Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (228)

  • Fleming: You never stop, do you? Columbo: What? Fleming: The insinuations, the change of pace. You're a bag of tricks, Columbo, right down to that prop cigar you use. Columbo: Oh, come on, Doc. Fleming: I'm going to tell you something about yourself. You think you need a psychologist. Maybe you do, maybe you don't, but you are a textbook example of compensation. Columbo: Oh, what, Doc? Fleming: Compensation. Adaptability. You're an intelligent man, Columbo, but you hide it. You pretend you're something you're not. Why, because of your appearance you think you can't get by on looks or polish, so you turn a defect into a virtue. You take people by surprise. They underestimate you. And that's where you trip them up.

  • Columbo: I was wondering, Doctor. Would you take me on as a patient? Fleming: Take you on as a what?!? Columbo: No, I mean it. Maybe you can help me. I don't know that... There must something wrong with me. I seem to bother people. I seem to make them nervous and maybe you could tell me why.

  • Fleming: You know, sometimes I get the impression you think I killed my wife. Columbo: You? Oh no, Doc. How could you? You were out of town. Fleming: I'm glad you remembered that. Unless you think I hired someone to kill her. The boy who confessed, maybe I paid him to do it. Columbo: No, Doc. You didn't do that. Fleming: How do you know? Columbo: I already asked him.

  • (while Columbo looks on) Fleming: Oh, Doctor, I'm the patient's husband. Is she, is she all right? Doctor: I'm sorry. She passed away. Fleming: Did she...did she say anything? Doctor: If it's any consolation, the one thing she said was your name.

  • Columbo: Uh, I'm sorry. I was, uh, I was just thinking about something. Gordon: What was that? Columbo: No, it's nothing important. It's, uh, Dr. Fleming, he didn't call to his wife when he came back to his apartment. Gordon: I don't follow you. Columbo: Oh, well, I was in the bedroom. I was checking some things and I heard him open the front door and he didn't say anything. Gee, it's funny how people are different, isn't it? Now you take myself. When I come home from a trip, uh, first thing I do is I say, "Honey, you here?" Gordon: (annoyed) Exactly what is your point, Lieutenant? Columbo: Point? Well, I wasn't making a point.

  • Columbo: Mrs. William, you have no conscience and that's your weakness. Did it ever occur to you that there are very few people who would take money to forget about a murder? It didn't, did it? I knew it wouldn't.

  • Leslie: You know, Columbo, you're almost likable in a shabby sort of way. Maybe it's the way you come slouching in here with your shopworn bag of tricks. Columbo: Me? Tricks? Leslie: The humility, the seeming absentmindedness, the homey anecdotes about the family, the wife, you know. Columbo: Really? Leslie: Yeah, Lt. Columbo fumbling and stumbling along but it's always the jugular that he's after. And I imagine that more often than not he's successful

  • Leslie: Lt. Columbo? Columbo: Yeah? Leslie: Thank you for straightening Margaret out. I appreciate it. Columbo: Oh, it was the only thing I could do. I mean I just can't have you accused of murder on the wrong evidence.

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Notes (195)

  • Originally, the writers suggested Lee J. Cobb or Bing Crosby for the role of Columbo. Lee J. Cobb was unavailable, however, and Bing Crosby turned them down.

  • This first pilot, along with the second pilot "Ransom for a Dead Man" are considered seperate TV Movies, and have not been included in the syndicated and cable packages of "Columbo" reruns, and are therefore the rarest episodes to be broadcast. In the summer of 1994 ABC aired weekly reruns of the revived series on Thursday nights. When they ran out of episodes to show, ABC ran these two 20 year-old pilots, as well as the then 13 year-old two hour pilot for "Mrs. Columbo", as 'new' movies.

  • The script for the TV movie "Prescription: Murder" was adapted from the stage play of the same name that first introduced the character of Lt Columbo. The cast of that Broadway play was: Thomas Mitchell as Lieutenant Columbo, Joseph Cotten as Dr. Roy Flemming, Agnes Moorehead as Claire Flemming and Patricia Medina as Susan Hudson.

  • This second pilot, along with the first pilot "Prescription: Murder" are considered separate TV movies, and had not been included in the syndicated and cable packages of Columbo reruns, and are therefore the rarest episodes to be broadcast. In the summer of 1994, ABC aired weekly reruns of the revived series on Thursday nights. When they ran out of episodes to show, ABC ran these two 20 year-old pilots, as well as the then 13 year-old two hour pilot for Mrs. Columbo, as "new" (or at least relatively new) movies.

