Columbo: Season 7, Episode 5

The Conspirators (13 May 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 684 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

An IRA terrorist executes an arms dealer he considers traitorous; Lt. Columbo is on the case.



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Title: The Conspirators (13 May 1978)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Devlin
Kate O'Connell
Bernard Behrens ...
George O'Connell
Michael Horton ...
Kerry Malone
Albert Paulsen ...
Vincent Pauley
Gun Dealer
Deborah White ...
Sean McClory ...
Michael Prince ...
Michael Moore
Donn Whyte ...
Tow Truck Driver
Carole Hemingway ...
Herself (as Carole Hemmingway)
Tony Giorgio ...


Devlin is an Irishman and in his youth he was a terrorist but now he is a famous writer and officially he is a supporter of an American society proposing to help the victims of terrorism. Actually he is buying from Pauley weapons for the terrorists. Devlin kills him because he think he has been betrayd. Lt. Columbo is responsible for the inquiry and becames friendly with Devlin. But it is very dangerous to be familiar with Lt. Columbo when you are a murderer. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Release Date:

13 May 1978 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final episode of the original "Columbo" series. Peter Falk would return to his most famous role in 1989. See more »


When Columbo goes to the pier to harass Joe Devlin, Columbo gets a flat tire. The flat is on the front right side. Columbo's spare tire is at home, so Columbo borrows a dime to get the car towed. But when we see the Peugeot being towed, the tire is good as new. Why would he need a tow when the tire is fixed? See more »


Joe Devlin: Do you know these lines, Lieutenant? They're from Lewis Carroll: "You may charge me with murder, or want of sense - we are all of us weak at times, but the slightest approach to a false pretense was never among my crimes."
See more »


References San Francisco (1936) See more »


The Moonshiner
Traditional American/irish folk song
Sung by Clive Revill
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User Reviews

Let Each Man Be Paid In Full
14 October 2005 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

(Some Spoilers) Irish writer poet and, underground, gun-runner Joe Devlin, Clive Revill, has a big deal going in getting a load of sub-machine guns, M-11's,to the IRA in Northern Ireland. Meetings his supplier Vincent Pauly,Albert Paulsen, at his Los Angeles hotel room to Devlin plans to finalized the deal. Having a drink from his favorite bottle of Irish whiskey Devlin pulls out a gun, that ironically Pauly is selling him, and blows Pauly away dead. It turned that Pauly was going to double-cross Devlin and check out with the $150,000.00, for the illegal arms deal, to Libson that very evening and leave Devlin and his IRA cohorts out in the cold and out of their cash.

Getting on the case Let. Columbo, Peter Falk, is only interested at first in finding who killed Pauly not realizing that his death, or murder, had to do with his activities as a gun runner for the Irish nationalistic IRA. It's Columbo's interviews and conversations with the witty and charming Devlin, who was a suspect to Pauly's murder, that steered him in that direction. Even though Devlin did everything to steer Let. Columbo the other way.

Devlin being overly confident in his ability to get away with murder didn't realize that his bragging about himself and his exploits as a young man and a member of the IRA would draw attention to himself. Devil just couldn't keep quite about his gun-running operations that he was involved in. It was in those gun running exploits that Devlin used the pro-peace organization "American Friends for Northen Ireland" as a front to get cash contributions. The film has Devlin, now without the guns, trying to get in touch with a number of weapons suppliers to make the transaction himself without a middleman, like the late Vincent Pauly. At the same time there's the bulldog-like Let. Columbo chewing at Devlin's heels throughout the entire movie.

A bit more complicated then the usual Colombo movie with loads of sub-plots to it. The film could do well without with a major part of the story having something to do with Devlin getting the guns shipped out of the USA to Southampton England to be unloaded and sent to Belfast to be grabbed by the IRA. You wondered why it was so important, for the US Coast Guard and Customs Services, to keep the ship from leaving L.A Harbor since all that had to be done was alert the British authorities. They would have confiscated the arms as soon as the ship, loaded with them, docked in England.

Deviln who loved his whiskey and drank it by the bottle, not shot glass, in the movie may have had one too many, bottles. By not only leaving one of his empty Irish Whiskey bottles at the Pauly murder scene Devlin also left his mark on it. Devlin unknowing did this every time he was at a bar with let. Columbo guzzling down his favorite brew. That mark in the end not only did Davlin in but did in his front organization that was behind the buying and shipping the guns to the IRA.

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