Also, the fourth season of Columbo has just been released on dvd! Can you afford not to get it?
The season includes...
"An Exercise in Fatality" (1974)
4, Episode - 1
Bernard L. Kowalski
Peter S. Fischer
Edward K. Dodds
September 15, 1974
Peter Falk as LT. Columbo
Robert Conrad as Milo Janus
Philip Bruns as Gene Stafford
Pat Harrington as Buddy Castle
Gretchen Corbett as Jessica Conroy
Collin Wilcox as Ruth Stafford
Jude Farese as Al Murphy
Darrell Zwerling as Lewis Lacey
Dennis Robertson as Jerry
Raymond O'Keefe as SGT. Rickets
Victor Izay as Medical Examiner
Eric Mason as Fred
J.R. Clark as Harry Lassiter
Mel Stevens as DR. Freeman
Manuel Depina as Photographer
Kathleen O'Malley as Nurse
Don Nagel as Doberman
Susan Jacoby as Woman ( Rose )
Physical fitness expert, Milo Janus, the owner of a string of successful health spas, looking much younger than his fifty-three years. His financial accounts, however are not in such good shape. He has been skimming off the profits and shipping then into European bank accounts. A business associate, Gene Stafford, is close to uncovering the truth about Milo’s creative accounting methods. Working in the office at one of the spas, Gene has promised to follow the trail of corruption to the end. Milo puts up a brave front while he plans to murder gene. He has thought out an ingenious alibi.
Me talking now- This is the one where it looked like Columbo was up against someone who would actually punch out his lights if he kept bothering him. While Robert ("Knock this battery off my shoulder... c'mon I dare ya!") Conrad was not a typical upper-class arrogant murderer, his physicality made this episode a little more of a seventies cop show than the cerebral mysteries these shows tended to be.
"Negative Reaction" (1974) Season:4, Episode - 2Director:Alf Kjellin Written by:Peter S. Fischer Produced by:Everett Chambers Originally aired:October 6, 1974 Run Time:(mins) Cast:Peter Falk as LT. Columbo
Dick Van Dyke as Paul Galesko
Antoinette Bower as Frances Galesko
Don Gordon as Alvin Deschler
Joanna Cameron as Lorna McGrath
David Sheiner as Ray ( Serge San Martin )
Larry Storch as Mr. Weekly
Joyce van Patten as Sister of Mercy
Michael Strong as SGT. Hoffman
Vito Scotti as Thomas Dolan
Alice Backes as Mrs. Mayland
Harvey Gold as Harry Lewis
Bill Zuckert as Capt. Sampson
Adrin Ricard as Dept. of Motor Vehicles Clerk
Thom Carney as Manager
Tom Signorelli as Doctor
John Ashton as Calvin Macgruder
Edward Colmans as Minister
Irene Tedrow as Mrs. Charleswort
Mike Santiago as First Policeman
Edward Cross as Second Policeman
Plot:Brilliant photographer Paul Galesko plans to murder his domineering wife, Frances, and pin the crime on an ex-convict named Alvin Deschler. His plan is to make it look as if Alvin kidnapped his wife and killed her before picking up the ransom money.
Me again- This is the one with Dick Van Dyke, which is great. It's always great to watch "nice guy" actors play Columbo murderers. Also, Joanna Cameron plays his mistress and, as we all know, she was "Isis" on CBS's saturday morning seventies children show line up. Rob Petrie and Isis? Could it get any better?
"By Dawn's Early Light" (1974) Season:4, Episode - 3Director:Harvey Hart Written by:Howard Berk Produced by:Everett Chambers Originally aired:October 27, 1974 Run Time:(mins) Cast:Peter Falk as LT. Columbo
Bruce Kirby as Sergeant Kramer
Patrick McGoohan as Col. Lyle C. Rumford
Tom Simcox as William Haynes
Mark Wheeler as Cadet Roy Springer
Burr Debenning as Captain Loomis
Karen Lamm as Susan Gerard
Madelene Sherwood as Miss Brady
Sidney Kirby, SR. as SGT. Kramer
Sidney Armus as Officer Corso
B. Kirby, Jr. as Cadet Morgan
Plot:Colonel Lyle C. Rumford, the strict commandant of the Haynes Military Academy, is appalled to learn that board chairman William Haynes intends to turn the venerable old institution into a coed junior college. The idea is abhorrent to Rumford, who prizes tradition, discipline and duty. He is not about to relinquish his command, even if enrollment is down. The country needs places where boys learn to become men. The impudent Haynes has become the enemy, and the enemy must be removed.
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Also Me- Creepy Patrick McGoohan would play a murderer three times and each time, one gets the idea that his character probably has done even more horrible things than what the episode tells us, just because it's creepy Patrick McGoohan playing him. He also directed an episode, but the direction was non-creepy.
