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A while back, I mentioned the Columbo podcast, Just One More Thing. I've been listening faithfully and aside from one disastrous episode, I've really come to enjoy listening to their episodes. It looks like they'll be on hiatus for a bit, but in the meantime, I can recommend checking them out. They've figured out some stuff and it's a lot smoother than they were at the start. 

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Thanks for the tip, Luciaphile. I'm checking out their take on the Dick Van Dyke episode as I type, and you're right, the improvement in the podcast is considerable. (Less time of them preening over how very amusing they're being, and more time of them being actually amusing.)

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I've noticed that the sound mixing is interesting on columbo. On almost every episode the background sounds are very loud. Whether it is a boat motor, exercise machine, ocean waves etc the background noises are really loud!!

Edited by novhappy

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I've noticed that the sound mixing is interesting on columbo. On almost every episode the background sounds are very loud. Whether it is a boat motor, exercise machine, ocean waves etc the background noises are really loud!!

 

Hadn't noticed that. I will definitely listen for that. I wonder if it was a decision by the location sound man, the sound mixer (raising the natural-SFX pot, or applying more compression than usual to the final mix), or the producers. Maybe they were trying to enhance a feeling of realism, of liveliness.

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I've noticed it a lot and thought about it. It seems like a conscious choice-an atmosphere thing perhaps. Anytime he is somewhere with any possible background noise it is cranked up. Interested in folks thoughts if they notice it.

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I watched publish or perish lady night and boy is that a good one. Columbo is super serious the whole time, very little faux fawning over the criminal. It really seems like he isn't sure who did it till the very end unlike others where he is locked in on the right guy from the start.

I also noticed how loud the sound of clothing and papers rustling was turned up!

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Juust a Heads Up for anyone who gets the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel on their cable system - starting early Saturday March 28 with "Prescription Murder" at 5AM Central, the channel is running a Columbo marathon thru 5AM Central Monday morning. The schedule for Central thru Saturday night, :

http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/schedule?mode=daily&day=0&week=0&tz=CST

Enjoy!

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The Janet Leigh one had a surprisingly sad ending. Looking it up she wasn't that old to be playing a fading star, she was 48 years old at the time! There are female stars today who are older and still working. Sorry if this is mean but she had a lot of wrinkles. I had to look up pictures of her and her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in the mid 70s to make sure they didn't age her up with makeup in the episode.  I'm glad she didn't have plastic surgery but the only explanation on why she looked so older was that she spent too much time in the sun. Also realized halfway through that her former dance partner was the guy from the original Miracle on 34th Street!

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The Janet Leigh one had a surprisingly sad ending. Looking it up she wasn't that old to be playing a fading star, she was 48 years old at the time! There are female stars today who are older and still working. Sorry if this is mean but she had a lot of wrinkles. I had to look up pictures of her and her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis in the mid 70s to make sure they didn't age her up with makeup in the episode.  I'm glad she didn't have plastic surgery but the only explanation on why she looked so older was that she spent too much time in the sun. Also realized halfway through that her former dance partner was the guy from the original Miracle on 34th Street!

 

I loved that one. Yes, it was sad, because her mind was drifting away from her and I guess it took away her ability to fight her worst impulses, but I thought it was really brave of Janet Leigh to play that character who'd been thrown aside because she wasn't young any more. I thought she aged better than John Payne, at any rate, and I probably would have cut a deal with the devil to be as beautiful when I was twenty as she was at 48.

 

Weren't Sam Jaffe and Maurice Evans wonderful?

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I think from the slight rasp in her voice that Janet Leigh probably was a heavy smoker.  That along with the tanning craze of that time really aged people.  Still, I had no idea she was only 48!  Wow....

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I think from the slight rasp in her voice that Janet Leigh probably was a heavy smoker.  That along with the tanning craze of that time really aged people.  Still, I had no idea she was only 48!  Wow....

