Columbo (1971–2003)
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Columbo Cries Wolf 

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
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?


First time a Columbo episode features a song from popular music, "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals. See more »


When the suspect reads the paper it reads on the front: ''Lieutenant Columbo close to solving case of missing publisher'' This heading is clearly a sticker stuck on a newspaper. See more »


Sean Brantley: [to Columbo] Stop it! Stop playing games! Come out from behind that cigar smoke of yours!
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Drive Me Crazy
Fine Young Cannibals
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User Reviews

One of the better "newer" entries to the series...
6 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

To me, Columbo is one of the best detective series of all time, and one of my favourites ever. Columbo Cries Wolf is not among my absolute favourites of the series, but it is for me one of the better "newer" entries and one of the more successful change-in-formula episodes. Much better than for example Last Salute to the Commodore, another attempt to be different from the usual formula but fell flat, anyhow. Like with all Columbo episodes, Columbo Cries Wolf is beautifully shot, and the location(s) great. The fashions are nice to look at as well, and I liked the rock soundtrack at the start. The writing is smart and always maintains interest, and while I agree about the chauffeur business(the three or four times I've seen this episode, that has always bugged me also) the story(somewhat re-calling Prescription Murder at times) is well paced and makes the most of the formula used. It also has a very clever ending. Peter Falk as he always was is brilliant as Columbo, looking very lively and natural throughout. Ian Bucchanan is not my definition of a great performance, never quite as flamboyant as his character promised to be, but he is solid enough and works well with Falk. Deidre Hall is gorgeous and very convincing. Overall, a favourite it isn't, but I enjoy it very much. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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