Columbo (1971–2003)
31 user 8 critic

Suitable for Framing 

A wealthy art collector is murdered, and all signs point to a robbery gone wrong. But the nephew's alibi is a little too convenient, and Columbo pulls a fast one to ferret out the killer.


Hy Averback


Jackson Gillis, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Ross Martin ... Dale Kingston
Don Ameche ... Frank Simpson
Kim Hunter ... Edna Matthews
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Tracy O'Connor
Joan Shawlee ... Mitilda
Barney Phillips Barney Phillips ... Captain Wyler
Mary Wickes ... Landlady
Vic Tayback ... Sam Franklin
Sandra Gould ... Matron
Curt Conway Curt Conway ... Evans
Claude Johnson Claude Johnson ... Policeman
Dennis Rucker Dennis Rucker ... Parking Boy (Joe)


Lt. Columbo investigates the murder of Rudy Matthews, an art collector found shot to death in his home. The killer is the dead man's nephew, art critic Dale Kingston, who, with the help of his accomplice Tracy O'Connor, effectively masks the time of death to give himself an alibi at an art exhibit. From the outset, Columbo can't quite understand why the thief would have first selected a painting of lesser value before suddenly switching to the two most valuable paintings after the killing. Kingston tries to point Columbo in the direction of his aunt, Matthews' ex-wife Edna. The fact that Matthews left his entire art collection to her seems to support that idea. Columbo isn't buying it and sets a clever trap for him. Written by garykmcd / corrected by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 November 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mord in Pastell 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
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Did You Know?


The barely-glimpsed actor playing Dale Kingston's uncle is B-movie icon Robert Shayne, who played Inspector Henderson on the "Superman" TV series. See more »


When Tracy leaves the mansion, she pushes open the sliding door that had been altered to look like it was jimmied open, and left it wide open while she exited the premises. Moments later, the security guard explores that direction and the sliding doors are once again closed. See more »


[Dale Kingston's confederate recoils at the sight of the body of Dale's uncle]
Dale Kingston: Pull yourself together. There's no reason to be frightened. Just my uncle. I assure you he's far more amiable now than he ever was when he was alive.
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Etude in E major op. 10 No. 3
by Frédéric Chopin
Heard during the murder sequence
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Columbo in the world of art
9 July 2008 | by Petey-10See all my reviews

Dale Kingston (Ross Martin), a famed art critic kills his uncle for his notable collection of paintings.And so enters Lt.Columbo the scene smoking cigars and asking questions.Columbo:Suitable for Framing (1971) is another great installment to the Columbo series.There was always a great deal of humor there.It's quite funny when that lady is showing him all those photos and he's anxious of seeing just one.Peter Falk is really one of the kind and the only one that could play this character.Ross Martin makes a great villain.Kim Hunter plays the victim's ex-wife Edna Matthews.The legendary Don Ameche is Frank Simpson.I had fun, once again, watching Columbo solving the crime.Columbo never lets me down.

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