Columbo: Season 13, Episode 2

A Trace of Murder (15 May 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 628 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

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



(created by), (created by), 1 more credit »
0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 3060 titles
created 12 Jan 2012
a list of 311 titles
created 15 Dec 2012
a list of 2623 titles
created 16 Apr 2013
a list of 3473 titles
created 8 months ago
a list of 8042 titles
created 5 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: A Trace of Murder (15 May 1997)

A Trace of Murder (15 May 1997) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Columbo.
« Previous Episode | 65 of 68 Episodes | Next Episode »


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


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)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Falk always went on preliminary location scouts with his director, production manager, production designer, art director, set decorator, driver captain and location manager. The director Vince McAveety, production designer Hub Braden, the production manager Christopher Seiter, on the initial scout with Peter Falk, had to convince Peter that the location would make a great building to film exteriors and interiors. Budget restricted renting a Universal Studio's stage and building all the sets required for the scenario's set demands. Downtown Los Angeles, adjacent, north, of the Harbor Freeway, is the former Union 76 headquarters building. The front exterior and interior lobby was the location for the police headquarters. The rear delivery entrance of the building was also filmed as the police station. The lower garage area and driveway ramps were dressed with police graphics, police cars, for the headquarters garage area. The lower floor (Union 76) computer room was converted into a police lab. On the upper Union 76 executive suite floor, this open office area was converted into a penthouse setting. With stage flats, additional door entrances, closing down the expansive office area, the penthouse suite was created with the downtown city horizon as a master view. Several other offices in the building were converted into scripted offices and apartment interiors, requiring additional door flats, stage wall flats, painting, drapery and furniture dressing. The building's rooftop was also filmed. Since this "Columbo" was filmed, this building has been converted into a film production facility, which has built additional stages on adjacent property formerly owned by Union 76. 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 »


Lt. Columbo: Gee, I've got a dozen stops to make. You know, the first day of a homicide investigation, you wouldn't believe it. It's murder.
See more »


Follows Columbo: Undercover (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Three eyes are better than one!
17 November 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I liked watching this Columbo movie. It follows the usual formula but has a story with some twists to it, in which 2 lovers are trying to frame the wife's husband for a murder in order to get the husband out of the way. The man and murderer also happens to work for the police as a forensics expert and therefore starts to work directly with Lt. Columbo on the case. At first he really seriously doesn't suspect him (which is almost un-Columbo like) and it isn't until halve way through that the good old lieutenant starts to figure out the truth.

It's a nice concept, that is also rather well written, though the movie gets a bit weaker as the movie progresses and it starts to drag a bit with its concept. Also the seemingly 'perfect' plan seems actually more and more stupendous and not thought out well enough. It has too many holes and clues in it for Lt. Columbo to figure that something fishy is going on here. So even though it's well written and original within its usual framework, it just isn't the most watertight script, plot-wise.

What also mostly makes this movie such a fine and fun Columbo movie to watch is its nice comedy. There some real fine and subtle comedy within this movie, which made me enjoy this movie even more than the usual average Columbo movie entry.

It was the last movie Vincent McEveety directed for the Columbo series. He directed a total of 7 Columbo movies in the '90's. All of them are special Columbo movie entries in their own way and they are each original. I think this is why he got asked so many times back to direct another Columbo movie. No, not all of his Columbo movies work out but at least you can always say that it's different than usual, which already is a big thing for a Columbo movie. Fore lets face it, in essence every Columbo movie is of course the same.

The cast was also good. Normally the later Columbo movies don't have a too good or impressive cast but in this movie all actors do a good job. Even though the movie doesn't feature the biggest names in the business this really doesn't harm this Columbo entry in the way it had harmed some of the other later Columbo movies. Even Shera Danese is good in this one. Danese at the time (and still is) married to Peter Falk, which had landed her some roles in more than a few Columbo movies. Normally she isn't much good but in this movie she plays her role simply well.

A Columbo movie I simply enjoyed watching, despite its plot flaws and problems.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If Columbo Was Rebooted - Your Choice For Villians Nexusfactor
Troubled Waters josephturner1975
The perp most likely to walk digger01-1
Poor acting performances digger01-1
Episode with Dick Van Dyke as a photographer who kidnaps his own wife Calumette
Columbo Podcast columbopodcast
Discuss A Trace of Murder (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: