Devlin is an Irishman. In his youth he was a terrorist but now he is a famous writer and, officially, a supporter of an American society proposing to help the victims of terrorism. Actually he is buying from Pauley weapons for the terrorists. Devlin kills him because he thinks he has been betrayed. Lt. Columbo is responsible for the inquiry and becomes friendly with Devlin, but it is very dangerous to be familiar with Lt. Columbo when you are a murderer.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia / corrected by statmanjeff
"Columbo" ends its initial run with this entertaining, slightly offbeat entry
Joe Devlin (Clive Revill) is an Irish poet, singer, raconteur—and secret terrorist. He raises money in Los Angeles for his radical cause through a charity ostensibly meant to help terrorism's victims. Despite his hypocrisy, he has a strong belief in honor. When an arms dealer (Albert Paulsen) selling guns to Devlin tries to skim off $50,000 for himself, the poet-terrorist shoots him for being a traitor. Devlin leaves the man's hotel room after the "execution," but he makes a dumb mistake. The dealer has Devlin's new book in his jacket pocket, with Devlin's own inscription. That tiny clue is enough for our rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo to make a connection between the two men—and learn things about Devlin that the poet would prefer to keep hidden.
Clive Revill, a renowned stage actor and the voice of countless cartoon characters, turns in a delightful performance. The cat-and-mouse play between him and Columbo—usually the highlight of any episode—is good; but my favorite scenes were of Revill singing and doing comedy bits for an audience at a charity drive.
The Irish terrorism theme is not calculated to bring out the best in a "Columbo" show, but it works reasonably well and makes for an entertaining, slightly offbeat entry.
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