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The "how's he going to nail him" rather whodunit approach also makes the show more watchable multiple times than many mysteries where if you remember the culprit it spoils things. It's a lot more difficult to remember how he figure it out and confronted the killer than it is with other shows to remember who did it.
Peter Falk created one of the most indelible characters ever on the small screen with Columbo. The rumpled raincoat in an area where rain is a rarity, the bumbling manner, the general obsequiousness all played into an image he deliberately wanted to create for the perpetrator he was trying to trap. We all knew who did it every week and we all knew that there was an elaborate plan involved that the perpetrator put into operation. Often it called for an attempt to frame someone else.
It would all unravel bit by bit. Even if the murderer didn't confess outright you knew it was all over. The best criminal lawyers didn't let anyone wriggle out of a Columbo trap.
Columbo was a great working class hero, an Archie Bunker, or a Ralph Kramden who took the police civil service exam and worked his way up to the top of his profession. It was why he was so popular.
And it's why he will ever remain so.
Columbo is sophisticated, funny and clever, and is quite simply one of the best detective series ever. It does show who does it a vast majority of the time, so the viewer knows who's the murderer before Columbo does, like on Monk and sometimes on Diagnosis Murder as well. But the real fun is Columbo investigating why the crime was committed, how it was committed and of course the exchanges between him and the suspects.
Columbo is well filmed, with nice photography and interesting locations. The stories are involving and well paced, the murders and motives are calculating, the scripts are intelligent with some humour in them(the quintessential "just one more thing" and anything to do with Mrs. Columbo), the music is cleverly composed and the direction is strong. I can't fault the acting either- Peter Falk is simply brilliant as the dishevelled, cigar-smoking, dog-eared Columbo, a detective who has a brilliant mind and is endearing in his own way. Morse, Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher and Poirot are very like that as well. And there have been many memorable guest stars, Dick Van Dyke, Nicol Williamson, Gene Barry, Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick McGoohan, Ray Milland, Rip Torn and George Hamilton are just a few of these memorable guests.
Overall, one brilliant detective series, clever with a great central performance. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Besides, Columbo is a very intriguing character. We never really get to know who he is. Yes, there is mystery around Columbo, and catching a glimpse of the man behind the smoke screen is one of those things that have kept audiences watching for decades. He is indeed a fascinating character. "Columbo" will never get old, it's pure entertainment of the best kind. Splendid work!
Seasons 1-7 are the best and remain unmatched by anything else on television, including Columbo later seasons. It's not only the charm of the 70's and 80's that make it fascinating, but it's mainly the quality of the scripts in the early years of "Columbo".
Splendid series with plenty of suspense , humor , mystery , emotion and twists . Peter Falk , who in real-life was a long life cigarrette smoker and he added this personal touch, as well as he provided his own wardrobe , including his famous raincoat . Peter gives a magnificent acting as the botcher detective with ingenious demeanor, and disheveled appearance , a completely different point of view against the original project that was as a suave and polished inspector . Falk provides a humorous , comical dimension , but beneath his unusual aspect he is probably the most obstinate and intelligent investigator in Los Angeles police department facing off cunning and nasty people . Falk's debut as the raincoat-clad officer was in 1967 : Columbo , Prescription murder , directed by Richard Irving with Gene Barry , William Windom , Nina Foch , this was the TV series pilot in which he investigates the death of a psychiatrist's wife, of course, Columbo winkles out the killer ; this show's was an instant success . Although , Bing Crosby was offered the first role , but he refused and then Falk took the character who he went on until his death .
The series was extraordinarily played by Peter Falk in 68 episodes. Scriptwritten by famed writers as Steven Bochco , Stephen J Cannell, Jeffrey Bloom and Peter Falk himself . Directed by notorious filmmakers as Leo Penn, Alan J Levi , James Frawley , Vincent McEveety , Boris Sagal and Spielberg made 1 episode titled Murder by the book . Some actors also directed episodes as John Cassavetes, Ben Gazarra , Sam Wanamaker , Norman Lloyd, Patrick McGooham, Daryl Duke and Peter Falk himself . And uncountable , prestigious guest stars , such as : Anne Baxter , Roddy McDowall, Jack Cassidy , William Shatner, Jose Ferrer, Oscar Werner , Johnny Cash , Laurence Harvey , Ricardo Montalban , Richard Foxworth , George Hamilton , Rod Steiger , Ruth Gordon , George Wendt , John Dehner , Tyne Daly , Richard Kiley , Martin Landau , Dyck Van Dyke , Lindsay Crouse , Hector Helizondo and many others
Most TV show characters come and go and most of the characters are pretty much the same. One show goes away and another comes along that's similar and the characters aren't any different. Columbo is one of those shows that's nothing like that...it's unique all unto itself.
