Columbo (1971–2003)
21 user 4 critic

A Trace of Murder 

A beautiful wife and her forensic expert boyfriend try to frame her very rich husband for murder.



(created by), (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Kinsley
Cathleen Calvert
Clifford Calvert
Howard Seltzer
Officer Will
Harry Jenkins
Alice Backes ...
Harriet Jenkins
Stuart March
Tracy Rose
District Attorney (as Kymberly S. Newberry)
Store Clerk

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat


July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con



A millionaire's being threatened with a lawsuit by a man he did business with. When he gets into a fight with the man, his trophy wife is more embarrassed than concerned about her husband. Now she can't divorce her husband because of a pre-nuptial agreement. And if she kills him, she would be the prime suspect. So she along with her lover decides to kill the man who is suing her husband and frame her husband. Which they do. When Columbo investigates the murder, one of the forensic people helping him is the woman's lover. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 May 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The filming location for the exterior and interiors of the lead characters was filmed in the former estate of Clark Gable, in the San Fernando Valley. The interior's hardwood flooring had to be covered with cardboard for protection; removed in areas being filmed, being promptly reset while the next set-up was rehearsed or lighted for camera filming. A few additional pieces of furniture replaced the owner's antiques, which were either unstable or to delicate for actual use. Otherwise, the property was filmed as decorated. See more »


When Columbo is showing Pat a map, he starts to lay the map out on a desk and says "This first". In the very next shot he once again says the same thing, "This first". See more »


Clifford Calvert: Am I a suspect?
Lt. Columbo: [Responding to the utterly bald Calvert] Oh no, sir, no. This is just routine. I have to file some kind of a report. So you'll just answer a couple of questions, I'll be outta your hair.
[pause, as he notices angry glare from Calvert]
Lt. Columbo: Sorry, sir.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not bad, but the ending drags
26 December 2002 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Let me say this right off the bat: the two worst actresses in the world are Kate Capshaw and Shera Danese. Watching Danese's misplaced facial expressions, hammy acting, arm waving, and screechy voice sucks all the fun out of this Columbo film. She does absolutely nothing good with the plum role she's given. Bad director or bad acting? I tend to believe the latter.

Danese's acting aside, this is a pretty enjoyable Columbo film, well-paced and fairly involved. The joy of watching Columbo is wondering if he already knows who the killer is; in the 1970s films, you could never tell, and that was part of the fun. That sense of enigma is lost in these later films, especially in this one, where he doesn't realize it until well into the film. No matter what else he does, this is Peter Falk's signature role, and he has been a lucky actor for not getting typecast, given his variety of roles over the years.

All in all, I recommend this film as a worthy contributor to the Columbo legacy.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: