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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Columbo spots a couple of ice-cream sodas left on the counter in Alex Brady's office, known as his "boys' club". One glass is almost full, the other about half-full. Not only can we see this, but Columbo comments on it at length, theorizing with uncanny accuracy how the full and the half-full glasses show what happened earlier, when the victim was visiting Brady's office. The moment Columbo leaves, Brady rushes to the soda glasses, to destroy the evidence. Inexplicably, he finds both glasses are now empty except for a milky residue. See more »
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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As much as I enjoy Peter Falk in his signature role, many of the later episodes of the series find the great actor turning Columbo into a caricature. The charming but believable eccentricities of the early 70s detective became more pronounced and the effect more comical than amusing. This episode, the first of the refurbished Columbos to air on ABC uses Steven Spielberg, director of 1971's Murder By The Book, as an obvious model for the villain, but Fisher Stevens is merely adequate in a role that Roddy McDowell might have effectively played a decade and a half earlier. It's all fairly average, but it does offer a very accurate preview of the episodes to come in that none come close to equaling even the least successful episodes from the show's NBC run.
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