Columbo: Season 13, Episode 1

Strange Bedfellows (8 May 1995)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 579 users  
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When Graham McVeigh kills his brother and frames a mob bookie for the crime, then kills the bookie and claims self-defense, he finds himself facing trouble from both Columbo and the bookie's superior in the mob.



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Title: Strange Bedfellows (08 May 1995)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Graham McVeigh
Teddy McVeigh
Bruno Romano
Lorraine Buchinsky
Sgt. Phil Brindle
William Bogert ...
Randall Thurston
Vincenzo Fortelli
Gerry Gibson ...
Pat O'Connor
Justin Lord ...
Lt. Albert Schiffer
Alex Henteloff ...
Karen Mayo-Chandler ...
Tiffany Keene


Graham McVeigh has had it with his ne'er-do-well brother Teddy who is a degenerate gambler and is in serious debt to his bookie Bruno Romano. He develops an elaborate plan to eliminate both of them by first having Teddy suffer a large loss at the track - Graham drugs his own horse, a sure winner, so it loses - and then framing Bruno for his Teddy's murder. He then arranges for Bruno to come to his house, ostensibly to collect Teddy's losses. He then kills Bruno and claims self defense. Lt. Colombo begins to find a number of anomalies that he simply cannot explained including mice in a restaurant bathroom. He's pretty certain Graham is responsible for both murders but he will need some assistance in order to get a confession out of him. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

8 May 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Despite the fact that Teddy McVeigh was sitting in his car when he was shot, there is absolutely no blood anywhere on him or in the car. See more »


Vincenzo Fortelli: I'll give you a choice. You can walk outta here and never come back, keep your mouth shut; the other choice, I don't think I have to go into a bunch of detail about.
Lieutenant Columbo: You're not gonna kill a police officer?
Vincenzo Fortelli: Wouldn't be the first time.
Graham McVeigh: [after long, pensive stares at McVeigh and Fortelli, Columbo turns and heads out] For God's sake!
Lieutenant Columbo: [Stopping and turning around] I'm sorry sir. They don't pay me enough for this kind of stuff.
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Torna a Surriento (Return to Sorrento)
Composed by Ernesto de Curtis
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User Reviews

I'm surprised by some of the poor reviews. This is one helluva episode and a whale of a ride.
13 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A little over the top, and might not fly 100% in reality, but still one of the wildest, funniest and wackiest of all the 69 episodes. Columbo is not the doddering old fool that he portrays in some of the later movies. He is serious, with a tinge of humor throughout. Although he seemingly goes on and on with his stories, in actuality few of his lines are wasted at all. In every line he drops some subtle allusion that is part of his grand design to ensnare his suspect. George Wendt will never be mistaken for a great actor. But he actually is well cast in this particular role - a lying, not too bright criminal, who nonetheless designs a brilliant, extremely complex murder/frame-up plan that only Columbo can figure out. Consequently, he is convinced that he is smarter than he actually is. So naturally he looks down at Columbo and keeps saying unnecessary things w/o realizing that Columbo is setting him up. Rod Steiger, in a brilliant performance as a mafia godfather, is hilarious and delectable (although even someone like me, who can't speak any Italian, can easily detect that his Italian diction is laughable, spoken like a true American of French, Scottish, and German descent might speak it). As for those reviewers who say this film is bad because Columbo is out of character, I respectfully disagree. He often uses questionable means to get the proof of the murderer's guilt, once he is convinced that he surely has the actual murderer. Yeah, it's a little overboard here, but it works because it is done with a sly smile, rather than in a purely serious manner. The final wild roller coaster ride seems finally to have entered the realm of the inconceivable, until the truth is revealed about what just happened and it gives you a big laugh. Hang on!

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