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(Review originally written at 22 February 2008)

This Columbo movie is quite different, since it doesn't actually feature a body. Yes, there has been a murder committed but halve of the movie spends its time on actually establishing if really a man had been murdered, since there are no traces, except an eye witness who saw the murder from a great distance. Of course we as the viewer already know what has happened, since we got to see it, as always, right at the start of the movie.

The movie is not really about the murder but more about the murderer trying to cover his tracks. This is a different approach from other Columbo movies and while its interesting it doesn't work out as good as the usual Columbo movie approach. Because of the approach of this movie, the character of Columbo himself gets also pushed quite much to the back, which is of course a shame and a waste of Peter Falk, who always had been excellent as the character Columbo.

But also on top of the, the story of this movie just isn't that good. Nothing bad but everything is a bit too obvious all. The perpetrator makes himself unnecessary a suspect by giving too obvious hints by saying things with double meanings to Lt. Columbo. It's highly unlikely that a respected clever man such as Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister would ever do such a thing. Normally a Columbo movie also often distinct itself by featuring a clever ingenious story. None of that is the case within this movie.

The movie would perhaps had worked out better if it had some bigger names in it. Normally a Columbo movie often features a well known actor in the role of the murderer but Eddie Albert is not really a well known big established actor, despite the two Oscar nominations he has received in his career that spanned from the '30's till the late '90's, consisting out of mostly TV work though.

The movie has a typical '70's style but mostly in its visual look. The '70's look of course by todays standards is a completely silly one. Not that it matters much for this movie but I would had preferred as it always had a more distinctive typical '70's style, apart from its look.

Because of its different approach, slightly below the usual Columbo movie standards but its still a good enough movie to watch.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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