Columbo (1971–2003)
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Last Salute to the Commodore 

Charlie Clay runs the ship building business of his father-in-law, Commodore Swanson, who turns up murdered; Lt. Columbo is on the case.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Commodore Otis Swanson
Joshua Bryant ...
Wayne Taylor
Susan Foster ...
Swanny Swanson
Coast Guard Officer
Guard (as J. P. Finnegan)
Joseph Roman ...
Shop Foreman
Hanna Hertelendy ...
Jerry Crews ...


Charlie Clay runs a ship-building business owned by his father-in-law, Commodore Otis Swanson, who is not happy with his profiteering son-in-law's shady dealings. Nor is he pleased with any of the people closest to him, including his alcoholic daughter Joanna Clay, his elderly nephew Swanny Swanson or his lawyer Kittering. Soon the Commodore is murdered, and Charlie Clay covers it up by impersonating the Commodore, taking the corpse out on the man's yawl at night and throwing the body overboard. Lt. Columbo investigates this case with the help of a veteran sergeant and a 29-year-old novice. The rumpled, redoubtable detective knows Clay covered up the crime, but his assumption that Clay committed the crime may prove premature. Written by J. Spurlin

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 March 1976 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The dialogue between Sgt. Kramer and Lt. Columbo over smoking (Kramer: "Thought you were gonna quit;" Columbo: "Not yet. No, not yet, Sergeant. Not yet") as Columbo figuratively rides off into the sunset (actually, rowing himself away toward a yacht club), is almost certainly a clever response directly aimed toward intense fan curiosity at the end of season five over Peter Falk returning to play Columbo in subsequent years. See more »


After identifying the body, Columbo puts his arm around Clay's shoulder to lead him out of the morgue. As they turn, the scene cuts to a rear view and Columbo's hand is grasping Clay's elbow (he then raises it up to his shoulder). See more »


Columbo: You got a match, Sergeant?
Sergeant George Kramer: Thought you were gonna quit.
Columbo: Not yet. No, not yet, Sergeant. Not yet.
See more »


Featured in Big Daddy (1999) See more »


This Old Man
Traditional English children's song/nursery rhyme.
On soundtrack in several variations at end as Columbo rows away
See more »

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User Reviews

The Worst Columbo I've Seen
19 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

I love the Columbo series, have seen at least 80 percent of the show's episodes, and hope to eventually see them all. So far, this one is by far the worst. What makes it so disappointing is that it has a wonderful supporting cast: John Dehner, Diane Baker, Robert Vaughn, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Dennis Dugan, among others. But what a waste of talent. And what terrible pacing and staging. Patrick McGoohan is a fine actor, and his performances as the murderer in this series are outstanding. But his directing in this episode is simply awful. If you're a Columbo fan, skip this one. If you're not a Columbo fan, all the more reason to skip it as well!

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