  • Marcia Wallace is credited, but all of her scenes were deleted and she doesn't appear in the final episode as aired.

  • This episode was directed by Steven Spielberg. In a later episode, "Mind Over Mayhem", a young whiz-kid character was named "Steven Spelberg," a reference to the (then) young director.

  • When Jack Cassidy was getting ready to play a scene as mystery-writer Ken Franklin, he would ask, "Who am I playing in this scene, Levinson or Link?" This was a reference to Richard Levinson and William Link, the creators and producers of Columbo.

  • This episode was originally filmed after "Death Lends a Hand," but the producers thought it was a stronger story and decided to lead with it for Columbo's first appearance as a new series.

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Trivia (80)

  • Approximately one hour and fifteen minutes into the episode, Dr. Fleming has asked Columbo to turn out the lights when leaving his office. Columbo reaches for the light switches but they are both down (off). He simply touches the top of one of the switches and the lights go out.

  • When Dr. Fleming smashes the balcony window, his shadow can be seen on the background, revealing it to be a simple backdrop.

  • While at the counter in the diner talking to the daughter of the murdered man, Columbo has a new bowl of chili and he has yet to eat of it. Once they move to one of the booths, some of the chili has disappeared and an obvious line of where it used to be can be seen.

  • Columbo kneels down to get a bowl to grate the cheese for the omelet. However, when he takes the bowl out there is already cheese in it.

  • During the interview, Ken is clutching his hands in front of his face when the camera is on him. When the camera reverses angle and shows Gloria Jr., his hands are on the armrests of his chair.

  • As Ken asks Lilly how much blackmail she wants, the strawberry in her hand goes from intact (when the camera is behind her) to half-eaten (when the camera is facing her), even though she never puts it in her mouth.

  • Early in the episode, Ken points to 14 books and says that together they've done 15 Mrs. Melville books. The 15th is the one that Jim just finished. However, later Ken gives Lilly a copy of Prescription Murder, which is not among the 14 earlier ones. There's no reason for its omission, although there are two copies of Mrs. Melville in London.

  • In the beginning, Ken says that Jim wrote 15 Mrs. Melville novels. However, the shelf he gestures at has 16 books (two on the top with spines not visible). Also, when Ken returns to the office later, the two books on top have disappeared.

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Allusions (9)

  • Book Ken gives Lily a copy of a Mrs. Melville book. The title is Prescription: Murder, which is the title of the original Columbo play and pilot.

  • Martin Landau plays characters named Paris. He, of course played Rollin Hand in Mission Impossible (1966-1969) and was replaced by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame, who played a character named Paris on Mission Impossible. Nimoy did however manage to beat Landau to it in the Columbo series, since he starred in "A Stitch in Crime," which was aired two episodes before "Double Shock" in 1973.

  • Miss Fielding mentions that she is planning to watch an Alan Ladd movie, This Gun For Hire. Released in 1942, this film "introduces" Alan Ladd (although in truth, he had made a number of films previously).

  • Columbo's dentist goes on at some length about the fact that although he, an Italian, is a dentist, and Columbo, also an italian, is a police detective, the moment someone hears you're Italian, they think you're in the Mafia. These remarks were undoubtedly brought on by the incredible success of the motion picture The Godfather which had just come out the year before (1972).

  • The Senatorial candidate that Columbo refers to in this episode was obviously Nelson Hayward from episode #20, "Candidate for Crime"

  • Army Archerd: We're outside the Regal Theatre where Song and Dance, that giant musical extravaganza made up of over two dozen film clips from past musical greats had its premiere performance here tonight... This film concept was obviously inspired by the popular That's Entertainment which had come out the year before this episode aired. It may even have been the inspiration for the story.

  • The title "Murder Under Glass" borrows from the famous dish "Pheasant under glass". This classic entrĂ©e, rarely served anymore, consists of roasted pheasant stuffed with rice and mushrooms and served under a dome of glass to ensure that it remains moist.

  • Columbo: nephew's the needlepointer. It seems to relax him before he goes into those weightlifting contests. This is a jocular reference to Franco Columbo - world champion body builder and friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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