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
Dennis Dugan, who played Sergeant Theodore 'Mac' Albinsky also appeared a half year later as young P.I. Richard 'Richie' Brockleman in a TV movie called "Richie Brockleman: The Missing 24 Hours" (released in October following the Columbo episode in March). The Brockleman character later spring-boarded off The Rockford Files in February of '78 to launch into its own series, "Richie Brockleman, Private Eye," which was enjoyable but short-lived. Many Columbo fans confused his modest but memorable appearance as 'Mac' with the later Richie Brockleman, since the two characters were both investigators, disarmingly personable, and brandishing unusual 3-syllable last names. See more »
As Columbo wraps up his phone call with Ensign O'Connor aboard Charles Clay's yacht, three people can be seen on the adjacent yacht "Cameo", peering through the windows in the background. They're clearly not extras, since they stare at the camera nearly constantly, only occasionally turning to discuss what they're seeing with each other. See more »
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!
25 of 32 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this