Pocket-Sized Hemingway

When a best selling author tries to leave Riley Greenleaf’s (played by Jack Cassidy) publishing company, the smooth, smarmy operator sees no choice but to have the writer killed, then blow up the creep he hired to do the deed. “Publish or Perish” is the last Jack Cassidy Columbo episode we’ll be covering, and it’s a […]

Ask for Freddy

Four our forty-first show, we look at the series’ last, “Columbo Likes the Nightlife.” In it, we find Columbo bumping up against a world of Mafia sons, rave promoters, sleazy tabloid reporters and pastiches of late 90s-early 2000s indie murder films. Here’s the crazy thing- this final attempt to bring Columbo into the 21st century? It kind […]

BLANK TAPE

What do you do when you’re the host of a wildly popular crime show and a rival finds evidence of your past career in “party films”? Well, if you’re George Hamilton in “Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” you kill the guy with spiked cigarettes and hope no one notices. Well, Lt. Columbo […]

I Do Wish Everyone Would Stop Asking Me That

In “Old Fashioned Murder,” Joyce Van Patten plays Ruth Lytton, who has put her entire life on hold in service of the family museum. When her brother threatens to liquidate the collection and shut the joint down, she stages a robbery with an ex-con museum guard and murders both men. Columbo has to unravel the whole […]

vicious_rumors_@hollywood_heartbeat.com

In “Ashes to Ashes,” Patrick McGoohan is Eric Prince, Hollywood mortician to the stars, who has no problem stealing from his clients, revealing their secrets and romancing their widows. When an ex-girlfriend/gossip columnist threatens to reveal these creepy practices, he violently murders her, cremates the body and passes off the ashes as someone’s late husband. […]

Cadaveric Spasm

In “Forgotten Lady,” Janet Leigh is Grace Wheeler, an actress from the heyday of big movie musicals, who wants nothing more than to once again feel the white hot heat of stardom. When her wealthy husband refuses to put up the scratch for her big comeback, she murders him and tries to make it look like […]

Ask and Listen, Listen and Ask

What happens when control freak director Alex Brady (Fisher Stevens) is confronted with a problem he can’t direct or FX away? Well, in season eight’s “Murder, Smoke and Shadows,” the answer is an old-fashioned movie backlot electrocution. And, as much as he’d like, no amount of 3-D holographic technology, rear projection or fancy soundstage lighting will […]

I Would Never Typecast You as a Detective

In “Requiem for a Falling Star,” Anne Baxter is actress Nora Chandler, whose career is fading into obscurity. When gossip columnist Mel Ferrer tries to blackmail her, she decides to blow him up in one of the sloppiest murders in the show’s history. But whoops! Didn’t look closely enough- turns out she instead torches her longtime assistant, […]

Skipping Cigars, Giving up Beer, No More Chili

In “An Exercise in Fatality,” gymnasium chain magnate Milo Janus’ (Robert Conrad) business double-dealings are about to be exposed by a disgruntled franchisee! What’s his wisest course of action? Why, cancel the fellow’s contract with a metal pipe to the throat and make it look like a tragic gym accident! As Columbo tries to put it all together, you’ll be plunged […]

You Call That a Lining?

GOTV! Time to vote for your candidate for killer with a mustache in a 90s Columbo who’s tripped up by not finishing a tiny snack. Your clear choice is Patrick McGoohan, in “Agenda for Murder.” McGoohan (who also directs) is Oscar Finch, a criminal defense attorney and political fixer whose ambitions are put in jeopardy when a racketeer […]