"Troubled Waters" (1975) Season:4, Episode - 4Director:Ben Gazzara Written by:Jackson Gillis, William Driskill Produced by:Everett Chambers Originally aired:February 9, 1975 Run Time:(mins) Cast:Peter Falk as Lt. Columbo
Poupee Bocar as Rosanna Wells
Jane Greer as Sylvia Danziger
Patrick Macnee as Captain Gibbon
Dean Stockwell as Lloyd Harrington
Robert Vaughn as Hayden Danziger
Bernard Fax as Purser Preston Watkins
Robert Douglas as Doctor Frank Pierce
Susan Damante as Melissa
Peter Maloney as Artie Podell
Curtis Credel as The Magician
Plot:Lieutenant Columbo and his wife are taking a cruise to Mexico. Mrs. Columbo won the trip in a raffle for the Holy Name Society. Also aboard is auto executive Hayden Danziger, a man cruising in a murderous direction. Hayden is being blackmailed by Rosanna Wells, the featured vocalist on the cruise. If her demands aren’t met, she’ll reveal the details of their affair to his wife, Silvia. Hayden plans to shoot Rosanna and frame Lloyd harrington, the band pianist she recently dumped.
Look, it's me- Like the Jackie Cooper episode, you can actually see Columbo in the first few seconds of the show, before he disappears and we get into the plot proper. "Plot proper" being an actual thing you can say in a conversation. In addition... Robert Vaughn!!! Anytime Robert Vaughn plays a murderer it's awesome. Just see him in "Pootie Tang" and you'll know what I mean. Also, Patrick MacNee ("John Steed" of "The Avengers" plays the Captain, so this is the first meeting between "Napoleon Solo" ( Vaughn's character in "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.") and Steed. Later, they would appear in spy-themed episodes of "Kung Fu- The Next Generation" and "Diagnosis Murder", the latter of which stars... Dick Van Dyke.
I could do this all day.
"Playback" (1975) Season:4, Episode - 5Director:Bernard L. Kowalski Written by:David Lewis, Booker Bradshaw Produced by:Everett Chambers Originally aired:March 2, 1975 Run Time:90 (mins) Cast:Peter Falk as LT. Columbo
Oskar Werner as Harold van Wyck
Gena Rowlands as Elizabeth van Wyck
Robert Brown as Arthur Midas
Patricia Barry as Francine
Martha Scott as Margaret Midas
Herb Jr Jefferson as Baxter
Trisha Noble as Marcy
Bart Burns as Thompson
Steven Marlo as Policeman
Joe O'Har as Attendant
Plot:Electronics genius Harold van Wyck married into wealth and power. But the high-living inventor has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars pursuing extravagant experiments, and he’s about to be ousted as head of the family owned Midas Electronics, The only thing that has kept Harold’s iron-willed mother-in-law, Margaret Midas, from firing him before is her devotion to Elizabeth, her sheltered invalid daughter. Elizabeth refuses to think or hear ill of her husband, Harold. This time however, Margaret is holding the trump card. She hired a detective who discovered and documented the details of Harold’s philandering ways. Knowing he is trapped, Harold has devised an elaborate scheme to prevent the imminent purge.
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Me, Me, Me- Of course he did it. He's Oskar "Aryan" Werner. Also, the only time a person who was in Truffaut film (Werner was either Jules or Jim in "Jules et Jim"... it's a been awhile since I've seen it) also appeared in a Columbo episode.
"A Deadly State of Mind" (1975) Season:4, Episode - 6Director:Harvey Hart Written by:Peter S. Fischer Produced by:Everett Chambers Originally aired:April 27,, 1975 Run Time:92 (mins) Cast:Peter Falk as LT. Columbo
George Hamilton as Dr. Marcus Collier
Lesley Ann Warren as Nadia Donner
Stephen Elliott as Karl Donner
Karen Machon as Dr. Anita Borden
Bruce Kirby as Sergeant Kramer
William Wintersole as Dr. Hunt
Ryan MacDonald as Charles Whelan
Jack Manning as Daniel Morris
Fred Draper as David Morris
Glorie Kaufman as Brenda
Redmond Gleeson as Arnold
Vance Davis as Officer Hendryx
Danny Wells as Gary Keppler
Morris Buchanan as Lab Man
Kathy Speirs as Second Receptionist
Plot:The head of the Institute of Behavioral Studies, a university research project, dashing psychiatrist Dr. Marcus Collier is romancing his very beautiful. Very wealthy and very married patient, Nadia Donner. He’s also regularly hypnotizing her and using the revelations for a book that he hopes will be a successful follow-up to his best seller. But Nadia’s husband, powerful and imperious business Karl Donner, has learned about the affair. A trustee of the university, he’s threatening to expose and ruin Mark.
And finally me- One of the best. Neurotic Leslie Ann Warren, playing neurotically again, is a perfect accomplice/victim for one of the best "I'm so so much better than this slovenly detective" murderers, George Hamilton. Also features one of the great Columbo clues, the blind man who is a witness to the crime.
-The Colbert Report
-The Saturday Night Live sketches that feature either bad hip hop, or great Vincent Price impressions
-The BBC/AMC show "Hustle"... a group of British con artists with Robert Vaughn(!!!) as the wise old pro
-Boston Legal... or as I call it "Shatner on fiyah"
-Elvis Costello "My Flame Is Blue"
- Sweeney Todd (the new revivial with Patti Lupone).