This time Columbo is put on a murder that was made to look like a suicide. However, he notices some loose ends, and asks a lawyer and a governor to clear these problems up.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Paul Mackey
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Frank Staplin
Penny Fuller ...
Mrs. Finch
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Louise
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Tim Haines
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Toby Ritt
Arthur Hill ...
The Governor
Michael Goldfinger ...
Laundry Truck Driver
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Amir
Annie Stewart ...
Rebecca Christy
Carol Barbee ...
Diane
Peter Allas ...
Security Man #1
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Storyline

Oscar Finch is a professional lawyer, who uses illegal and underhanded methods to get his clients off, like coercing young men into destroying evidence, like Paul Mackey who worked for the D.A.'s office twenty years ago and whom he bribed into destroying some evidence against a client of his. Today they are joined at the hip and Mackey is a congressman and who has been asked by the Governor who is running for president to be his vice president. Finch hopes that this will mean a cabinet position for him. Finch is then contacted by Frank Staplin, the client that Mackey helped get off twenty years ago. Now unless Finch helps Frank again, he will tell everyone that Finch and Mackey were the ones who helped him avoid prosecution twenty years ago. Finch then kills him and makes it look like a suicide. But a few inconsistencies lead Lt. Columbo to believe that it was not and the fact that Staplin made a few phone calls to Finch before he died leads Columbo to see him. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

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10 February 1990 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film of Arthur Hill. See more »

Goofs

As Columbo enters the office of Finch, whilst speaking to Diane in the background, he holds his arms crossed in front of him (including a cigar). The shot follows him into the office and films him from behind, whilst walking. Next shot (still walking) he walks with arms moving next to him. See more »

Quotes

Oscar Finch: [laughing at Columbo] You know, uh, you're rather subtle for, uh, a man who seems so, uh, overt!
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Connections

References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Mystery Movie Theme
by Mike Post
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User Reviews

 
For me this is among the best of the later episodes
8 March 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Columbo I have always loved, and Agenda for Murder is a perfect showcase as to why. Although it is one of the later episodes, it is an episode that while not quite one of my favourites is just as good as the episodes of the 70s. Columbo has always been well made, and with the striking photography and slick editing, Agenda for Murder is no exception. The dialogue is very crisp and clever, adding so much to the playful and tense tone of the episode, oh and the flasher gag and bird puns are a hoot, and the story never has a dull moment and advantaged further by a totally unexpected ending that even shocks Finch as well as the audience. Peter Falk is wonderful as he consistently is, and Patrick McGoohan deservedly won an Emmy for his very pompous, stern yet very intelligent performance here. The scenes between him and Falk are a joy to behold, some of the most inspired rapport of any Columbo episode in my opinion. All in all, a fine entry to the series and just as good as the episodes of the 70s. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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