Columbo: Season 10, Episode 3

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star (29 Apr. 1991)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 702 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 3 critic

Lt. Columbo matches wits with a defense lawyer who has never lost a case in his career.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Trish Fairbanks
Cheryl Paris ...
Marcy Edwards
Neddy Malcolm
Sgt. Hubach
Sam Marlowe
Chief Quentin Corbett
Lab Technician
Hugh Creighton
Deborah Rose ...
Tad Horino ...
Gardener Ando Miaki
Joseph Chapman ...
Ann Weldon ...


A successful lawyer learns that his companion has been having an affair and upon learning of this throws her out. She in turn threatens to reveal his illegal tactics unless she gets some compensation for the time that they were together. He in turn, kills her and frames her boyfriend. Written by <>

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Release Date:

29 April 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final acting role of B.J. Turner. See more »


Miaki's calendar clipboard, seen in an early scene, indicates that the month is August 1991; but the alibi photo, taken the same day, shows the date as 3-11-91. See more »


Lt. Columbo: You know, in all the years I've had this car, this is the first time I've ever had the top down!
See more »


Followed by Columbo: A Bird in the Hand... (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing but watchable Columbo mystery
9 April 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star is nowhere near among the best of the series(Try and Catch Me, Forgotten Lady, By Dawn's Early Light, Any Old Port in A Storm, Death Lends a Hand) or even one of the best of the newer episodes(Ashes to Ashes, A Bird in the Hand, Agenda for Murder, Death Hits the Jackpot), but I have seen far worse too(No Time to Die, Murder in Malibu, Last Salute to the Commodore, Grand Deceptions, Dead Weight).

I will admit I was disappointed in Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star. The script and story certainly do have their moments, but they are also problematic. The script has moments of cleverness and wit, especially in the priceless restaurant scene, but there are also moments where the tension seemed to be lacking and where the humour tried a little too hard and coming across as overdone instead. The story is a good idea and there are parts where it is diverting, but while there are scenes that are paced perfectly there are others that are sluggishly so. And as outlined in previous reviews(though I did like the episode more than they did) the overall story is not always very plausible, although I understand it much more now since the previous viewing where I was completely perplexed, I also don't buy the whole thing with the mask.

However, it is beautifully filmed and directed with some striking locations, and the music is both atmospheric and driven and not too twee. The acting from the leads is great, Peter Falk continues to embody the role, and Dabney Coleman while not among my favourite guest stars of the series is very enjoyable and interacts with Falk very well. Their scenes together are the best of the entire episode and both make the most of them. Shera Danese is solid in her role and Little Richard is a hoot even with his screen time, but the rest of the support cast while not bad at all also don't stand out in the same way.

Overall, not bad but something was lacking for me. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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