Columbo (1971–2003)
7.4/10
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24 user 3 critic

Make Me a Perfect Murder 

An Emmy-winning TV executive kills her lover (who is also her boss); Lt. Columbo is on the case.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Kay Freestone
Laurence Luckinbill ...
Mark McAndrews
...
Walter Mearhead (as James Mc Eachin)
...
Luther
...
Valerie Kirk
...
TV Repairman
...
Jonathan (as Kenneth Gilman)
...
Frank Flanagan
Milt Kogan ...
Dubbing Chief
Dee Timberlake ...
Madge
...
Pete Cockrum
Morgan Upton ...
Ames
Joe Warfield ...
Al Staley
George Skaff ...
The Producer
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Storyline

Kay Freestone is a West Coast TV executive whose boss, Mark McAndrews, is also her secret lover. When he gets promoted to a position in New York, he dumps her - and even denies her the job he's leaving. Her consolation prize is a new Mercedes. She's more interested in the gun he drops on the bed - after he jokingly invites her to shoot him. Joking or not, she takes him up on it. Later, he's found shot to death in his office. Kay seems to have been in the projection room when it happened. She was screening her pet project - a violent TV film called "The Professionals" - for her superiors. When our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo investigates, he learns this Emmy-winning producer can commit a bloody act just as well as film it. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

25 February 1978 (USA)  »

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(Technicolor)

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The old boarded-up house where Columbo meets Kate Freestone, is the same "post disaster" house set used in the Universal film "Earthquake", released just a few years before. See more »

Goofs

(at around 37 mins) Columbo gestures with his right hand, but when the camera changes to an over-the-shoulder shot, he's pointing at Kay with his left hand. This alteration between hands continues as the cameras change. See more »

Quotes

Columbo: [to Kay] Interesting, isn't it, how you can work these small things out if you just think about it... like you got a tiny voice whisperin' right in your ear trying to tell you who did it?
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Connections

Features Bolero (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle Dandy
(uncredited) (aka "The Yankee Doodle Boy")
Composed by George M. Cohan (1904)
Sung by Peter Falk in opening medley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The opening sequence is some of the best stuff in the series—but things go slack in this disappointing effort
14 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Kay Freestone (Trish Van Devere) is a West Coast TV executive whose boss, Mark McAndrews (Laurence Luckinbill), is also her secret lover. When he gets promoted to a position in New York, he dumps her—and even denies her the job he's leaving. Her consolation prize is a new Mercedes. She's more interested in the gun he drops on the bed—after he jokingly invites her to shoot him. Joking or not, she takes him up on it. Later, he's found shot to death in his office. Kay seems to have been in the projection room when it happened. She was screening her pet project—a violent TV film called "The Professionals"—for her superiors. When our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) investigates, he learns this Emmy-winning producer can commit a bloody act just as well as film it.

This would have been a top-notch "Columbo" episode if about twenty minutes had been trimmed off. The first section of the film—the murder sequence and everything leading up to it—is some of the best stuff in the series. Freestone's use of a tape recording is an especially effective dramatic device.

After the murder there are two impressive scenes—one in an elevator with Freestone and Columbo, and another surreal sequence, where he harasses her via the multiple TV screens in her control booth. Most everything else is slack. There is a long, pointless scene where Columbo fools around with the TV equipment. There's a needless subplot with Lainie Kazan (who is too young to be playing an aging Judy Garland-like has-been). There's a limp scene where Columbo confronts Freestone at her old, now-abandoned home and offers sympathy.

Some of these scenes seem to be an attempt to make the villain more human than usual. That's fine, but the "Columbo" formula demands that any confrontation between detective and quarry be tense. "Columbo" works because of its formula, not in spite of it. The closer it hues to it, the better it is.

The formula also demands that what finally trips up the killer be a surprise. The ending here is very predictable. "Columbo" fans will want to watch this one, despite its flaws. Others, beware.


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