Columbo (1971–2003)
23 user 5 critic

Strange Bedfellows 

When Graham McVeigh kills his brother and frames a mob bookie for the crime and then kills the bookie and claims self-defense. He finds himself facing trouble from both Columbo and the bookie's superior in the mob.


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
George Wendt ... Graham McVeigh
Jeff Yagher ... Teddy McVeigh
Jay Acovone ... Bruno Romano
Linda Gehringer ... Lorraine Buchinsky
Bruce Kirby ... Sgt. Phil Brindle
Don Calfa ... Rudy
William Bogert ... Randall Thurston
Shani Wallis ... Gwen
John Finnegan ... Barney
Rod Steiger ... Vincenzo Fortelli
Gerry Gibson Gerry Gibson ... Pat O'Connor
Justin Lord ... Lt. Albert Schiffer
Alex Henteloff Alex Henteloff ... Pawnbroker
Karen Mayo-Chandler Karen Mayo-Chandler ... Tiffany Keene


Graham McVeigh has had it with his ne'er-do-well brother Teddy who is a degenerate gambler and is in serious debt to his bookie Bruno Romano. He develops an elaborate plan to eliminate both of them by first having Teddy suffer a large loss at the track - Graham drugs his own horse, a sure winner, so it loses - and then framing Bruno for his Teddy's murder. He then arranges for Bruno to come to his house, ostensibly to collect Teddy's losses. He then kills Bruno and claims self defense. Lt. Colombo begins to find a number of anomalies that he simply cannot explained including mice in a restaurant bathroom. He's pretty certain Graham is responsible for both murders but he will need some assistance in order to get a confession out of him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

8 May 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Une étrange association 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?


In the opening pawn shop scene, the pawn shop owner states emphatically that the gun he gives the murderer has never been fired. All firearms are test fired at the factory before they're shipped. This is especially true of Colt firearms, as they keep a record of the test firing at the factory. See more »


Despite the fact that Teddy McVeigh was sitting in his car when he was shot, there is absolutely no blood anywhere on him or in the car. See more »


Vincenzo Fortelli: I'll give you a choice. You can walk outta here and never come back, keep your mouth shut; the other choice, I don't think I have to go into a bunch of detail about.
Lieutenant Columbo: You're not gonna kill a police officer?
Vincenzo Fortelli: Wouldn't be the first time.
Graham McVeigh: [after long, pensive stares at McVeigh and Fortelli, Columbo turns and heads out] For God's sake!
Lieutenant Columbo: [Stopping and turning around] I'm sorry sir. They don't pay me enough for this kind of stuff.
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Torna a Surriento (Return to Sorrento)
Composed by Ernesto De Curtis
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User Reviews

"Strange Befellows" (1995) AKA "Columbo Meets the Godfather"
7 January 2019 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

PLOT: The co-owner of an equestrian center (George Wendt) murders his gambling brother and frames his mob bookie, which he also kills. Columbo finds a number of anomalies that don't fit the puzzle and so teams-up with a mob boss (Rod Steiger) to break the murderer.

COMMENTARY: Cheers' Wendt makes for a notable villain, but the biggest flaw in his scheme was to murder the mob bookie and frame him. Whilst this might get rid of his incompetent brother and pacify the police, it would certainly provoke the Mafia to come looking for him. What good is it to own a horse farm when you're dead? And why would he assume the bookie would come to his abode alone (which he curiously does)?

Some people pan the episode on the grounds that Columbo has spoken Italian in a few previous segments (e.g. "Murder Under Glass" and "Death Hits the Jackpot") and yet he claims to not know the language here, which is inconsistent. A likely explanation is that Columbo makes up a new backstory depending on the people and situation with which he's dealing. In short, his immediate mission determines his backstory.

Another criticism is that it's wrong for Columbo to align himself with organized crime and engage in entrapment. Yet this is indirectly addressed in the episode, although you might have to read between the lines a bit. Columbo KNOWS who the real murderer is; and apparently so does the Don. They both want justice and the Don grants Columbo the grace to acquire it legally, which he can't do without proper evidence and a confession. So they team-up to get it one way or another. In other words, justice is Columbo's prime objective, not being 100% legally correct.

As for entrapment, Columbo is known for resorting to these kinds of (unrealistic) shenanigans to break his opponent and obtain justice, as witnessed throughout the series (e.g. "Prescription: Murder," "Butterfly and Shades of Grey" and "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo).

The last five Columbo episodes (actually TV movies) were released over the course of nine years from 1995-2003 with "Strange Bedfellows" beginning this run. All of them are worthy installments for one reason or another.


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