Columbo

An Exercise in Fatality

Season 4, Ep 1, Aired 9/15/74
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  • Episode Description
  • A health club owner kills his partner who is about to uncover a fraud and makes it look like an accident

  • Cast & Crew
  • Peter Falk

    Lieutenant Columbo (no first name)

  • Bernard L. Kowalski

  • Larry Cohen

  • Peter S. Fischer

  • Robert Conrad

    Milo Janus

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • James West, meet Lt. Columbo...

    By jamoon2006, Feb 26, 2007

  • Spoilers

    By LAntichristo, Jul 24, 2006

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (5)

    • Columbo: You removed the bulb on the phone in the living room so the line wouldn't light up because if 6901 lit up the people there would know that you were talking from the phone in the study. Janus: Guesswork, supposition, more cigar ashes. What you need is proof. That's what you need-- proof. Columbo: It didn't take me 'til July but I got the proof.

    • Milo Janus: I don't care what you think. I don't care what you suspect. I don't care what visions you see when you look at your cigar ashes because I'm innocent. I have an alibi for the time Gene Stafford died and you can huff and puff on that rotten cigar until next July and you'll never prove otherwise. Columbo: I wouldn't count on that.

    • (after watching Columbo light his cigar) Milo Janus: Your health program didn't last very long, did it? Columbo: Long enough. Milo Janus: You know something, Columbo, you're a devious man. Columbo: That's what they tell me.

    • (Columbo is running on the treadmill) Milo Janus: What's he doing here? Buddy Castle: Well, you know that introductory thirty day offer we've been pushing on television? Milo Janus: Yeah. Buddy Castle: That's what he's doing here. Columbo: Mr. Janus, how you doin'! Listen, I gotta tell you, this is terrific! I'm starting to feel like a new man already. Milo Janus: Fine, fine Columbo. Columbo: Of course, you know, I've only been on for about 20 minutes.

    • Columbo: You tried to contrive the perfect alibi, sir. And it's your perfect alibi that's gonna hang you.

    Notes (2)

    • 94 minutes long.

    • Milo Janus (Robert Conrad) is said to be 53 years old. At the time this episode was filmed, Robert Conrad was 39.

    Trivia (5)

    • Columbo must wait for what seems like an eternity while the computer prints out the information he requested on Lewis Lacey. Finally, the computer stops. The last line printed on the form is "MORE?".

    • Columbo's last line said that Janus's confession was going to hang him. At that time, California used the gas chamber.

    • When Milo Janus starts the movie for his party guests, the take-up reel holds about two-thirds of the movie, while the supply reel (front) only one-third. In other words, the movie is already about two-thirds finished. Furthermore, he had earlier mentioned to Buddy that this was going to be an "uncut X rated" film. The one being shown does not even remotely resemble that kind of film. The group he has over does not appear to be the type to watch that type of film either.

    • In the opening sequence, Milo's secretary (Gretchen Corbett) is supposed to be recording an incoming telephone call, but doesn't depress the record button (small red button) on the tape recorder. Technically, the tape recorder is in playback mode.

    • When Columbo is speaking with Milo Janus in his office after he's been doing exercise his track suit is all sweaty, but when they meet in the corridor a moment later it is clean.

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