Columbo (1971–2003)
6.8/10
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23 user 5 critic

Murder with Too Many Notes 

A Hollywood film composer and conductor murdered a talented musician who has been ghostwriting most of his work in recent years.

Director:

Patrick McGoohan

Writers:

Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Billy Connolly ... Findlay Crawford
Richard Riehle ... Sgt Degarmo
Charles Cioffi ... Sidney Ritter
Hillary Danner Hillary Danner ... Rebecca
Chad Willett ... Gabriel McEnery
Scott Atkinson ... Tony
Obi Ndefo Obi Ndefo ... Nathaniel Murphy
Randy Oglesby ... Joshua Vinten
Luis Avalos ... Antonio
Harry Danner Harry Danner ... Fitch
Anne McGoohan Anne McGoohan ... Marcia
Herschel Sparber Herschel Sparber ... Priestly
Steve O'Connor Steve O'Connor ... Throve
Larry Gilman Larry Gilman ... Tomblin
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Storyline

Findlay Crawford, a Hollywood film composer and conductor, murders a talented composer/musician who has been ghostwriting most of Crawford's work in recent years, including the entire score for the last film, which won an Oscar. Crawford is jealous of the young musician whose talent outshines his own. Will Columbo find out who did it? It's just one more thing. Written by Sally 4th

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Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meurtre en musique See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Billy Connolly's character name, "Finlay Crawford" is taken from his stand up comedy, in which he mocks the names wealthy parents give to their children. "Finlay" and "Crawford" are two separate names he cites as being particularly irksome. See more »

Goofs

Computer printer that prints music score is accompanied by the sound of a dot matrix printer, when the printer is clearly an HP 4MP Laser printer. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Columbo: Just one more thing, sir.
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Connections

References Oklahoma! (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied (Lullaby)
Music by Johannes Brahms
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User Reviews

 
"Murder with Too Many Notes" (2001)
7 January 2019 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

PLOT: A popular Hollywood composer (Billy Connolly) murders his apprentice (Chad Willett) who's been ghostwriting most of his scores after the young man quits and the threat of exposure looms.

COMMENTARY: There are many things to appreciate about this installment, like the believable and creative set-up: The apprentice practicing on the roof of the theater, the long dormant elevator and the conductor's motive, which isn't just envy, but the threat of ruin and mass embarrassment. Jealousy goes back to Shakespeare and ancient Greek theater, but I find placing envy and status into the framework of Oscar-winning composition compelling. The episode is also an interesting window into the behind-the-scenes activity surrounding the scores to major films.

Yet there are seeming problems with the muddled ending, which can be traced to Patrick McGoohan's rewrites as director. He decided to use a musical demonstration at the climax in order to be theatrical, but the way it's done does not lend itself to a satisfying "gotcha" response. The scriptwriter, Jeffrey Cava, included several clues in his teleplay that failed to make it to the screen after McGoohan's revisions. For instance, the ultimate clue in Cava's script was particularly convicting and impossible for the murderer to dodge, but McGoohan prudently eliminated it for practical reasons. On top of this, it's dishonest to say there is "no evidence" in McGoohan's version. For detailed answers Google The Lt. Columbo Forum and punch-in Murder with Too Many Notes.

Others complain that Columbo's slow drive home with the conductor is filler material. But the rumpled detective already sniffed him out as the murderer and needed to spend time with him to accumulate evidence and start wearing the suspect down in order to eventually break him. Columbo knows that when people get seriously aggravated they start saying & doing things they never intended to and thus reveal evidence against them.

As shot, "Murder with Too Many Notes" is somewhat of a headscratcher, but the answers ARE there if you look for them. Besides, what's wrong with head-scratching in a murder mystery?

GRADE: B/B-


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