Columbo: Season 7, Episode 5

The Conspirators (13 May 1978)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 801 users  
Reviews: 20 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 ...
Captain (as Seán McClory)
Michael Prince ...
Michael Moore
Donn Whyte ...
Tow Truck Driver
Carole Hemingway ...
Herself (as Carole Hemmingway)
Tony Giorgio ...
John McCann ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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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?


Last episode from the original series produced by NBC, it's not until 1989 that Columbo will be picked up again and continue on its eighth season onwards produced by ABC See more »


When Columbo is playing darts in the Irish pub his first shot hits ABOVE the number 20. When he takes his second shot the first dart now appears BELOW the number 20. On his third shot the first dart is in it's original position ABOVE the number 20! See more »


Joe Devlin: Here's to friendship ripe and long Here's to voices raised in song Here's to a long and thirsty night Here's to the stuff that makes it right.
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

Revill, the ultimate adversary, and an excellent script.
10 October 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Clive Revill, the actor portraying the villain of this piece, was described by Steven Berkoff as one of the great under-praised actors of the UK. He might just be right. For proof look at this episode of Columbo. Revill is very light of foot in the part of the IRA gun-runner who manages to charm us even as he murders his way toward supplying weapons to terrorists. Quite a feat, and a testament to the actor's beguiling skills - inaccurate accent not withstanding. Forgivable.

In a curious way, something similar might be said of Peter Falk who might just be one the best actors of his generation in the US, yet who remains synonymous with that gull-darned macintosh. Falk paying Lear? Bring it on and for god's sake someone film it!

If these actors have a flaw it's that their ranges exceeds the tastes and comprehension of the casting directors whom ulitimately determine the course of their careers in film and TV. Ah well, that's showbiz.

Meantime, while wrongs might still be corrected, we have this fine piece of TV which combines two excellent actors at the peak of their ingenuity into a memorable, yet diametric team for our pleasure. Wit for wit, move for move, this classic Columbo chess-match entertains and delights with a minimum of gun-play and a maximum of intelligence (for TV anyway) - and what contemporary cop-show can boast that?

Good script, good direction, good score, good acting. What else do you what?

Also, for anyone who cares, there is perhaps one of the first "gay" subtext ever featured in a US TV show. Watch it and go figure for yourselves. Columbo as a template for a secular society? Why not? It had to start somewhere.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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