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Prescription: Murder (1968)

A psychiatrist uses a patient he is having an affair with to help him kill his wife, but his perfect alibi may come apart at the hands of a seemingly befuddled LAPD lieutenant.

Director:

Richard Irving

Writers:

Richard Levinson (teleplay), William Link (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Lt. Columbo
Gene Barry ... Dr. Ray Flemming
Katherine Justice ... Joan Hudson
William Windom ... Burt Gordon
Nina Foch ... Carol Flemming
Virginia Gregg ... Miss Petrie
Andrea King ... Cynthia Gordon
Susanne Benton ... The Blonde
Ena Hartman Ena Hartman ... Nurse
Sherry Boucher ... Air Hostess
Anthony James ... Tommy
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Storyline

A psychiatrist who is married, is having an affair. His wife threatens to divorce him and take him to the cleaners if she ever catches him. So along with his mistress he plans to kill her and make it seem like she was killed by an intruder. He goes out of town as part of his plan and returns to find the police there investigating and the man investigating is Lt. Columbo. Columbo is a little odd and he asks the man some questions that he finds intrusive. Columbo continues to question him and the man's friend an ADA warns Columbo to watch his step. But Columbo goes on. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The pilot episode of television's most popular detective. See more »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prescription: Murder See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First appearance of Peter Falk as Columbo. See more »

Goofs

The reception room at Dr. Fleming's office features a distinctive painting of trees and white houses with red roofs, which is prominent in several scenes. This same painting later appears in Columbo: Suitable for Framing, as part of the art collection sliced and stolen by Dale Kingston. In its return appearance, this painting mends itself and returns to the wall, after it was vandalized and removed. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: I was wondering, Doctor, would you take me on as a patient?
Dr. Ray Flemming: Take you on as a what?
Lt. Columbo: No, I mean it. Maybe you can help me. I don't know, There must be something wrong with me. I seem to bother people. I seem to make them nervous. Maybe you can tell me why.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The beginning credits feature a series of brightly colored animated splotches. The splotches were meant to resemble the ink blots used in a Rorschach test, as the villain in this movie was a psychiatrist. See more »

Connections

Spun-off from The Chevy Mystery Show (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Uh...one more thing
23 December 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

For the legion of Columbo fans, this is the one that began it all, "Prescription: Murder," a play about a sloppy, fumbling, genius detective that was to star Thomas Mitchell on Broadway. We can thank, sadly, Mitchell's sudden death for the fact that they play never made it and was turned into a teleplay.

This particular episode sets up the formula for future Columbos: A powerful, wealthy, and/or privileged person commits a clever murder, can't believe their luck that this idiot is on the case, and goes down in flames. The powerful, wealthy, and/or privileged person is psychiatrist Gene Barry, who kills his wife (the always excellent Nina Foch) and sets himself up with an alibi with the help of his young patient, an actress. Brilliant though his scheme may be, Columbo is on to him immediately. And, as usual, 'twas ego killed the beast.

It took a while for Columbo to actually become a series, but it eventually did, rotating with other shows on the NBC Sunday Night Mystery Movie. But this is where it all began, with a surprisingly youthful but ever sloppy Columbo matching wits with a criminal. A classic.


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