Columbo: Season 7, Episode 2

Murder Under Glass (30 Jan. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 789 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 3 critic

Food critic Paul Gerard, who has been extorting money from restaurant owners in exchange for good reviews, murders one when threatened with exposure.



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Title: Murder Under Glass (30 Jan 1978)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Eve Plummer
Max Duval
Kanji Ousu
Vittorio Rossi
Larry D. Mann ...
Miss Choy
Antony Alda ...
Todd Martin ...
Sgt. Burke
Fred Holliday ...
Alberto Morin ...
Chef Louis
Jimmy Murphy ...
Charlie (as Jim Murphy)
Carolyn Martin ...
Lady Cashier
Miyako Kurata ...
1st Geisha


Paul Gerard is a famous gourmet and his books about restaurants can decide the fate of a chef. In his way, Paul is a very powerful man. But Paul is threatened by Vittorio Rossi, the proprietor of a renowned restaurant and one night, after a fight with Paul, Rossi is poisoned by a bottle of wine he himself had uncorked. Lt. Columbo begins to investigate and we have no doubt that, between a steak and a Chinese dish, he will find out who killed Rossi, his motive and the way he did it. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

chef | food critic | food | book | murder | See more »


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Release Date:

30 January 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(US dvd)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the final "Columbo" episode in which the actor playing the murderer, Louis Jourdan, is older than Peter Falk. See more »


When the killer (Mr. Gerard) advises his lover Eve to travel to Europe they hug. Several continuity errors with position of her arms from shot to shot. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Oh, I do a little cooking, sir. Nothing fancy. Mrs. Columbo, she's a remarkable woman. She has lots of interests... but cooking isn't one of them. She gives me plenty of encouragement.
See more »


This Old Man
Traditional children's marching song.
Heard on sountrack during two restaurant scenes and whistled by Peter Falk.
See more »

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User Reviews

A good entry in a good series
5 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Paul Gerard is a famous gourmet and his reviews on televisions, radio, books and magazines can make or break a restaurant. When one restaurant owner decides that 25% of his profit is too high a price to pay for Gerard's support, he confronts Gerard and threatens to expose him as a fraud. Not keen to end his career this way Gerard poisons Vittorio Rossi with the poisonous part of a Japanese fish. He hopes it will look like an accident but when Detective Columbo is put on the case it starts to look like it won't all go away as quickly as he had hoped.

As always I confess my bias towards this series because I grew up in Northern Ireland spending wet weekends watching Columbo and Perry Mason on BBC2 so both those film series hold a special place in my heart. This film is typical of the series which, for fans like myself, is a good thing even if I understand why some don't see any reason for fuss. The plot sees the usual "perfect" murder fuelled by hidden motives followed by Columbo picking away at it. Although this episode lacks tension it is still fun and is built well on the usual formula – cat and mouse games in a world where the sharp detective "learns" from his suspect while also building a trap for them. The script is very good (by the standards of the series) and produces lots of nice scenes including some in Italian.

With this series a lot rests on the cast to make something happen with the plot. Falk is nearly always perfect in the "old" Columbo films and so it is here; he wears his character like a second skin and he is as reliable as ever. Jourdan's intellectual and aloof character offered a nice conflict between the two men and, although it is not the best pairing in the series, it is enjoyable to watch them work off one anther. Jourdan could have been better but it is fun to watch his annoyance at Falk building. Support is OK with turns from Danese, Alda, Gazzo and the recently deceased Mako but as ever the film is made with the lead two.

Overall then this is a good entry in an ever-reliable series. The script is good and both Falk and Jourdan work well together to produce an enjoyable relationship dynamic which is the heart of the film. Fans will love it.

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