Columbo: Season 13, Episode 4

Murder with Too Many Notes (12 Mar. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Findlay Crawford, a Hollywood film composer and conductor, murders a talented composer/musician who has been ghostwriting most of Crawford's work in recent years, including the entire score... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Cioffi ...
Hillary Danner ...
Obi Ndefo ...
Nathaniel Murphy
Joshua Vinten
Harry Danner ...
Anne McGoohan ...
Herschel Sparber ...
Steve O'Connor ...
Larry Gilman ...


Findlay Crawford, a Hollywood film composer and conductor, murders a talented composer/musician who has been ghostwriting most of Crawford's work in recent years, including the entire score for the last film, which won an Oscar. Crawford is jealous of the young musician whose talent outshines his own. Will Columbo find out who did it? It's just one more thing. Written by Sally 4th

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Release Date:

12 March 2001 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although Peter Falk wanted Patrick McGoohan to both act the killer's role and direct the MOW, McGoohan declined acting in the project. Billy Connolly was cast in the role. During filming, Patrick McGoohan became exasperated with Connolly for not learning his scripted dialogue. Patrick was a stickler on line delivery, since Patrick usually rewrote, revising scenes and dialogue related to the scenario. Another factor came into a scene's filming when it became apparent that Billy Connolly had imbibe in alcohol all afternoon, slurring his dialogue. Peter Falk was performing a scene with Billy Connolly in the recording studio set when Patrick McGoohan interrupted accusing Connally of being drunk! An ensuing argument occurred between Connolly and McGoohan, lasting about twenty minutes. The actors disappeared in their off stage dressing room trailers. An hour later, filming resumed. Connolly knew his dialogue for the rest of the filming schedule. See more »


In the end credits of this film, it lists Richard Levinson as "Sidney Ritter", which is the name of the character who was the film director in this episode. However, Richard Levinson (creator of Columbo) died years before this was made and wasn't an actor. Charles Cioffi actually played Sidney. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Just one more thing, sir.
See more »


Followed by Columbo: Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) See more »


1812 Overture
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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User Reviews

The first 21th century Columbo movie is not among the best.
19 December 2008 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The Columbo series, starring Peter Falk in his famous role as Lt. Columbo, first started off in 1968 with the movie "Prescription: Murder". Five decades later the first 21th century Columbo movie got released. It's a known fact that all later Columbo movies are not as good- and lack the charm and simplicity of the earlier Columbo movies, from mostly the '70's. Unfortunately this movie also suffers from this.

Like basically every 'weaker' Columbo movie entry, the introduction takes far too long. The movie is only about 98 minutes short but it isn't until about halve an hour into the movie. It of course is only also after that, that Lt. Columbo first shows up.

It's extra disappointing that this movie isn't among the best Columbo entries since it got directed by Patrick McGoohan. He directed more Columbo movies, prior to this one and his movies always had a certain bit of extra style, which made the movies rise above the level of average. He also had some misses in his 'Columbo-directing career' though and this movie is among one of those misses.

Problem is that the story is really not that interesting. It really isn't a very exciting murder-mystery movie to watch. It's way too slowly progressing and besides, the reason why the murder gets committed seemed quite dodgy to me. Come on, why does he kill the boy? Was he really such a big treat to him or his career? He still had his reputation in his advantage after all. Why risk so much? It above all is also a quite poorly executed murder. It's done needlessly complicated and left for too many traces at the same time. That alone is also already a real accomplishment. Yet Lt. Columbo at first doesn't pay attention to the most obvious clues as well (the pieces of glass in the hand, the tox screen, etcetera). Seriously, that's not really Columbo style, now is it.

The movie is about a movie composer, so throughout the movie we see him conducting. It's however quite annoying to see that he's never conducting to the music we hear. I'm not even a musical person but you don't have to be a musical genius to see that his conducting and the music we hear don't mix with each other. This to me was quite annoying. It also was quite annoying to hear the actual music, that obviously come straight of the tape and wasn't being played by the orchestra we see on screen all the time. Sounds nitpicking but those things simply bothered me and also prevented me from taking the entire movie and story serious as a good and professionally made one.

Peter Falk is still in good form as Lt. Columbo in this movie, despite his age. He already was well in his 70's at the time of this production. A real good and clever police man would be enjoying his pension by then. Billy Connolly is also acting nicely but I think he deserved a better script to work with. He does his very best with his character but due to the story you just never get close enough to the character. Richard Riehle also appears in the movie again, who previously starred also in the other previous Patrick McGoohan directed Columbo movie "Columbo: Ashes to Ashes", in the same role.

Not a great 21th century Columbo-entry.


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