Columbo (1971–2003)
20 user 5 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 »


When Columbo is talking to Dr. Collier in the computer room, Columbo's arms are in different positions depending on the angle of the shot. When seen from the front, both of his arms are lowered, but when the camera angle changes so we are looking at Columbo from his rear right side, his left arm is laying across his stomach and his right arm is bent at the elbow with his hand up by his chin. This happens about 3 separate times during camera angle changes. See more »


Sergeant George Kramer: You got a European car?
Columbo: That's a French car. Yeah, my car's a French car.
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

In flagrato
3 June 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In a lot of Columbo episodes you can feel sorry for the perpetrator, sometimes they're driven to kill and the one who died probably should have. Other episodes show a carefully planned scheme gone awry because of the way Peter Falk digs for clues. But this one was spontaneous as it gets. Husband Stephen Elliott catches his psychiatrist colleague George Hamilton with his wife Lesley Ann Warren and Hamilton kills him in the struggle.

Hamilton was one of the most hateful perpetrators ever in the Columbo series. Being a psychiatrist and knowing how the human mind works, he prepares a careful scenario about a home invasion and it looks pretty good. But an extremely tiny piece of evidence convinces Falk otherwise and also Warren begins to fall apart.

However what Hamilton does to cover up after this is where his true worthlessness of a human being is shown. You will stand up and cheer when Falk nails him and how he nails him.

Got to love that Lieutenant Columbo.

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