Columbo: Season 9, Episode 2

Columbo Cries Wolf (20 Jan. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 740 users  
Reviews: 16 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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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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 »


Sir Harry Matthews: These cigars are worth $6 an inch.
Lt. Columbo: Oh well in that case sir, I don't need this second one. I already had two in the helicopter.
Sir Harry Matthews: [grabs a handful] Then I insist you have a lot more.
See more »


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


Drive Me Crazy
Fine Young Cannibals
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User Reviews

Please don't call this a 'Columbo' movie.
29 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I must say I was shocked at how many reviewers gave this a fine rating. And I say this as one who does not despise every episode from the later Columbos. Despite the overall downgrade in quality, and the ridiculous and failed attempts to change the formula in many, I still think there were quite a few superb episodes, including the two with McGoohan, the Faye Dunnaway and Dabney Coleman episodes, the one with the dental filling, 'R.I.P Mrs. Columbo,' and the very last episode - just to name a few. However, this one, like most of the others that changed the formula, fails miserably in my opinion. Basically, it is extremely good in the final fifteen minutes, and downright awful for the first 75 - when one is suffocated by dreadful soap opera acting, endless shots of bathing beauties, and the kind of infantile detective work that one finds in a typical cable channel movie of the week whodunit. Only when all this is mercifully gone, is the great Peter Falk allowed to shine again. Moreover, the entire plot and sleuthing in the first 75 minutes have no connection whatsoever to the Columbo style, and the clues he discovers are downright childish by his standards - such as the creamer clue upon which he builds his entire case. Basically, it is nothing more than a bit of good luck that any lousy detective could fall into, w/o requiring any of the Columbo ingenuity and brilliance to notice or decipher. When you stick to the formula, even if the actors and script are mediocre, you can at least enjoy Columbo and his inimitable acting and comments. In this film, you have neither. Just look at the list of 'Quotes.' There is not even a single line worth repeating. Likewise, no dog, car or raincoat jokes to laugh at. Humor in this flop amounts to Columbo getting splashed with water, or sitting in a limo with 6 bimbos. God have mercy on me.

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