Columbo (1971–2003)
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Uneasy Lies the Crown 

The unsuccessful junior partner in a dental group, a bad husband and degenerate gambler, faces divorce and ostracism from his father-in-law's firm.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Wesley Corman
Lydia Corman
Ron Cey ...
Adam Evans (as Marshall Teague)
David Sherwin
John Roarke
Horace Sherwin
Lynne Marta ...


A dentist is threatened by a divorce, because his wife loves another man, and his father-in-law, who wants to collect his gambling debts. He decides to kill his wife's lover, and frame his wife for it, to get out of the situation. Columbo tries to solve the murder. Written by Maarten Hofman <>

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Release Date:

28 April 1990 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Nancy Walker appeared as herself in this Columbo. At one point Lt. Columbo recognizes her as the actress from the "Rock Hudson Show", a reference to McMillan & Wife (1971), a series that she had regularly appeared in, and an episode of which contained the original version of this Columbo story. Both McMillan & Wife and Columbo ran together as part of the Mystery Movie series for seven seasons in the 1970s. See more »


Columbo complains to Wesley that he has a "sensitive tooth on the left", as he chews his bagel on the right and holds his hand to his painful jaw - on the left. But when Columbo goes to the dentist, the dental work is done to a tooth on his right. And afterward, at the outdoor café, Columbo holds his hand to his painful jaw - on the right. See more »


Columbo: If you don't mind, sir, it's very cold out here, you think I could come in? This coat doesn't have a lining.
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References Bewitched (1964) See more »


Mystery Movie Theme
by Mike Post
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User Reviews

Swallowing the whole story is a bit of problem but generally it is an OK Columbo
16 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dentist Wesley Corman works for his father-in-law's firm and has wasted a small fortune of his in-law's money on business ventures and bad gambling. However his luck has run out – his wife is cheating on him and is planning a divorce while his father-in-law is planning to call in all Wesley's debts. Desperate for a way out he calls in his patient (and his wife's lover) Adam Evans and sets something inside his crown. Later that night, while he is at a poker game, the poison in the crown breaks out and kills him in the arms of Lydia Corman. Wesley comes to the rescue, taking the body out on the road and making it look like an accident – naturally his in-laws appreciate his discretion to protect his wife and all is forgiven. However Columbo gets assigned the case and a grain of salt, an empty stomach and some blue blotches are all it takes to lead him back to the Cormans with a lot of questions.

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 simple enough for the series to do the business although I have had my fingers burnt with some of the "new" Columbo's. With a solid pun of a title and a world that Columbo is a stranger to (dentistry) things looked OK but it is a foundation that the story can't build on that well. The plot steps away from the classic cat'n'mouse game, retaining only an element of that if favour of more of a general investigation. This works better than I suspected but the unlikely plot undermines it a bit just because a lot of it doesn't ring true – Corman's office being empty of staff, his in-laws doing a 180 so easily, the crown idea working as well as it is; all these are things that take a leap of faith that sometimes the material can't make.

The cast are mixed. Falk is on pretty good form, not quite his best but he doesn't look as old as other "new" films and he comes across as a bit sharper. Read is a bit bland and doesn't quite match up to Columbo, so it is perhaps in his favour that the film only turns to cat and mouse in the final third. The support cast is so-so, some nice characters like Columbo's dentist and Gilborn's George but the family is not that great. There are some "star" cameos from people like Walker and Sargent as themselves at a poker game – I didn't care about them so much as I was annoyed by the guy doing impressions at the game, he is just the sort of w*nker that you wouldn't want at a game! The game itself though provides a nice touch where it is contrasted and intercut with Mrs Corman panicking.

Overall a solid Columbo despite the problems with the plot. The cast aren't anything special but the story moves along well and Falk in on good form. Not up to the standard of the original series' then but it stands up for itself with the lesser "new" episodes.

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