Columbo: Season 7, Episode 4

How to Dial a Murder (5 Apr. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 848 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

A behavioral psychologist whose wife died under suspicious circumstances trains his dogs to kill on command using a telephone.

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(teleplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Title: How to Dial a Murder (05 Apr 1978)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Dr. Eric Mason
...
Joanne Nicholls
Joel Fabiani ...
Dr. Charles Hunter
...
Dr. Garrison
Tricia O'Neil ...
Mrs. Cochran - the dog trainer
...
Officer Stein
...
Technician
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Storyline

Dr. Eric Mason is a self-controlled man and he teaches how to get control over one's own life. His wife died suddenly because of an inexplicable accident and his best friend is Dr. Garrison, or so it seems. Eric has two dogs and his two Doberman pinschers will be his arms to kill Dr. Garrison. But Lt. Columbo love dogs... Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

5 April 1978 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the many movie posters on display in Dr. Mason's house is for the 1940s thriller, "The Suspect", starring Charles Laughton. This is significant, as the structure of "The Suspect" prefigures the formula for "Columbo", presenting us, not only with a killer whose identity is known from the outset, but also a seemingly mild-mannered and polite police detective who befriends the killer and knowingly uses him, rather than a police colleague, as a sounding-board for his various theories about the crime. It is the close relationship between killer and detective thus formed that leads to the resolution of the story. It is not known if William Link and Richard Levinson, creators of "Columbo", ever saw this film, but it was made by Universal, like "Columbo". See more »

Goofs

Trees in the background remain still while tumbleweeds are blown around by high winds. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: [trying to trigger the attack word for the dogs] Kill! Kiss! Diamonds! Rubies! Sneakers!
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Smoke on the Daughter (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

This Old Man
(uncredited)
Traditional English children's marching song
Whistled by Peter Falk
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User Reviews

 
One episode with a twist!
23 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This Columbo episode is about dogs who kill on command. British actor Nicol Williamson plays a doctor is better known for his role as Hamlet in 1968 production. Another British born actress and better known for her role as Samantha on Sex and the City, the actress Kim Cattrall in an early performance at a very young age is also in a supporting role. Anyway, St. Elsewhere's Ed Begley Jr. has a small role as a police officer. Anyway, the episode is a Columbo favorite because it has film references around. Of course, Peter Falk's Columbo has become like an old family friend with great stories and interest in anything whether psychiatry, dogs, or movies. The ending is also brilliant with a twist and of course, Columbo catches his man in this case.


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