Columbo (1971–2003)
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Ashes to Ashes 

After a much maligned Hollywood gossip columnist is murdered by her former lover, Columbo tries to find a way to prove he was responsible for the crime.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Fred
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Sheik Yarami
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Eddie Fenelle (as Ron Másak)
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Rita
Scott N. Stevens ...
Gerald
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Henry Chalfont (as Conrad Bachman)
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Singer
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Driver
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Storyline

Hollywood gossip reporter, Verity Chandler is planning her next expose. Which is to reveal how famed mortician, Eric Prince built his empire. When she reveals to Prince her plans he kills her. He then places her in the casket of a man scheduled to be cremated. And cremates her. He then goes to her house and changes the story she was working on to make it seem someone else wanted to get her. When no one hears from her, the police are called in and Lt. Columbo is on the job. Eentually he learns that she went to a funeral at Prince's and talks to him. And he finds his behavior odd. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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8 October 1998 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Peter Falk and Patrick McGoohan collaborated on six "Columbo" movie of the week projects from 1974's "By Dawn's Early Light" (as an actor-Col. C. Rumord); 1975, "Identity Crisis" (as an actor-Nelson Breener, and as the Director); 1976, "Last Salute To The Commodore" (as the Director); 1990, "Agenda For Murder" (as an actor-Oscar Finch, and as the Director); 1998, "Ashes to Ashes" (as an actor-Eric Prince, as the Director, writer of the tele-play, Co-Executive Producer); 2000, "Murder With Too Many Notes" (Director, Writer, Co-Executive Producer). Patrick McGoohan previously was awarded an EMMY for his "Columbo" performance. Peter asked Patrick to return for this 1998 "Columbo - Ashes to Ashes" as the featured star role; rewriting the script (tele-play) and to direct the film. Their previous professional working association had been very creative and productive in their projects development. Falk was comfortable with this alliance because he relied upon McGoohan's creative and inventive scene motivation and performance development vastly improving production values. Incidentally, the 2000 "Murder With Too Many Notes" brought the pair together again, which Falk had wanted McGoohan to star in as the featured role, as well Direct. Patrick felt the Network would not approve of his (McGoohan) repeating as the featured actor, which Peter Falk reluctantly agreed with Patrick. In preliminary production, Patrick had revised and had completely rewritten the entire "Ashes to Ashes" tele-play's script. The script featured a mortuary setting, including the director's counseling office, casket display selection room, chapel, embalming laboratory, and crematorium. See more »

Goofs

After Verity is struck with the first blow, we see her lying face up on the tiled floor. Mr. Prince then strikes her again with a mighty blow that would inevitably have had to move the body at least minimally. Yet the next shot of Verity is precisely the one we just saw, with the body positioned in the identical spot on the floor tiles and the angles of her body and head not having moved a millimeter. See more »

Quotes

Columbo: [being bodily hauled off by two men] Hey! Hey, I'm a cop! I'm a cop you monkeys!
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User Reviews

 
The Mortician
8 March 2016 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Patrick McGoohan makes his fourth appearance(and third as director) as Eric Prince, a successful mortician who caters to the Hollywood set that finds himself being threatened by an obnoxious gossip columnist named Verity Chandler who(unwisely) tells him that she plans an expose on his suspected long ago crime of a diamond necklace theft, so he abruptly kills her, then hastily substitutes her body for another due for cremation, thinking that if there is no body, there can be no crime proved, but Lt. Columbo(Peter Falk) has enough doubt to inspire him to do something quite clever at the end to catch the killer... McGoohan is excellent as usual, both in front of and behind the camera, creating a sympathetic murderer you almost hope gets away with it! Morbid setting is handled with a deft touch, and this would have worked well as the series finale, but two more episodes would follow. Nice closing line(an in-joke) as well.


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