 

If you want your mind blown, think about that Gloria Swanson was 50 when she shot Sunset Boulevard.

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Juust a Heads Up for anyone who gets the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel on their cable system 

That's the only way I can get the show as stupid, useless, overpriced DirecTV doesn't carry MeTV.  And they charge extra for Hallmark movie channel.  <sigh>  And I'm pretty sure that HMM is trimming out some of the content for commercial time.

 

I have seen every Columbo, starting with the very first episode of the Sunday mystery series.  Our family didn't care for the other entrants at the time (McMillan and Wife, McCloud, Hec Ramsey), so we only saw Columbo but he was on in rotation so it was always several weeks between episodes.  (I can't remember if Jessica Walter's show Amy Prentiss was one of the originals or if she came later.  Either way, she didn't last long.)  I agree with Milburn Stone (I think) upthread who said it would be great to see the original intros (always led by the sleuth of that night) with the original music.  Some of the 1990s shows are ok but few compare with the best of the 1970s shows.

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I remember Banecek in the lineup.  I'd forgotten about Hec Ramsey!  We watched Columbo (our favorite), Mcmillan and Wife, and Banecek (second favorite).  

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Favorite Scene of all:  Joyce Van Patten, Sister of Mercy in Season 4, Episode 2 - Negative Reaction with Dick Van Dyke.  As a nun, Van Patten mistakes Columbo for a homeless person in need of food, shelter, and yes.... a new coat.  "Oh, that coat . . . that coat.  We can do better than that!"  In his attempt to politely refuse her assistance he identifies himself as a police officer.  She then decides that he must be undercover.  "Don't worry, Lieutenant, I won't tell anyone about your disguise!"  Falk's expression is brilliant.  I laughed in the '70's . . .  and I look forward to laughing every time Negative Reaction is rerun.  

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I don't know how this happened, but I'm currently binge watching 'Columbo' on Netflix. Never had a interest in the series, but I can't stop watching it for some reason.

 

I'm on season four. I love the bits of humor. Columbo goes to some office for information, and the woman behind the counter is having the information obtained from some huge contraption to be printed out.

 

Columbo's just standing around waiting, pestering the woman, amazed by how long it's taking. She's being short with him, and you can tell she can barely tolerate him. 

 

I would like to see him outwitted though. That'd be a nice change.

Edited by jonesingjay
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Saw the one with Patrick O'Neal as the architect the other night.

 

Probably just me, but he seemed to be genuinely inebriated in some scenes!

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I just watched An Exercise in Fatality. Now I have that crazy Milo Janis jingle stuck in my head.  I always giggle when I watch this one at how tight Robert Conrad's pants are.  Columbo actually loses his temper in this one.  He really hated this killer and called him out at the hospital.    

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Love this show, and have since I was a kid. So psyched to discover the marathon on Hallmark, and can't wait to catch up on Netflix, yay! My favorite was "Ransom for a Dead Man." Lee Grant  and her wardrobe were gorgeous, and her mansion, fabulous. She was so smug, and couldn't believe when Columbo figured her out.

 

 

Has anyone ever tried to kill Columbo? Do we ever see his wife?

Check Out "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo."

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Check Out "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo."

 

Netflix only has the first seven seasons available for viewing. If I come across it I'd like to watch it though. Add 'How To Dial a Murder' to the list. 

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I just watched An Exercise in Fatality. Now I have that crazy Milo Janis jingle stuck in my head.  I always giggle when I watch this one at how tight Robert Conrad's pants are.  Columbo actually loses his temper in this one.  He really hated this killer and called him out at the hospital.

This is one of my favorite episodes. Conrad's character was so smug, so condescending. I never forgot the final line from the time I first saw it as a kid, "Ypu crafted the perfect alibi and its that perfect alibi that's gonna hang you." Or words to that effect. Columbo's contempt for Vonrad's character and his role in putting the murder victims wife in the hospital was palpable.

