Columbo (1971–2003)
18 user 6 critic

A Deadly State of Mind 

A psychiatrist, who specializes in hypnosis, murders the husband of his mistress and convinces her to lie to the police; it's up to Lt. Columbo to discover the truth.


Harvey Hart


Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
George Hamilton ... Dr. Mark Collier
Lesley Ann Warren ... Nadia Donner (as Lesley Warren)
Stephen Elliott Stephen Elliott ... Carl Donner
Karen Machon ... Dr. Anita Borden
Bruce Kirby ... Sergeant George Kramer
William Wintersole ... Dr. Hunt
Ryan MacDonald Ryan MacDonald ... Charles Whelan
Jack Manning Jack Manning ... Daniel Morris
Fred Draper ... David Morris
Glorie Kaufman Glorie Kaufman ... Brenda
Redmond Gleeson Redmond Gleeson ... Arnold
Vance Davis ... Officer Hendryx
Danny Wells Danny Wells ... Gary Keppler
Morris Buchanan ... Lab Man


A clinical hypnotist kills the husband of one of his patients during a violent confrontation after the victim uncovers his wife's affair with the hypnotist. The patient, who witnessed the event, is convinced by the hypnotist to lie to the police but when she eventually becomes a liability, he kills her by encouraging her to take a 'swan dive' off her hotel balcony.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

27 April 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Schlaf, der nie endet See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is one of the few episodes of Columbo (1971) in which the original murder is a spontaneous act. In most episodes, the murder is carefully planned. See more »


The interiors of the Van Wyck house in "Playback" and the Donner beach house in "Deadly State of Mind" are the same. Both have steps leading down from one room into two adjacent rooms at 90 degrees from each other. The door to the house enters at this upper level in "Playback" but the door appears to be covered up by a piece of furniture in "Deadly State of Mind". The fireplace is in the same location. See more »


Charles Whelan: [watching a rat in a maze] He looks just like one of my junior editors!
Dr. Anita Borden: We call her Willy.
Charles Whelan: Sorry, I don't have a Willy.
See more »


Mazurka No.6 in A Minor, Op.7 No.2
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
From the audio unit which Columbo switches on
See more »

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User Reviews

Very strong episode
27 June 2010 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

It isn't the best of the lot, but A Deadly State of Mind is a very strong episode. It is efficiently directed and constructed story-wise, with some nice writing, striking filming, excellent music and the pacing I had no problem with at all. The acting is great, Peter Falk is outstanding as always and George Hamilton out of the two episodes he starred in gives the better one of his performances here, his murderer is arrogant, yet likable and is a strong opponent for Columbo and they are well served with some juicy scenes with them together. Lesley Ann Warren was also lovely beyond words as Nadia. Overall, a strong episode benefited by some great acting and efficient directing and plot. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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