Columbo: Season 9, Episode 2

Columbo Cries Wolf (20 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 825 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 3 critic

When the business-savvy publisher of a "Playboy"-type men's magazine wants to sell her stock to a Rupert Murdoch-like media tycoon, she apparently disappears on a London-bound flight.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Brantley
Sir Harry Matthews
Police Chief
The Mayor
Dian Hunter
Dian's Secretary
Ralph Wilcox ...
Peter Zapp ...
Mayor's Aide
Morgan Jones ...
Darrell Kunitomi ...
Daphne Cheung ...
Next Nymph of the Month


What happened to businesswoman Diane Hunter? Everyone thinks she went on a trip to England to sell her majority share of men's magazine Bachelor's World, but she never showed up to her meeting. Lieutenant Columbo is sure that her business partner and ex-lover, photographer Sean Brantley, killed her to keep her from selling. But proving it is another thing entirely, and Sean has a few surprises for everyone's favorite homicide cop... Written by Leaper

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Release Date:

20 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In "Columbo Cries Wolf", Columbo suspects the murder of a Los Angeles woman who failed to arrive at an important meeting in London. Columbo says he is investigating the disappearance as a favor to his old friend, Detective Chief Superintendent Durk of Scotland Yard, a character from Columbo: Dagger of the Mind (1972). See more »


The postcard that Diane sent from Milan has an English postage stamp on it. See more »


Lt. Columbo: You put me in the position of the boy who cried wolf.
See more »


Follows Columbo: Murder, a Self Portrait (1989) See more »


Mystery Movie Theme
by Mike Post
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User Reviews

One of the more successful Columbo experiments.
1 October 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Over the course of years the Columbo movies have tried out some different things, which differ from its usual successful formula. Most of those movies however did not worked out and weren't as remotely as good as the Columbo movies which sticked to the usual formula. However I see this movie as an exception. It picks a different story approach, which works out well and although this isn't really among the best Columbo movies it can still be seen as a successful 'experiment' to try and be different.

Because it's different it isn't more surprising though but the movie its different approach makes sure that there is more mystery to enjoy. In this case we don't see a murder being committed and all we know as that a woman disappeared somewhere on her way to the airport. But we don't know why or who is behind it all. With this approach this movie is obviously different from the usual Columbo movie entry. Due to this approach we get more inside Lt. Columbo's head and we see how he approaches and investigates the case.

The story and approach makes this a very entertaining movie to watch. Because of its approach the story also for some reason feels like it's a better and more cleverly written one compared to other Columbo movie entries, while it in fact perhaps isn't. I think that it is because of the fact that we ourselves also don't known what has happened and the movie for most part is a true mysterious thriller to us as well, just as it all is a big mystery for the main character Columbo.

One thing that didn't made me enjoy this movie was it's typical early '90's style. In terms of style the '90's was perhaps the worst decade for movies ever. The clothes, hair, make-up, the's all so completely horrendous. But oh well, perhaps in 50 years from now people will start to appreciate this more and look back at it as the good old glorious '90's!

The movie features Ian Buchanan in one of his earliest roles. He began acting at a pretty late age and he now days is very well known all over the world for his role in the long running and successful soap-series "The Bold and the Beautiful", for which he has played in for 15 years, and still counting. He was good in this movie opposite Peter Falk and they had some good necessary chemistry together. Chemistry between the main suspect and the Lieutenant always had been an important key element of the series.

A different Columbo movie that actually works out.


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