Peter Falk was a semi-popular actor before this series came along but he pretty much made this his legacy by playing the part of a poorly dressed, over worked, under-slept and wildly annoying police detective who just wouldn't let something go. There was a never a simple murder investigation in his eyes. It was always meticulously investigated but by the end, the suspect was just about to lose his mind from being annoyed and poked and prodded with questions. Welcome to Lt. Columbo's world.
If you happen on an opportunity to see this great show, do so. I can promise you the late Peter Falk will be smiling down on you.
Some 40 years on from his creation, the shabby and irrepressible detective is still being shown in repeats. Each plot is pretty much the same as every other. He and we know who-done-it in the first quarter of the program. After that, by a mixture of psychological warfare, dogged persistence and Holmesian deduction; we see the over-confident culprit brought down. The similarities of the plots don't make them any less fun to watch, because really, the entertainment is Peter Falk's wonderfully wacky character.
The unpromising motorcar, the crumpled ever-present mac, the constant now-politically-incorrect cigar all add up to a character who has only one ambition and fascination in life - solving crime. The frequently mentioned, but never seen wife is little more than a conversational foil, like Rumpole's 'she who must be obeyed'.
Although out of date in many ways, Falk's detective is still a great entertainment to watch. The much more recent and graphic CSI series have little more to offer.
Nothing needs to be said about Falk, other than I don't believe in god, but I believe in Columbo.
Van Dyke is a good villain, the fact that you may not feel as involved with him as you might with some of the other Columbo classics, is testament to a solid performance that doesn't over-egg the pudding.
I'm dithering between giving this a 6 or a 7, I think Van Dyke's assistant brings it up to 6.5 alone, for her amazing hotness, and I love the wino (a caricature certainly, but well done), and the driving instructor amuses, although the scene with the nun does go on slightly.
The solution may be far from perfect, but it was still fun, perhaps a prime example of, 'Columbo being a dick', to get the Van Dyke. And why not?
Peter Falk does such an amazing job playing Colombo.
When you watch it you actually feel like you are a detective and you also know when Colombo is working he knows who the killer is. I really recommend this show to anybody who likes crime dramas. There such amazing actors in this and perter is one of my favourite actors. Colombo has such a great vibe to it and I fell that it is better that other shows such as monk)
(One more thing! !!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I always wondered why Columbo remained a Lt. for his whole career, since a man with his arrest record would be quickly promoted in the force. It may have been politics, or perhaps he was content being a Lt., and didn't want to be stuck behind a desk.
Many famous actors guest starred as murderers, in particular Jack Cassidy, Robert Culp, and Patrick McGoohan, who appeared multiple times in different roles(a silly practice, but not uncommon, unless the actor tried to disguise himself, like McGoohan did.) 'Try and Catch Me', with Ruth Gordon as a sympathetic killer, was my favorite episode.
Columbo delivered that twist. In almost every episode (they did one pure whodunit in the original NBC run and one or two in the later ABC episodes), we see a killer go to elaborate means to commit the crime (or in the case of an accidental killing or crime of passion, to cover it up). The planning, the method, the cover-up...everything looks perfect. You might even say that you've seen the perfect crime.
And then along comes LAPD Homicide detective Lt. Columbo, rattling onto the scene in his rickety old car that looks like it would fall apart if he slammed the door. Columbo himself looks like no detective you've ever seen, wearing a rumpled raincoat that looks like he sleeps in it every night, a mop of unkempt hair, and an everpresent cigar in his mouth. Just from looking at him, you wonder...this is the lead detective on the case? He looks like he couldn't detect his way out of a paper bag!
Ah, but appearances are very deceiving, my friends, for under that messy exterior lies a very keen mind, a mind that notices oddball things that other cops may overlook. That, plus his bulldog-like determination, is what gets the job done. Once he figures out who the killer is, Columbo becomes the pesky cat, and the killer is the mouse, who tries hard to cover his or her bases, but the ubiquitous Lieutenant is there, usually to bring up something he forgot to mention the first time around. The villain naturally becomes annoyed with the bothersome detective, but Columbo eventually wears the killer out with his determination. He always finds the tiniest flaw in the killer's machinations.
Between the killer's 'perfect crime' and the 'how's-he-gonna-figure-it- out' format, Columbo is always worthwhile viewing. Stick with the original NBC episodes. The later ABC ones are merely OK, though they do occasionally feature villain actors from the original series.
Despite what a previous reviewer said, I would love it if they made shows like this today. But, fortunately, I get to see the reruns.
This is a wonderful detective show and I highly recommend it!