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(Review originally written at 31 July 2008)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't know but a magician who kills a person in a murder-mystery has some formulaic sound over it. The whole killing and story approach of this movie however still give it an overall original touch.

For the third time in his career Jack Cassidy starred in a Columbo movie. Also in the this movie he plays the killer, like he did as well 2 and 5 years before in the Columbo movies "Columbo: Publish or Perish" and the Steven Spielberg directed "Columbo: Murder by the Book". He starred in this Columbo movie in the same year as his early sudden death. He died when his couch caught fire after falling asleep with a lit cigarette on December 12th of the same year. He was only 49 at the time, despite looking much older than that though. That's also the reason why he throughout his career played characters who were much older than him, as was also the case in this movie, in which he plays an ex-Nazi, who gets uncovered by his employee and therefor kills him.

Harvey Hart seemed to be a director who provided the Columbo movies with the right type of comedy. He directed a total of 4 Columbo movies, of which this one was the last. His Columbo movies are just a tad bit more entertaining to watch than the average usual Columbo entries. Funny thing in this movie is that Lt. Columbo has a new and much better looking raincoat, who he constantly keeps forgetting to take back with him after visiting a place. Of course in the end he gets his usual trademark raincoat back and voilĂ , he solves the murder.

The movie its story is good and foremost entertaining. It doesn't make this one of the best written or most intelligent Columbo movies out there but the overall entertainment value of the movie compensates for this all. The movie also features some good interaction between the Peter Falk and Jack Cassidy characters. Besides those two, the movie also features Robert Loggia, before his days of fame.

A real enjoyable Columbo entry.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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