Columbo (1971–2003)
23 user 5 critic

Old Fashioned Murder 

The spinster head of a family-run museum murders her brother when he threatens to dissolve the financially strapped institution.



(teleplay by), (story by) (as Lawrence Vail) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
... Columbo
... Ruth Lytton
... Janie Brandt
... Edward Lytton
... Phyllis Lytton Brandt
Peter S. Feibleman ... Milton Shaeffer
Jon Miller ... Sgt. Miller
Jess Osuna ... Dr. Tim Shaeffer
... Darryl
Lucy Saroyan ... Elise
Gary Krawford ... Watch Salesman
Eloise Hardt ... Cathy - Maid
... 2nd Detective
Giles Douglas ... Photographer


The Lytton family owns a museum. Siblings Ruth and Edward (curator and trustee, respectively) have devoted their lives to it, but with things not going so well, Edward has decided to sell it. Ruth doesn't agree and plans otherwise (the old-fashioned way). She has a niece, Janie, whom she loves more than her mother does, who has hired Milton Schaeffer, a petty thief and inveterate gambler (and the brother of her (Janie's) lover), as their new security guard. With a subsequent double-homicide on hand utilizing these details, Columbo delves into the family's personal history to help unravel spinster Ruth's ruthless scheme. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia / with additional information by statmanjeff

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 November 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bei Einbruch Mord  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joyce Van Patten, who plays Ruth Lytton in this episode, was also in the Season 4 episode "Negative Reaction," in which she played the Nun (Sister of Mercy). See more »


When Columbo and his sergeants examine the dead body in the phone booth, Columbo refers to one of the sergeants as "Carter;" but, when he later talks to Ruth Lytton in the same room, Columbo refers to the same sergeant as "Sergeant Shaw." Sergeant Carter/Shaw is played by Mike Lally. See more »


Mrs. Brandt: There is a man's arm to support any woman who wants one.
Ruth Lytton: No, not any woman.
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This Old Man
English folk children's counting song.
Whistled by Peter Falk
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User Reviews

Columbo goes to museum
24 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

The Lytton siblings run the Lytton museum.Brother Edward decides to sell the museum.Ruth is against this, and decides to kill him.She's helped by the guard and a petty thief called Milton Schaeffer.Both the guard and Edward end up dead.Ruth frames her beloved niece Janie for the murder.Robert Douglas' Columbo episode "Old Fashioned Murder" is from 1976.It's the second episode of the 6th season.This is a fine Columbo episode, although not quite as good as the 1st episode of the season.Peter Falk does an excellent job as always as the cooky detective.Joyce Van Patten (Dick's sister) plays Ruth Lytton, and she does an excellent job.Tim O'Connor is great as the brother Edward she murders.Celeste Holm is marvelous as the older sister, Mrs. Brandt, who keeps fainting in Columbo's presence.Jeannie Berlin (Elaine May's daughter) is magnificent as Janie Brandt.Peter S. Feibleman, who did teleplays for this and the previous episode, does a great job portraying Milton Schaeffer.And so does Jess Osuna as his brother, Dr. Tim Schaeffer.This Columbo has some fine moments.It's a fun moment when Columbo goes get a manicure and a haircut.For a moment he doesn't look like Columbo at all.And it's always fun to watch how his mind works.And this time he's in a museum environment, which makes it all a bit more interesting.He gets the killer before the closing time.

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