IMDb > "Columbo" Columbo Goes to the Guillotine (1989)

"Columbo" Columbo Goes to the Guillotine (1989)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   819 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Columbo Goes to the Guillotine on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
6 February 1989 (Season 8, Episode 1)
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Not the classic series but does enough to entertain fans by sticking near formula See more (9 total) »

Cast

 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Peter Falk ... Columbo

Anthony Andrews ... Elliott Blake

Karen Austin ... Dr. Paula Hall
James Greene ... Bert Spindler

Alan Fudge ... Mr. Harrow
Dana Andersen ... Dori

Robert Costanzo ... Sgt. Russo

Anthony Zerbe ... Max Dyson

Michael Bacall ... Tommy

Charles Howerton ... Colonel Eckherdt
Milt Kogan ... Medical Examiner

Tony Amendola ... Clergyman
Rob Garrison ... Young Man

Frank Simons ... Polygraph Operator
Lenny Hicks ... Eddie
Ben Yudell ... Kevin
Nick DeMauro ... Locksmith (as Nick Demauro)
Peter Noel Duhamel ... Detective

Steve Zettler ... Lieutenant Bravo
Andrew Philpot ... Captain Alpha
Charles Champion ... Major Charlie

Christopher Hart ... Magician at Cemetary
Dan Birch ... Magician at Cemetary

Episode Crew
Directed by
Leo Penn 
 
Writing credits
Richard Levinson (created by) &
William Link (created by)

William Read Woodfield (written by)

Produced by
Peter Falk .... co-executive producer
Stanley Kallis .... producer
William Link .... supervising executive producer
John A. Martinelli .... associate producer
Philip Saltzman .... supervising producer
Richard Alan Simmons .... executive producer
Abby Singer .... coordinating producer
Peter V. Ware .... co-producer
Todd London .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
John Cacavas 
 
Cinematography by
Robert Seaman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
John A. Martinelli 
 
Production Design by
Archie J. Bacon  (as Arch Bacon)
 
Art Direction by
Cameron Birnie 
Hugo Santiago (assistant art director)
 
Set Decoration by
Richard B. Goddard 
 
Costume Design by
Brienne Glyttov  (as Brienne)
 
Makeup Department
Carolyn Elias .... hairstylist
Greg LaCava .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Abby Singer .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brenda Kalosh .... second assistant director
Richard A. Wells .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Thomas R. Cahill .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Bruce Wayne Mecchi .... leadman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
James R. Alexander .... sound mixer (as Jim Alexander)
Deni King .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeff Greene .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
William Mayer .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Lee Nakahara .... camera operator (uncredited)
Randall Robinson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Joseph Staton .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Darlene Kaplan .... casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael J. Long .... costume supervisor (as Michael Long)
Karen Bellamy .... set costumer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... supervising music editor (as Laurie L. Higgins)
Mike Post .... composer: "Mystery Movie" theme
 
Other crew
Jackson Gillis .... executive story consultant
Bruce Sinclair .... magic technical advisor
Robert Visciglia Jr. .... special consultant (as R.J. Visciglia)
Huey Redwine .... stand-in (uncredited)
 

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Richard Levinson  creator
William Link  creator

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
Germany:87 min | USA:120 min (including commercials) | USA:93 min (DVD) | USA:98 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:M (video rating) | Denmark:15 (2007) (DVD) | Finland:K-18 (2007) (DVD) (self applied) | Finland:K-12 (1989) (VHS) | Iceland:L | Netherlands:6 | Norway:15 (2007) (DVD) | Sweden:15 (2007) (DVD) | UK:PG (video rating) (1989) (2008) | USA:Unrated

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Quotes:
Elliott Blake:What is all this?
Max Dyson:It's a guillotine. I don't exactly get rich hiring out to people like Mr. Harrow. This? I build magic effects. I have a magic store downstairs.
[Max demonstrates by placing a head of cabbage in the guillotine, chopping it in half]
Max Dyson:Do me a favor? Lie down.
[nodding to the guillotine bench]
See more »

FAQ

Who is the model for Anthony Zerbe's character?
See more »
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Not the classic series but does enough to entertain fans by sticking near formula, 9 January 2006
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Elliot Blake is a well-known psychic who is working to prove his skills to the US Government so he can enter the lucrative and highly secretive programme for developing psychic powers. Despite having blitzed the tests (with a little help from the inside) the game appears up when magician and renowned cynic Max Dyson is brought in by the Government to give him a harder test. What the Government agents don't know is that the men have a history and Dyson helps Blake by passing him despite him being a fake. However this history also drives Blake to kill Dyson in the latter's own magic guillotine – making it look like a tragic accident. It appears an open and shut case of death by misadventure but a Philips head screwdriver is enough to put doubt in Columbo's mind. Finding that Dyson had just worked with Blake and signed him off as genuine, Columbo turns to his unique talent to assist him with the case.

As with many TV film series (such as Perry Mason), if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. This entry in the Columbo series pretty much follows the usual formula – we know the killer and the "perfect" plan but then watch Columbo follow his hunch and gradually starts to pick holes in the story he is told before eventually finding enough to prove his suspicions. Knowing this ahead of time won't ruin anything for you; it is simply what happens in all the films. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually down to several factors whether or not the Columbo film stands out or if it is just average. The new Columbo films don't always pull this trick off but this one is enjoyable enough thanks to sticking close to the formula to cover up for the unlikely nature of the plot. Although it provides some nice ideas, the narrative lacks a real lack of convincing development and this at times put me off but generally it had enough about it to keep me interested.

The way Columbo solves the mystery isn't a nice, logical story but moves in jumps and sudden discoveries; again it is entertaining enough but not quite as satisfying where he picks at smaller details. The magical aspect of the story has been done better earlier in the series but it still works well here, providing Columbo with some nice scenes where he turns the tricks on Elliott to get his man. It isn't classic fare but it should satisfy fans. Falk is on good form, which helps, and he does enjoy a nice chemistry with Andrews. The latter is not great but he is good enough to work within the formula and make for an interesting target for Columbo. Support from Zerbe is good but other than him nobody else is really that memorable.

Overall this is not up to the standard of the better Columbo episodes from the 1970's but it is actually reasonably good. By sticking to formula it covers up the plot weaknesses and will do enough to satisfy fans of the film. A much better alternative would be "Columbo: Now You See Him" but failing a return to the best days this is an OK modern Columbo.

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