Columbo (1971–2003)
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Columbo Goes to the Guillotine 

An egocentric psychic murders his old mentor, a magician charged to expose him as fraud, by beheading him while he's rehearsing his guillotine trick.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Greene ...
Dana Andersen ...
Sgt. Russo
Colonel Eckherdt
Milt Kogan ...
Medical Examiner
Rob Garrison ...
Young Man
Polygraph Operator
Lenny Hicks ...


Famous (and fraudulent) psychic Elliot Blake uses his old mentalist skills to live a lavish lifestyle at the expense of a psychic research institute and hopefully, the US Government. What seems at first like a threat, a test devised by a well-known magician and debunker of psychics, turns out to be his chance for revenge against his former mentor. What he can't foresee is a police lieutenant who knows all the tricks. Written by Mark Cabot Robinson

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Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 February 1989 (USA)  »

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| (DVD)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The psychic research foundation where the testing takes place is the Annemann Institute. This is an homage to Theodore "Theo" Annemann, a famous American magician from the first half of the 20th century. His specialty was Mentalism and he heavily influenced both mentalists and magicians who came after. See more »


While not ideal, a Phillips head screw can be screwed by a "regular" flat-bladed screwdriver, but not the other way around. To make the screwdriver plot viable, they should have reversed it. See more »


Mr. Harrow: You realize what this means, Mr. Blake?
Elliott Blake: Yes. It could mean the end of my career.
[to Max]
Elliott Blake: Or possibly yours, Max.
See more »


Referenced in Endeavour: Harvest (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

A decent effort, could have used a better villain
13 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was excited to see the Columbo episodes that were made in the late '80s and beyond, mainly because i really haven't seen most of them, unlike the original series, where i have seen (and loved) them all. This episode, the first after a decade long break, starts off promising.I wish they had used a bigger star as the villain because that was always part of the fun, as villains go the guy in this episode is a bit lackluster for me. Actually, they should have used the guy who ended up playing the magician as the villain....much better actor and more menacing by far than the guy that ended up the villain. Another gripe is the music....its pretty dreadful. Like something from "murder she wrote", no disrespect.

Now for the good part.....Peter Falk is just priceless.....he may be a bit older and not quite as sharp but as clever as always. Considering he was in his 60's here, he still pulls it off well. Looking forward to watching all of the newer episodes.... Best moment : columbo making awed facial expressions as the phony psychic scans the crimescene for clues. I was laughing out loud.

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