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I just watched The Most Crucial Game from the second season.  Robert Culp is the manager of the football team and he kills Dean Stockwell's character in the swimming pool.  He uses the ice cream truck to sneak off from the stadium.  Robert Culp in the ice cream suit is funny by itself.  Valerie Harper as the hooker thinking Columbo is a client was amusing. Robert Culp is always a good villain on this show.  He gets so sick of Columbo.  Culp with his long strides at the airport trying to get away from Columbo who is almost running beside him while questioning Culp.  This one was solved by what wasn't heard on the phone rather than what was.

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I just watched The Most Crucial Game from the second season.  Robert Culp is the manager of the football team and he kills Dean Stockwell's character in the swimming pool.  He uses the ice cream truck to sneak off from the stadium.  Robert Culp in the ice cream suit is funny by itself.  Valerie Harper as the hooker thinking Columbo is a client was amusing. Robert Culp is always a good villain on this show.  He gets so sick of Columbo.  Culp with his long strides at the airport trying to get away from Columbo who is almost running beside him while questioning Culp.  This one was solved by what wasn't heard on the phone rather than what was.

LakeGal - I watched this one on the Hallmark Channel just the other day, and really enjoyed it, also!  I liked Robert Culp as the bad guy - he was easy to dislike!

 

I've been watching Columbo Mon. - Fri. on the Hallmark channel for the last month.  So far, my favorite is "Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo."  Have you seen that one yet?  It's really great - got MY heart pumping! 

 

Are you watching on TV channel or do you have the series on DVD?  I'd love to own all of them!

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I own all the DVDs so I have seen them all.  I love being able to just relax with Columbo whenever I want to.   

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Tomorrow (6/21/15), the Hallmark Movie channel is having a Columbo marathon starting @ 9:00 a.m. & continuing to midnight (for Comcast subscribers).  One of these days I'm gonna have to break down & buy the series, but I'd like to get the whole Mad Men series, too.  Peter Falk/Jon Hamm...love 'em both!  Decisions...decisions. 

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Saw the one with dick van dyke as the photog who kills his wife, frames the guy just out of prison but is foiled in the end by Colombo. Love the ep and i consider it a perfect example. He trips him up in the end and that is satisfying but reality is there's nothing to go to a jury with. He knew which camera was on the evidence shelf? Newspaper cuttings on the motel floor? Rented cars vs. cabs? Not going proves anything against the guy. But it is my assumption, always, that because the doer knows that Columbo definitely knows they always confess.

Anyway love this episode. Good villian with understandable motive. Fun hunt for Columbo some laughs along the way.

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Saw the one with dick van dyke as the photog who kills his wife, frames the guy just out of prison but is foiled in the end by Colombo. Love the ep and i consider it a perfect example. He trips him up in the end and that is satisfying but reality is there's nothing to go to a jury with. He knew which camera was on the evidence shelf? Newspaper cuttings on the motel floor? Rented cars vs. cabs? Not going proves anything against the guy. But it is my assumption, always, that because the doer knows that Columbo definitely knows they always confess.

Anyway love this episode. Good villian with understandable motive. Fun hunt for Columbo some laughs along the way.

 

I mainly agree with you, but maybe not about the details of this episode. I'm pretty sure the evidence that caused the photographer to confess was pretty damning.

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I agree the knowledge that Columbo had caused the guy to allow himself to be arrested. But even in the 70s I think a good lawyer would have no problem with the case at trial. But Columbo always mentally breaks them down. So I always assume they confess tho we are rarely shown that'

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So I always assume they confess tho we are rarely shown that'

 

At first I didn't know what you meant. "Don't they confess to Columbo? We are shown that," I thought to myself. But then I realized you're right--those confessions to Columbo probably don't count legally as confessions. Only a signed, witnessed confession would count. In which case, Villain could, after being escorted by Columbo to the police station, very easily go back to his original story. Columbo's claim that "hey, he confessed the whole thing to me!" would be inadmissible in court if there were no witnesses. Right? Or am I wrong on the law here? Can any cop just say "Hey, he told me he did it" and have it stand up in court? 

