective
Giles Douglas ...


The Lytton family owns a museum. Ruth and Edward have devoted their life to the museum but things are not going well. So Edward has decided to sell it. Ruth doesn't agree and plans otherwise. She has a niece, Janie, whom she loves more than her mother does, and has hired Milton Schaffer, a petty thief who is the brother of her niece's lover. What scheme is in her mind? Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

28 November 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The mansion that the Lyttons live in is the same one that Bruce Wayne lived in on the Batman TV series. See more »


When Columbo talks to Joyce in the museum he is filmed from behind and from the front, drinking tea. The shots from behind show him moving his right hand and scratching his face, the shots from the front show him holding a cup of tea. See more »


Janie Brandt: Aunt Ruth, he was in the Army, he can handle a gun, and he's the only one who was willing to work for that salary.
See more »


The Girl from Ipamena
("Garota de Ipamena") (uncredited)
Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim
Portugese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes
English lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Instrumental version heard in beauty salon
See more »

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User Reviews

An Excellent Columbo!
17 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Lyttons are not a normal Southern California family. They are of the old money and had a place in society. Peter Falk's Columbo could not be more out of place than with eccentric bunch. Joyce Van Patten is a brilliant, under-rated actress who deserves awards and nominations for always leaving her mark in any role. After watching her in this role as Ruth Lytton, you want to see more of her. Celeste Holm does an exceptional job of playing her sister who won her sister's fiancé, married, and produced Janie, the heir to the Lytton fortune. Ruth and her brother Edward are caught in a conflict over the family's legacy which includes a museum that is constantly losing money. Ruth is determined to keep the museum alive because it is her life. Edward wants the best for his family and thinks by selling it that they would all benefit from it. Well, the only weak casting is the role of Janie, the niece. I liked her performance but I can't get that one awful vision of her reaction to finding her uncle's body in the museum. It is the most awkward reaction regarding murder. I won't say anymore but I think the writing was excellent. I think Joyce's Ruth and Peter Falk's Columbo was a good pair. I can sympathize with Ruth's loss of love and her devotion and loyalty to her family.

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