Columbo (1971–2003)
26 user 5 critic

The Conspirators 

An IRA terrorist executes an arms dealer he considers traitorous; Lt. Columbo is on the case.


Leo Penn


Howard Berk, Pat Robison (based on an idea by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Clive Revill ... Joe Devlin
Jeanette Nolan ... Kate O'Connell
Bernard Behrens ... George O'Connell
Michael Horton ... Kerry Malone
Albert Paulsen ... Vincent Pauley
L.Q. Jones ... Gun Dealer
Deborah White Deborah White ... Angela
Sean McClory ... Captain (as Seán McClory)
Michael Prince Michael Prince ... Michael Moore
Donn Whyte Donn Whyte ... Leach
Johnny Silver ... Tow Truck Driver
Carole Hemingway Carole Hemingway ... Herself (as Carole Hemmingway)
Tony Giorgio ... Harry
John McCann ... Brandon


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »





English | Irish

Release Date:

13 May 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

"Columbo - Des sourires et des armes" (1978) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode originally aired Feb 1978, and Make Me a Perfect Murder originally aired May 1978. See more »


Joe Devlin originally agrees to purchase 500 M-11's for $300.00 per unit; however, when the deal is delivered in the hotel room, Mr. Pauley agrees to deliver 300 M-11's. See more »


Lt. Columbo: A rare old bird is the pelican. His bill holds more than his belly can. He can take in his beak enough food for a week. I'm damned if I know how the hell he can!
See more »


References San Francisco (1936) See more »


Whiskey in the Jar
Traditional Irish folk song
Instrumental version heard in pub
See more »

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User Reviews

"Columbo" ends its initial run with this entertaining, slightly offbeat entry
19 February 2007 | by J. SpurlinSee all my reviews

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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