 

However, the thing that often gets them to confess to Columbo is not merely their unbearable knowledge that "he knows," but rather that he has caught them in some provable lie or evidence tampering that would strike a jury as incriminating. I agree that in the absence of Columbo finding a provable lie, the breakdown confession is sometimes less than satisfying--although other times feels psychologically sound.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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I'm pretty sure if the suspect wasn't actually charged with the crime (because then they'd need to have been read their miranda rights first) a confession is admissible in court. Whether the jury would believe it is another story, of course.

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Usually we are not shown a confession. Often Columbia lays it out and they are shown, silent with defeat on their face. Then Columbia tells the sergeant to take them away.

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"Trouble Waters" aired last night--enjoyable episode with Robert Vaughn and directed by Ben Gazarra.

I tried to find out if the actress who played the murder victim, Poupée Bocar, did her own singing, but she seems to be paying a service to scour the Internet to remove any personal info about her, and they have done their job a little too thoroughly.

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Entertaining article with some lively writing:  But it reminded me that it's too hard to make a short list of favorite guest stars--there really were so many great ones.  I'm not sure which episodes I liked better, the ones where Columbo nails the arrogant jerks who have contempt for him and think they've committed the perfect crime (the Jack Cassidys, Robert Culps, Richard Kiley et al) or the sympathetic ones he's grown to like like Faye Dunaway and Johnny Cash.  So fun discovering this show again after all these years.

 

Excerpt from the article above:

Those used to Roddy McDowall’s gentle eyes and mellifluous voice in the Planet Of The Apes films, Fright Night, Bedknobs And Broomsticks, and guest spots in almost every popular American programme in the 70s/80s, get something very different from his outing on Columbo. McDowall plays brattish 70s hipster Roger Stanford, pranking secretaries at his family’s chemical plant and pouting about how “square” everyone is.

 

It’s amazing how much of an irritant McDowall manages to make Stanford Jr., giggling and jumping around like the Riddler in a stonewashed denim suit and zipping around the family business in a golf buggy. There are some killers in Columbo you’d kind of want to get away with blowing up their step-uncle with a box of cigars. Not this one

 

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lol - I think there is a pretty good consensus that agrees with this ^ assessment.  The sympathetic ones are the hardest.  The old lady who locked the guy in her safe - I wanted her to get away with it.

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I wanted Faye Dunaway to get away with it, too!  I just finished watching "It's All In The Game."  One of my favorites, for sure!  What a great ending.

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I felt bad for Donald Pleasance's character. All he wanted was his little world to geek out in, and when Julie Harris threatened it by trying to blackmail him into marriage, he essentially confessed rather than try and kill her. Although it may have just been that he gave up when he realized he was responsible for his precious collection turning...

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It was nice that just after reading that "best guest star" article, Hallmark Channel showed two of them this week--It's All in the Game and the infamous mustachioed Shatner in "Butterfly in Shades of Grey". Really enjoyed both--Shatner's "mannered blowhard" performance and Dunaway's subtle flirtation with Columbo. (I hoped she'd go free, too, but then we would have lost respect for him. Kind of sad, since she might have gotten off if all details were known to a jury, but she wouldn't tell them the truth to protect her daughter. That one was complicated.

 

I loved the ending when you really aren't sure who was playing whom. And loved the chemistry between them--gave Falk a chance to show acting in a kind of part that he usually didn't have an opportunity for. Definitely one of the best!

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I just watched "Death Hits the Jackpot" last night.  It's the one in which a down in his luck photographer wins the big lottery.  He's in the middle of a divorce and plots with his uncle for this uncle to collect the winnings and hold them until the divorce is final so the soon-to-be-ex-wife gets nothing.  It was the uncle's idea.  Of course the uncle is going bankrupt.  It was actually a humorous episode.  Rip Torn chewed through every screen.  The victim was overacting too, but in a purposeful way (if you know what i mean).  There was a chimp to make the episode even less serious.  Can anyone else think of "funny" episodes?

