Columbo (1971–2003)
7.4/10
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19 user 4 critic

Murder, Smoke and Shadows 

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

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Cast

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

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 <jen@cistron.nl>

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27 February 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Alex Bradey: Coincidence is what makes a story, Lieutenant. Without coincidence, life runs evenly like a train on a track. Coincidence is a trainwreck, violence, suffering, and guilt.
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Connections

References The Veils of Bagdad (1953) See more »

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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.


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