Colonel Lyle C. Rumford, the proud Commandant of a military academy, is incensed that William Haynes, the owner of the property, wants to turn it into a co-ed college. So, Rumford plots to kill Haynes with a back-firing cannon that Haynes is due to fire in a ceremony. Rumford arranges for the cannon to explode by blocking its discharge with a cleaning rag and thereby making the explosion seem an unfortunate accident caused by a clumsy attendant. Los Angeles Police Department's Lieutenant Columbo comes to the academy to investigate Haynes' death and instantly suspects that Rumford had something to do with the explosion, which Columbo believes was not accidental. Columbo unrelentingly seeks to prove that Rumford had motive and opportunity to rig the cannon.Written by
Kevin McCorry <email@example.com>
When Columbo cannot sleep in the barracks and has to make a telephone call, he gets out of bed barefoot. As he starts to walk, we hear the sound of shoes on the floor. He wears laced shoes, so he couldn't have simply slipped into them as he rose. See more »
Another fine Columbo episode, as the detective investigates a murder at a military academy. Patrick McGoohan plays Col. Rumford, the academy commander, in one of his best Columbo performances. He is always good at roles like this one, playing characters who are extremely controlled and keep their inner lives veiled. His use of psychology to lure his victim to his death and to set up an obnoxious cadet to take the fall is beautifully matched by Columbo's parallel study of psychology as he starts to unravel the plot. The conclusion of the mystery is particularly satisfying, as it depends not upon tricking an admission from the murderer, but from linking together his own statements and trapping him in his own words. McGoohan is great in the last scene, accepting his defeat without flinching.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this