Columbo (1971–2003)
31 user 8 critic

Dead Weight 

A war hero shoots and kills his business partner; an easily manipulated young divorcée is the only witness.


Jack Smight


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Eddie Albert ... Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister
Kate Reid ... Mrs. Walters
Suzanne Pleshette ... Helen Stewart
John Kerr ... Col. Roger Dutton
Val Avery ... Harry Barnes
Timothy Carey ... Bert
Clete Roberts ... TV Newsman
Ron Castro Ron Castro ... Officer Sanchez
Glen Vernon ... 1st Officer
Jim Pelham Jim Pelham ... 2nd Officer (as Jimmy Pelham)
Jim Halferty Jim Halferty ... 1st Marine Cadet


While on a sailing-boat, Helen Stewart witnesses far-away, inside a room, a man with a gun killing another. She notifies the fact to the Police and Lt. Columbo begins to investigate. The man is the famous General Martin Hollister, a war hero. Lt. Columbo searches his house and afterwards he is very doubtful about Helen's statement. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

27 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kuollut paino 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?


Hollister calls the Colonel "Captain" when he opens the door to him at the beginning of the episode. Then calls him "Colonel" thereafter See more »


The German swastika at the war display is backwards. This was a practice of Hollywood for quite a time in order to cater to sensibilities. See more »


Col. Roger Dutton: I'm leaving for Geneva tonight. If I may make a suggestion, General, you might do the same.
Maj. Gen. Martin Hollister: I have a business to run. Besides, I never believed in a forced retreat.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Columbo vs. Oliver Douglas
7 September 2011 | by stones78See all my reviews

This is a very solid segment of Columbo, and the main reason is the performance of special guest killer Eddie Albert, who solidly portrays General Holister with a brazen arrogance. Some motives in other episodes leave something to be desired, but the one here is much better and believable. It turns out that Holister murders a fellow officer(John Kerr) because of their shady involvement in construction projects, which are about to be investigated; it's hard not to feel bad for the victim, because he came to visit Holister to warn him and promises he'll keep his name clear and take the fall himself. Without going into detail about the entire plot, Suzanne Pleshette puts in a good performance as Helen Stewart, who claims that she saw the General shoot this man while she was boating with her mother, played by Kate Reid; a few other Columbo actors, Val Avery and Timothy Carey, also make appearances. The scenery at the shipping docks and the beach houses also add to this fine episode. The real star though is the cocky Albert, and most of his scenes are memorable. Perhaps my only flaw is that maybe he's too cocky with Columbo, as he acts very guilty at certain times. I thought the ending was decent, but too easy for Columbo to arrest him, as the suspect keeps the murder weapon on display for the public to see. This is still a terrific episode with quirky characters and interesting scenes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed