40 user 11 critic

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.


Richard Irving


Richard Levinson (teleplay), William Link (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
4,504 ( 2,112)

On Disc

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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 Sherry Boucher ... Air Hostess
Anthony James ... Tommy


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


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


TV-PG | See all certifications »






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


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Originally written as a Broadway play, the production was out of town bound for Broadway in 1962 when Thomas Mitchell (who was playing Columbo) died. The production closed and the script was later reworked for television. This film, which established Peter Falk as the definitive Lt. Columbo, was adapted from the 1962 play by the same authors. The play in turn had been adapted from The Chevy Mystery Show: Enough Rope (1960), in which Bert Freed originated the role of Columbo. See more »


The outline of Carol Flemming's 'body' is on the floor, but since she survived the attack and died later in the hospital, (unless that was a ruse to trip-up the suspect) there would not have been a reason to mark off where the first responders found her, since injured people are removed and transported quickly to save their lives, and not subject to being traced before they are moved. Additionally, the location of the tape was not a match to where she was initially on the floor. See more »


Dr. Ray Flemming: What about this hypothetical murderer?
Lt. Columbo: Well, I'm not talking about your average hothead, you know, the guy who pops somebody over the noggin with a bottle. What I mean is, uh, the kind of man that, uh, figures everything out in advance, who takes everything step by step. What do you know about that kind of man, Doctor?
Dr. Ray Flemming: I should charge you for this, but since it's on a theoretical basis, let's just call it a free consultation. All right. We are talking about a man who commits a crime, not the ...
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 »


Follows The Chevy Mystery Show: Enough Rope (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

Very fine television murder mystery which introduced Falk's Lt. Columbo
24 March 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

A successful California psychiatrist plots the murder of his wife of ten years using his actress-girlfriend as a ruse; Lt. Columbo gets the case. Near-terrific yarn provided the introduction of Peter Falk in a role which soon became part of television legend. Writers William Link and Richard Levinson based their teleplay on an off-Broadway show of theirs, and they do not disappoint in this earliest incarnation of the wily, cigar-chomping lieutenant (Falk even says his famous line, "Oh, and just one more thing..."). The Universal production is smooth and spotless, the music score amusingly intense, and the performances couldn't be improved upon--particularly Gene Barry's as the too-cool, not-rumpled doctor. The only problems with Link and Levinson's script come late in the game, after Columbo gets uncharacteristically tough and mean with Barry's girlfriend and then plays a little dirty pool. The denouement is tricky and fun, if a bit unfair to the audience.

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