Columbo (1971–2003)
37 user 5 critic

By Dawn's Early Light 

The commandant of a military academy murders the chairman of the board, who wants to oust him. Lt. Columbo takes up residence in the barracks to expose the killer.


Harvey Hart


Howard Berk, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Patrick McGoohan ... Col. Lyle C. Rumford
Burr DeBenning ... Capt. Loomis
Madeleine Sherwood ... Miss Brady (as Madeleine Thornton-Sherwood)
Tom Simcox ... William Haynes
Mark Wheeler ... Cadet Roy Springer
Bruce Kirby ... Sergeant George Kramer (as Bruce Kirby Sr.)
Sidney Armus Sidney Armus ... Officer Corso
Robert Clotworthy ... Boodle Boy / Jonathan B. Miller
Karen Lamm ... Susan Gerard
Bruno Kirby ... Cadet Morgan (as B. Kirby Jr.)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Of the four episodes of the series in which Patrick McGoohan appeared, this is the only one that he did not direct. See more »


During Colombo's supper in the school mess hall with the Colonel, Columbo's large serving of vegetables varies in size from large to small and back to large as he speaks to the Colonel. See more »


Lt. Columbo: You have to forgive me, it's not me, it's my mind, it's very slow, and I have to pin everything down.
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Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
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User Reviews

Filming Location
5 October 2007 | by mitchellt1See all my reviews

The episode was very good. However, the filming location of the episode is incorrect. The episode was filmed at The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. I know this because I am a cadet there. The error should be corrected.I really enjoyed this episode, even though I watched it at two in the morning. It was interesting to see how the campus looked back then.I liked it. But it was my first Columbo episode, and I am, admittedly, a little biased. The portrayal of cadet life at the school was pretty accurate. It left out the hazing and most of the Fourth Class System, which is much worse than portrayed. The acting was very well done.

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Release Date:

27 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alle prime luci dell'alba See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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