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(Review originally written at 2 September 2008)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie is directed by Leo Penn, who was indeed the father of Sean and Chris Penn. Leo Penn directed a total of 3 Columbo movies throughout his career stretched out over a time-span of numerous years. He was perhaps not the director that provided the Columbo movies with its best pace but it always featured some great storytelling and allowed its actors to shine.

Sort of funny that a movie about an Irish murderer gets solved thanks to a whiskey bottle, which mainly also plays a central key role in the entire movie.

This movie features a rather unknown actor as the movie its murderer. Clive Revill; who is better known as a voice actor for several animated series and video games. Star Wars fans will also know him as the guy who did the voice of the Emperor in "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back". That is of course the original version that is. I actually believe that "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" was his first job as a voice actor but just don't quote me on that. The fact that he is rather unknown as an actor doesn't of course means that he is bad though. He plays a fine role and definitely shows some acting skills. Prior to the '80's he had also already starred in a lot of movies and had done some work for television as an actor as well. He actually received a Golden Globe nomination once for his role in the 1972 movie "Avanti!", directed by Billy Wilder.

The movie features a long intro and it takes awhile for the actual murder to be committed. This also means that the Columbo movie of course shows up rather late into the story. Normally this is a sign that the movie isn't going to be that great and to some extend that is also true for this movie. Not that "Columbo: The Conspirators" is an horrible Columbo movie entry but it also isn't exactly the most original or compelling one to watch, despite still having a quite original story for a Columbo movie. It's just an average entry, which still means that it is of some high quality, since the normal Columbo movie standards are usual high. Luckily the movie still features some great trademark Columbo comedy though.

Of course the movie also features Peter Falk again in his most iconic role out of his career. It was actually the last time he would play the role, till 1989 again.

Basically another fine watchable Columbo movie.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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