When you first saw him, Lieutenant Columbo looked like a bum that just came off the street. He had a bumbling demeanor, was overly polite and seemed to chomp on the same short cigar on a daily basis. However, beneath all that comical exterior was probably the most dogged investigator in the Los Angeles Police Department. Columbo was often called on to investigate high profile murders that involved the rich and famous. The culprits were often amused by him, and just as they thought they were going to get away with murder, Columbo would find a way to trap them or find enough evidence to make them confess.Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
In 1971 writer Steven Bochco was brought in by producers Dick Levinson and Bill Link to write the first episode "Murder by the Book", directed by Steven Spielberg. Bochco, who had no previous experience writing murder mysteries or police dramas, said he received "invaluable advice" from Levinson when he told Bochco that Peter Falk and Columbo were essentially the same man. Levinson told Bochco not to write for the Columbo character but write for Falk and trust Falk to use his own instinct and creativity to deliver the story. "Murder by the Book" won an Emmy for best writing. See more »
In this 1968 two hour Pilot, (about 1hr-34min in), Columbo is waiting for the suspect's lover to approach him at the movie studio. The long shot, from behind and above Columbo, shows him standing next to the ice cream truck, and placing his briefcase on the ground, to the left and front of him. A tight-shot from Columbo's front, now shows the briefcase tight and to his left leg, while Columbo rips the wrapper from his Popsicle, and he THROWS the wrapper to the ground behind him. The next shot is again the long shot from behind and above Columbo. His briefcase is now, again, to his left and in front of him, and there is no sign of the Popsicle wrapper which he just threw on the ground behind him. See more »
Oh, I didn't come to ask any more questions. I came to arrest you.
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The greatest detective TV show ever & one of the greatest TV shows.
The late Peter Falk helped create one of the greatest ever TV characters in Columbo. However, credit too must go to the scriptwriters & all concerned in the production. Falk's seemingly dithering, fumbling & slightly absent-minded detective masking a razor-sharp brain was the real charm of the character. Add to this the humour that was introduced into some of the very well-written stories, all made for a great show. My favourite humorous moment of all was when he entered a mission for down-and-outs in Los Angeles to interview a witness. In the mission run by nuns he was attended by actress Joyce Van Patten. Seeing his shabby raincoat she naturally wanted to find him a new one, thinking he was down on his luck. After a small protest the sister dismissed it & said, "All are welcome here!.". Endearingly embarrassed as only Columbo as acted by Falk could be, he informed her he was in fact a police detective. The sister then thought, naturally, that he had gone undercover, dressed accordingly & praised his scruffy appearance. "How clever of you!" she concluded. Absolutely priceless scriptwriting!!!. There were many other great comedy asides, usually involving his poorly paid job, but this one I mention was really brilliant. Thank god, despite Peter Falk's death we still have so many great Columbo's to enjoy.
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