Columbo (1971–2003)
7.5/10
1,287
27 user 6 critic

Make Me a Perfect Murder 

An Emmy-winning TV executive kills her lover (who is also her boss); Lt. Columbo is on the case.

Director:

James Frawley

Writers:

Robert Blees, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Trish Van Devere ... Kay Freestone
Laurence Luckinbill ... Mark McAndrews
James McEachin ... Walter Mearhead (as James Mc Eachin)
Ron Rifkin ... Luther
Lainie Kazan ... Valerie Kirk
Bruce Kirby ... TV Repairman
Kip Gilman ... Jonathan (as Kenneth Gilman)
Patrick O'Neal ... Frank Flanagan
Milt Kogan ... Dubbing Chief
Dee Timberlake Dee Timberlake ... Madge
Don Eitner ... Pete Cockrum
Morgan Upton ... Ames
Joe Warfield Joe Warfield ... Al Staley
George Skaff George Skaff ... The Producer
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Storyline

Kay Freestone is a West Coast TV executive whose boss, Mark McAndrews, is also her secret lover. When he gets promoted to a position in New York, he dumps her - and even denies her the job he's leaving. Her consolation prize is a new Mercedes. She's more interested in the gun he drops on the bed - after he jokingly invites her to shoot him. Joking or not, she takes him up on it. Later, he's found shot to death in his office. Kay seems to have been in the projection room when it happened. She was screening her pet project - a violent TV film called "The Professionals" - for her superiors. When our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo investigates, he learns this Emmy-winning producer can commit a bloody act just as well as film it. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meurtre parfait See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An extremely rare episode since Columbo appears before (at the opening credits) and during the murder instead of only showing up afterwards. See more »

Goofs

As Columbo questions Kay for the first time, he fumbles with some pieces of paper and a notebook, unable to find what he seeks as he puts the items on a desk. He goes through his pockets once more then picks everything up and walks away. Again wondering where the piece of paper is he is looking for, he returns to the desk where his pieces of paper and notebook are back atop it. See more »

Quotes

Columbo: [entering Kay's office] That's a very impressive desk, Ma'am. You can run the world from a desk like that.
Kay Freestone: The world doesn't count - just the West coast.
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Connections

Features Bolero (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, My Darlin' Clementine
(uncredited)
Traditional American ballad sometimes credited to Percy Montrose (1884)
Sung by Peter Falk as part of opening medley
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The opening sequence is some of the best stuff in the series—but things go slack in this disappointing effort
14 February 2007 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

Kay Freestone (Trish Van Devere) is a West Coast TV executive whose boss, Mark McAndrews (Laurence Luckinbill), is also her secret lover. When he gets promoted to a position in New York, he dumps her—and even denies her the job he's leaving. Her consolation prize is a new Mercedes. She's more interested in the gun he drops on the bed—after he jokingly invites her to shoot him. Joking or not, she takes him up on it. Later, he's found shot to death in his office. Kay seems to have been in the projection room when it happened. She was screening her pet project—a violent TV film called "The Professionals"—for her superiors. When our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) investigates, he learns this Emmy-winning producer can commit a bloody act just as well as film it.

This would have been a top-notch "Columbo" episode if about twenty minutes had been trimmed off. The first section of the film—the murder sequence and everything leading up to it—is some of the best stuff in the series. Freestone's use of a tape recording is an especially effective dramatic device.

After the murder there are two impressive scenes—one in an elevator with Freestone and Columbo, and another surreal sequence, where he harasses her via the multiple TV screens in her control booth. Most everything else is slack. There is a long, pointless scene where Columbo fools around with the TV equipment. There's a needless subplot with Lainie Kazan (who is too young to be playing an aging Judy Garland-like has-been). There's a limp scene where Columbo confronts Freestone at her old, now-abandoned home and offers sympathy.

Some of these scenes seem to be an attempt to make the villain more human than usual. That's fine, but the "Columbo" formula demands that any confrontation between detective and quarry be tense. "Columbo" works because of its formula, not in spite of it. The closer it hues to it, the better it is.

The formula also demands that what finally trips up the killer be a surprise. The ending here is very predictable. "Columbo" fans will want to watch this one, despite its flaws. Others, beware.


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