Columbo: Season 8, Episode 2

Murder, Smoke and Shadows (27 Feb. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 893 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 4 critic

An egocentric wunderkind director murders a childhood friend who threatens to expose his negligent complicity in the death of his sister years earlier.



(created by), (created by), 1 more credit »
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

10 Best Action Heroes

We consulted IMDb's Highest-Rated Action-Family Films to came up with 10 scene-stealing action figures your kids can relate to, look up to, and be inspired by.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 2219 titles
created 13 Apr 2012
a list of 10000 titles
created 07 Nov 2012
a list of 1742 titles
created 21 Jul 2013
list image
a list of 20 titles
created 13 Jan 2014
a list of 43 titles
created 11 Aug 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Murder, Smoke and Shadows (27 Feb 1989)

Murder, Smoke and Shadows (27 Feb 1989) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
« Previous Episode | 46 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Bradey
Ruth 'Ruthie' Jernigan
Rose Walker
Leonard Fisher
Mr. Marosco
Jerome Guardino ...
Elizabeth Ruscio ...
Phil Crossette
Gayle Harbor ...
Avner Garbi ...
Meg James ...
Tour Guide


This time Columbo pits his wits against a movie director who murders an old friend on a set, because this friend is in possession of a damaging piece of film, on which the actress died and isn't helped by the movie director. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 February 1989 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Columbo is eating at the commissary and overhears the conversation between the two actresses, he puts ketchup on his food. But, when the camera switches to a two-shot of the actresses, the ketchup bottle is sitting on the counter in front of them. See more »


Columbo: Mr. Brady, sir.
Alex Bradey: What are you doing in my desert, lieutenant?
See more »


References Dracula (1931) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Well enough done for Columbo fanatics but still not reflective of the quality of the original series
17 July 2005 | by (Port Talbot, South Wales,UK) – See all my reviews

One of the best of the "new" Columbo adventures, which sees him cross swords with a relentlessly cocky and arrogant movie director who murders an old friend who discovers the truth behind his sister's death on a movie set some years before.

Fisher Stevens is undeniably excellent as the cold-heartedly manipulative and scheming Alex Brady whose empire is gradually eroded by the emergence of progressively incriminating circumstantial evidence. His increasingly antagonistic scenes with Falk are the main asset of the story and almost dispel the theory that you can't recapture the style and enjoyment of an original series by re-making it.

As is customary Columbo is "lucky" with some of his evidence (the shoe heel which gives Columbo the location of the murder being a case in point); but one can argue that his unwavering thoroughness entitles him to find the most unlikely things.

Another good thing in this adventure is that Columbo doesn't really have enough concrete evidence until the very end and even then the murderer is dismissive of Columbo's perceptions of proof.

One negative observation is Falk's portrayal of Columbo - it is decidedly more matter-of-fact nowadays, which is probably attributable to his age and the time-lapse between the old series and new series.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will Columbo Be Rebooted in the Next 10 Years? Nexusfactor
I'm done with Columbo on Hallmark! lanceus
Season 4 Episode 4 Troubled Waters question bradp56
What actor/actress would you have liked to seen as the villain? KenClement
Fade in to Murder (Goof?) McCartney42
Please answer this question for me about Any Old Port Justice5
Discuss Murder, Smoke and Shadows (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: