Faded movie actress Nora Chandler is being blackmailed by a gossip columnist, Jerry Parks. Parks is also romancing Chandler's secretary, who knows all the great star's secrets. Chandler in desperation blows up the columnist's car - but it turns out her secretary was the one driving. Lt. Columbo, one of Nora's biggest fans, is on the case.Written by
French Canadian title: Requiem pour une star See more »
After Jean Davis parks at The Seekers book shop, she goes inside to meet Jerry Parks. Nora then gets out of a green Malibu and runs up to the store to see Jean and Jerry embrace inside. The large window she looks into has white wooden framing with a hedge underneath the sill. However, the previous and subsequent long shots of the façade show no white window and no hedge. See more »
One of the few Columbo stories to successfully incorporate deviations to the usual formula
A Season 2 Columbo story that is primarily notable for it's success in straying slightly from the hitherto successful Columbo formula by installing a plot with twists relating to both motive and murder victim.
Anne Baxter gives a captivating, well-judged performance as a movie star in decline who realises that the blossoming relationship of her secretary and a persistent journalist could uncover her darkest secrets. Her deep-rooted desperation and selfish protectiveness are intriguingly conveyed in a story that is never quite what it seems: the viewer is not armed with all of the incriminating facts from the outset, so although it is not a who-dunnit, it is successfully sustained as a why-did-she-do-it.
Mel Ferrer also gives a decent performance as the journalist and his scenes with Baxter are consistently powerfully staged and purposefully developed.
There is a priceless scene too involving a cameo from real-life costume designer Edith Head, who gives Columbo a lavish tie from her rather vast wardrobe.
One other noteworthy and enjoyable sequence is when Columbo confronts the murderess near the end with the things that bothered him...
The script-writer Jackson Gillis expertly keeps things going at a startlingly frantic pace, and although the coincidence which helps Columbo solve the case is too coincidental, the strength in the plot, script and performances are too be admired, making this a little gem for the Columbo archives.
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