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(Review originally written at 10 December 2008)

Don't really know why but out of all Columbo movies this is the one that always sticked most into my mind. I think this is mostly due to Patrick McGoohan's presence, who only a few years prior to this movie impressed with his role in "Braveheart" (how did he not won an Oscar for that?).

Like many Columbo movies before, this one got also directed by Patrick McGoohan, who also once again plays the killer of the movie. Most of the McGoohan Columbo movies are some really classy made ones, that are well directed and also better than the average Columbo movie entries. You can say that a McGoohan Columbo movie is always something special, even though not all are quite as good, such as for instance the failure "Columbo: Last Salute to the Commodore". It wasn't the last movie McGoohan would direct for the Columbo series but it was the last Columbo movie he played in.

As a matter of fact this also as of yet is the last movie McGoohan has appeared in. He did some voice-work after this movie but he psychically hasn't appeared in a movie ever since. He's still alive and kicking though, so he might once pop up in a movie again, though I assume that he is enjoying his retirement. He always had some good interaction with Peter Falk within the Columbo movies, probably also due to the fact that they have been close friends for years. Peter Falk also must have felt at ease with McGoohan behind the cameras, who in return also gave Falk lots of room to play around. This really shows within this movie.

Besides Peter Falk and Patrick McGoohan, the movie also features the great Rue McClanahan, as the movie its victim. She plays a very typical role, which has become sort of her trademark, ever since her "The Golden Girls" role. It also features some other fine actors in supporting roles, such as Richard Riehle, Sally Kellerman and Edie McClurg.

It's a movie that sticks nicely to the usual familiar Columbo movie formula. It has a nice typical murder-mystery story, although Columbo murders never really have been a 'mystery', since we always know from the beginning on who got killed by who, how and why. The story by the way also partly got written by McGoohan, so this really is 'his' movie. It isn't the most fast going Columbo movie but it nevertheless always is a good and interesting to watch, since the story progresses nicely and the movie features some nice characters and actors that are portraying them.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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