(Review originally written at 23 July 2008)

It has a quite complicated killing plot. I mean, wouldn't an high ranking military man come up with something else and less complicated, or something better planned and thought over, if he wanted to have someone out of his way. The plan and plot is far from a waterproof one. So story or plot-wise this isn't the greatest movie around but it's still one of the more enjoyable once, thanks to its fine unusual Columbo settings and some fine performances from the two main actors.

The whole premise of the movie also seemed quite ridicules to me. Why police lieutenant Columbo is send in to investigate a murder committed on a military premises. Doesn't the military itself have special people and investigators for that? But oh well, it's a good excuse to place Columbo in a military environment this time. It's mostly due to its environment that this movie is such a great, as well as original, Columbo movie to watch. It's funny to see Columbo in this movie go with the military program and routine.

It's of course quite funny and amusing to see Columbo in an environment like this, since if there is one person who seems out of place in a tough, disciplined military environment it's lieutenant Columbo. I wonder if Columbo ever served in the military, it would make a funny movie on its own probably. He does mention it but this could also easily had been one of his tricks to get people to talk.

The movie is also truly being uplifted by the movie its performances. Peter Falk and Patrick McGoohan have some great moments between them and they obviously also enjoyed acting together during their sequences. They were worthy competitors and they constantly played each other. It's the first time Patrick McGoohan appears in a Columbo movie. Being a good close personal friend of Peter Falk, he appeared in 3 more Columbo movies and he even wrote, produced and directed several more Columbo movies. He plays a really fine tough role in this movie as Col. Lyle C. Rumford. It's a typical military role that nevertheless still feels fresh and original enough, due to McGoohan's acting skills.

It's quite a long Columbo movie and as a matter of fact I actually think it's the longest one around. This means that the movie and its story also takes its time to set up things. This also means that there are some long sequences but luckily the movie never dulls in, thanks to the very fine performances from the two principal leads, played by Peter Falk and Patrick McGoohan. It still could had come earlier to the point though at times. It just takes a while for Columbo to forgive things out, way longer than usually ever is the case.

It's the first Columbo movie from director Harvey Hart. He would directed 3 more Columbo movies from 1975 till 1976, of which this movie is one of his better ones.

It's all in all a fine and foremost enjoyable Columbo movie entry.


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About Frank Veenstra

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