Columbo (1971–2003)
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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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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alex Bradey
Ruth 'Ruthie' Jernigan
Rose Walker
Leonard Fisher
Mr. Marosco
Jerome Guardino ...
Phil Crossette
Gayle Harbor ...
Avner Garbi ...
Meg James ...
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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 <>

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Release Date:

27 February 1989 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Explained Continuity: During Inspector Columbo's, customary first enquiry, actor Fisher Stevens, gives such an elaborate welcome of praise, that compels the detective to show-off, his observational skills upon 2 drinks left upon a counter top. Primary to his hypothesis, both glasses are shown to be full or half-full with a drink called a "Black and White". When Peter Falk, returns for his 'One more question', catchphrase scene the other actor has disposed of both glasses. In doing so, the contents are shown to camera as being drained or down to their last inch in the glasses. This can lead to deducing that either they were replaced for safety reasons or that a few cast or crew members got thirsty between camera scene set-ups. See more »


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 »


Alex Bradey: Is there anything else I can do?
Columbo: Well there is something, sir.
Alex Bradey: Tell me.
Columbo: Maybe not, sir. Maybe some other time, not under these circumstances.
Alex Bradey: They're my circumstances, Lieutenant, not yours. Go ahead and ask.
Columbo: Is it alright if I make myself an ice cream soda?
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References Moonlight in Vermont (1943) See more »

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User Reviews

Fisher Stevens is a genius
23 June 2001 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Fisher Stevens gives a tour-de-force performance as a Spielberg-like director with delusions of omnipotence. Columbo gives him enough rope to hang himself and Stevens uses it spectacularly. There is never a dull moment as Stevens, for the first time, meets another chess player smarter than he, and unwilling to bend, Stevens ultimately breaks -- in unforgettable fashion. An "A+" Columbo episode.

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