(Review originally written at 15 September 2008)

One of the great things about James Frawley's Columbo movies is its comedy. Frawley always succeeded in finding the right and successful comical note for the movie and its character. Frawley always knew how to handle the Columbo character well. This movie does really feature some great Columbo-humor and makes this a pleasant watch.

Otherwise there just isn't much special about this late '70's Columbo movie entry. It follows the usual formula, which makes this movie of course a good and effective one but at the same time also a little special one, with of course not many surprises in it. Perhaps the opening sequence is the only true original thing about this entry.

The story is still being told nicely though, despite not offering much new. It's a movie with a good and pleasant pace, despite the fact that this movie is also among the longer Columbo movie entries. It's basically a fine shot and directed movie.

Trish Van Devere might not had been the best person opposite Peter Falk imaginable. Her character perhaps isn't strong and believable enough. She just doesn't look like a person who is capable of committing a cold blooded and cleverly thought out murder. She also just isn't among the best actresses active in the business really. Trish Van Devere really didn't had a too impressive career, which also seems to have ended well over 15 years ago now. She is perhaps best known as one of the four woman who used to be married to actor George C. Scott. She was married with him by far the longest, from 1972 till Scott's death in 1999. Patrick O'Neal who played the murderer in the previous Columbo movie "Columbo: Blueprint for Murder", also plays a small part in this movie. Also the now fairly well known actor Ron Rifkin plays a role in this movie, as a TV show director.

Perhaps the movie would had been better if the roles got divided differently, with Laurence Luckinbill as the murderer and Trish Van Devere as the victim, instead of the other way around, like now is the case.

But before I let this movie sound like an horrible Columbo movie entry; it was simply a movie that I enjoyed watching. Because the movie followed mostly the usual formula doesn't of course mean that the movie is a bad one. It's a movie that is on par with most of the other Columbo movies and is enjoyable to watch as well, like basically all James Frawley directed Columbo movies are enjoyable to watch.


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About Frank Veenstra

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