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My favorite was the Jackie Cooper/Senator episode.  I thought the writing and acting were both topnotch.  Cooper, Linville and Falk did a superb job as well as the woman who played the secretary to Linville.  And being a child of the late 60s/early 70s I loved the clothes/furnishings.  Some of the episodes really don't hold up well, but this one does.

 

I have been dvr'ing all the more recent ones from Hallmark and must agree with the general consensus--they are not as good as the original 70s shows.  But I am determined to watch them nonetheless.  I'm a bit anal that way!

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Most detective shows have episodes where their is more than one murder, either the villain covering up a loose end or finishing revenge/ vendetta. Whatever the reason there is often bodies piling up in detective shows before solved. But are there any Columbo eps with more than one murder?

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Most detective shows have episodes where their is more than one murder, either the villain covering up a loose end or finishing revenge/ vendetta. Whatever the reason there is often bodies piling up in detective shows before solved. But are there any Columbo eps with more than one murder?

 

I believe the Martin Landau twins killed both their uncle and his fiancee Julie Newmar. And I particularly loved that episode, because I was a big fan of Graham Kerr, the TV chef one of the Martin Landaus was a thinly-veiled copy of (and he really was that shameless, but in a _good_way).

 

Also, the judgy housekeeper was a that lady (is that what they call a distaff that guy?) on TV for decades, but her first film role was as Orson Welles' Lady Macbeth, which fills me with joy. The uncle was the slimy estate manager from Citizen Kane.

Edited by Julia
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I'm watching Columbo on Netflix, but they only go through Season 7.  So I'm also watching episodes on Hallmark that are later. I just watched Ashes to Ashes.  It was a great episode, especially considering that it was one of the later ones.  I noticed one thing though that actually disappointed me.  For years Columbo has been talking about his brother-in-law, his cousin, his nephew, etc.  In Ashes to Ashes he gets a "clue" from a Black taxi driver.  Later, when he tells the story to the murderer (the wonderful Patrick McGoohan) he says says that his "brother-in-law" (or was it nephew? sorry) said something to him, rather than a non-family member taxi driver.  Does that mean that for the previous 12 seasons it was never a brother-in-law or nephew?  Did anyone else catch that?

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One More Time, that was one of my favourite episodes too. A good mystery and a nicely cynical look at politicians and politics. I recall watching it again in the early nineties and trying to place the actress who had a small role as a capable but rather mousy receptionist. Unfortunately, I was called away from seeing the credits by people demanding their dinner. And of course there was no Internet with websites devoted to important information like that. Finally, months later, I saw that it was being aired again. Within a couple of moments of her being on screen, I realized that it was Katey Sagal, at the time starring in all her trashy glory as Peg Bundy.

Ms Sagal's father, the noted Boris Sagal, was the director of the episode.

Edited by dustylil

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Even though I have not watched every single episode I am confident that I know which episode was the worst.  I just watched Undercover.  It took me four different sittings to get through it.  I hate the later episodes in which they've taken another detective and given him the name "Columbo," put him in a trench coat and had Peter Falk star.  This detective had absolutely no resemblance (other than Peter Falk's face) to our beloved Columbo.  The acting was over-the-top, the plot convoluted and there was nothing to redeem it.  

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Requiem For a Falling Star

I watched this one today.  It is from the second season with Anne Baxter.  I like this one.  It has a bit of old Hollywood glamor in it.  The episode where the aging star lives in the house on the studio lot.  Edith Head appears with a lot of her Oscars lined up on her desk.  This is another one of the episodes where a woman is picking out a tie for Columbo.  I notice quite often they have women doing this for Columbo. Columbo was great cleaning his fingernails before he goes into her house.  It is the little things that he adds to the character.   

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