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(Review originally written at 8 October 2008)

This time the movie its main target is Lt. Columbo himself. He's being given a hard time by a lady, who's husband has died in jail after he had been convicted for murder. Of course the person that got him behind bars was Columbo himself. Now how has to watch out for his life and that of his own wife now that the woman is seeking revenge.


Sounds like a real formulaic thriller plot, which it is also is really. But the difference is that this plot is different from just the usual Columbo formula, though the movie still knows to maintain all of the typical Columbo movie ingredients. The movie is also being told slightly differently and is told in a flashback mode. Normally it doesn't work out too well when a Columbo tries out a new approach with its style and story but in this particular case it simply works out well, since it's so well constructed and effective. Even if this script would had been used for any other average non-Columbo affiliated movie it would had been just as good.


Columbo has always used his wife to gain the trust from his main suspects and you could even question if there really is a Mrs. Columbo, also since she is never shown in any of the movies. Yes, I know there is a short lived "Mrs. Columbo" series which focused on the lieutenant's wife solving crimes as a reporter but I doubt that it was the original creators intention that she would ever appear in life form. In this movie his wife plays a central element for the movie its story, (also hence the movie its title) even though she again never even appears in the movie itself.


Helen Shaver plays a great part within the movie. Rarely has a Columbo movie ever concentrated so much on the movie its killer and viewpoint. So it's a real carrying role, which she handles just fine. She is a capable actress who isn't the best known but she has played in some great movie productions throughout her career, though often in much smaller roles. She's also active as a director now days and has directed many episodes of some very successful series.


The movie is interesting because it differs with its main concept so much from any other Columbo movie and it is also great since it actually works out and has a solid script, that is nicely constructed and being told within the movie.


8/10


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About Frank Veenstra

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