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Columbo: Season 01 ()

After being "auditioned" in a pair of made-for-TV movies, Prescription Murder (1968) and Ransom for a Dead Man (1971), disheveled but diligent homicide detective Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) graduates to his own TV series, telecast during its first season as on the rotating components of The NBC Mystery Movie. Driving a beat-up car, dressed in a tattered raincoat, chomping on an unlit cigar, and forever prattling away about seemingly inconsequential matters, Columbo at first always seems to be a step too slow to solve the murder at hand. And yet, as several suspects who think they have committed the "perfect crime" learn to their regret, Columbo is a lot more clever than he looks -- or behaves. Running anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes, the first season's worth of seven Columbo episodes are an impressive lot indeed. The first, "Murder by the Book," features Jack Cassidy as one-half of a popular writing team (not unlike Columbo creators Richard Levinson and William Link) who murders his partner after learning that the victim plans to break up the combination. (This episode was directed by a talented 24-year-old newcomer by the name of Steven Spielberg). In "Death Lends a Hand," private eye Robert Culp kills his client's wife only to be hired by that selfsame client to help Columbo in his investigation of the crime! "Dead Weight" stars Eddie Albert as a homicidal general who tries to woo and win the only witness (Suzanne Pleshette) to his crime. Ross Martin is seen as an art critic who kills to get his hands on a valuable collection in "Suitable for Framing". "Lady in Waiting" finds Columbo playing his usual cat-and-mouse game with a woman (Susan Clark) who tries to pass off the murder of her brother as an act of self-defense. Roddy McDowall's scheme to send Columbo off on the wrong track by planting false clues to the murder of his uncle is the plot device upon which "Short Fuse" hinges. And in "Blueprint for Murder," murderer Patrick O'Neal allows Columbo to dig up a safe in which he has not hidden his victim's body, believing that he will be safe to store the corpse in that selfsame safe once Columbo has left the scene; this last episode of the season was directed by series star Peter Falk. ~ Rovi Hide synopsis

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  • 1. DVD, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 2004

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  • 3. DVD, National Broadcasting Company (N, 2004

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    Description: Peter Falk, Roddy McDowall, Anne Francis, James Gregory, Ida...

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    Description: New in new packaging. 1971 Run time: 725.

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