Columbo (1971–2003)
7.5/10
1,588
33 user 6 critic

The Most Crucial Game 

The manager of a football team murders its callow owner, making it look as if the young man had had an accident in his swimming pool. Lt. Columbo is on the case.

Director:

Jeremy Kagan

Writers:

John T. Dugan, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »
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On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Robert Culp ... Paul Hanlon
Dean Jagger ... Walter Cunnell
James Gregory ... Coach Rizzo
Valerie Harper ... Eve Babcock
Susan Howard ... Shirley Wagner
Dean Stockwell ... Eric Wagner
Val Avery ... Ralph Dobbs
Kathryn Kelly Wiget Kathryn Kelly Wiget ... Miss Johnson
Richard Stahl ... Mr. Fremont
Don Keefer ... Deputy Coroner
Cliff Carnell ... Plainclothesman
Joe Renteria ... Box Attendant Jimmy
Ivan Naranjo Ivan Naranjo ... Sgt. Hernandez, L.A.P.D.
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Storyline

The owner of a football team is found dead in his swimming pool. It looks like an accident, a slip and fall; however, Columbo doesn't really believe in this being an accident and investigates as if it was a murder case - but the person he suspects has a powerful alibi. Written by Maarten Hofman <jen@cistron.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gioco mortale 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:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second appearance of Robert Culp in Columbo, out of four: others are Death Lends a Hand (1971), Double Exposure (1973) and Columbo Goes to College (1990). He will also make an appearance in the pilot of the series of Mrs. Columbo in 1979. See more »

Goofs

Columbo figures out, contrary to assumption, that the victim did not die by accident but was, in fact, murdered. Columbo works in homicide so why is he regularly assigned to apparent suicides or accidental deaths? See more »

Quotes

Eve Babcock: Hi, darling.
Lt. Columbo: Miss Babcock?
Eve Babcock: [laughs] Don't be so Cincinnati. My name is Eve. And don't be so embarrassed. I've been expecting you.
See more »

Connections

Edited from A Gathering of Eagles (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik
(uncredited)
composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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User Reviews

Deja vu
14 May 2003 | by bwaynefSee all my reviews

An episode from Columbo's second season, this was the second to cast Robert Culp as the murderer (and the first episode to give an actor a second chance to go head-to-head with the absent minded detective). This is not an improvement on "Death Lends A Hand" nor does it match the superior "Double Negative" from season three, but anyone who enjoys Peter Falk in this role should find this installment more than satisfactory.


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