(Review originally written at 25 August 2008)

The movie has a great written genre story. It features all of the usual Columbo ingredients; The way Lt. Columbo approaches and bonds to his suspect, the way the mystery unravels for him, Columbo's dog, the cat and mouse play, which is great in this one and luckily as well some good relieving humor, mostly involving the Columbo character. It's all written despite the fact that it doesn't even have a truly original concept. Columbo hunting down a detective/murder novel writer had been done more than once before in a Columbo movie.

It's also an extremely well directed movie from James Frawley, who after this directed 5 more Columbo movies, in the '70's and '80's. He provided the movie with style and some truly great and memorable sequences.

It's one of the slower moving Columbo movies, despite not having a too long running time. This style and approach doesn't always work out well for a Columbo movie but in this movie it does, which is perhaps not in the least thanks to the acting performances of the movie.

Most Columbo movie either starred a big well known star or a star from the early days of film-making, as the movie its murderer. This movie stars the rather unknown 81 year old Ruth Gordon. She didn't starred in an awful lot of movies throughout her career but she is still well known to some, mostly for her role in "Rosemary's Baby", which also won her an Oscar. She had a realistic and somewhat unusual style of acting, which some people might not like though. It earned her 4 more Oscar nominations throughout her career, prior to her win for "Rosemary's Baby", in 1969. She has some great interaction as well with Peter Falk in their sequences together.

The movie also stars a still young G.D. Spradlin. I say young because I only know him from his latest productions out of his career, despite the fact that he already was 57 at the time of this Columbo production. He is still alive but retired from acting, ever since 1999.

An even better than usual Columbo movie entry.


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About Frank Veenstra

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