Columbo (1971–2003)
30 user 5 critic

It's All in the Game 

Lauren Staton and Lisa Martin kill their two-timing lover Nick Franco. Lauren's the one who pulled the trigger and they've made it look like Franco was killed by a burglar in his apartment.... See full summary »


Vincent McEveety


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Faye Dunaway ... Lauren Staton
Claudia Christian ... Lisa Martin
Armando Pucci ... Nick Franco
Bill Macy ... Ruddick
John Finnegan ... Barney
Doug Sheehan ... Riley
Shelley Morrison ... Nick's Maid
Tom Henschel Tom Henschel ... Fingerprint Man
Jack Shearer ... Investigator #1
Shashawnee Hall ... Investigator #2
Stewart J. Zully ... Investigator #3
Bruce Ed Morrow ... Medical Examiner (as Bruce E. Morrow)
Heath Kizzier Heath Kizzier ... Photo Clerk
Daniel Trent Daniel Trent ... Detective #1 (as Daniel T. Trent)


Lauren Staton and Lisa Martin kill their two-timing lover Nick Franco. Lauren's the one who pulled the trigger and they've made it look like Franco was killed by a burglar in his apartment. They've prepared well with both having solid alibis. Lt. Columbo is in charge of the case and is very much attracted to the beautiful Lauren. She uses that to her advantage and is soon buying him gifts and giving him the odd kiss. Columbo is flattered but begins to see anomalies in some of the physical evidence. He becomes certain that Lauren is involved in Franco's death but realizes he will only be able to make an arrest if he gets a confession. He manages to get that but even he is surprised when learns of her true relationship to Lisa. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gambling | reverse footage | See All (2) »


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le meurtre aux deux visages See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the second episode where the murderer tries to change Columbo's wardrobe, even buying him a new tie. The first time this happened is in the season two episode "Requiem for a Falling Star" where Edith Head provides him a tie at the murderers request. See more »


Laura tells Columbo that her secretary's telephone number is 213-555-5334. Later, the detective tells him that Franco's tel. number was 213-555-5234 - the exact same number except for one digit. See more »


Lt. Columbo: If they did it, ya catch 'em. If an angel did it, ya get the cuffs for the hands and a rope for the wings.
See more »


References The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Ties with Ashes to Ashes and A Bird in the Hand as the best of the latter-day Columbos
10 April 2012 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I have always been a great fan of Columbo, especially of the pre-1989 episodes. Of the latter day episodes(1989 all the way up to 2003) It's All in the Game is one of the best, Ashes to Ashes and A Bird in the Hand I love just as much, and Agenda for Murder and Death Hits the Jackpot are equally worthy. It looks great, with beautiful locations and fashions and stylish photography. The music is moody and fitting, the writing is classy and sophisticated and while I initially found the story on the convoluted side I can now think of few latter-day Columbo episodes that had a story as clever and compelling as this one. But it is not a Columbo without Columbo himself, the guest villain and the rapport between them, and not only due the rapport scenes sizzle with tension and class but Peter Falk and Faye Dunnaway are both brilliant. All in all, one of the finest of the later episodes and worthy of the pre-1989 episodes. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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