Season 1 Episode 5

Dead Weight

Aired Unknown Oct 27, 1971 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
71 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A famous general kills an associate because he fears he will expose his illegal business practices. A somewhat neurotic divorcee witnesses the murder and reports it. The general then woos her and makes her fall for him, causing her to change her story.

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  • Weighty, But Not Dead

    Dead Weight is an unconventional Columbo mystery that's full of intrigue. After killing his business partner, military contractor Gen. Hollister discovers that there's an eye-witness to his crime and attempts to get her to recant her testimony before Lt. Columbo can build a case against him. The plot is written rather well, and plays with the series formula a bit. Additionally, Eddie Albert and Suzanne Pleshette deliver strong performances that give an exceptional amount of depth to their characters. A clever thriller, Dead Weight is an impressive addition to the Columbo series.moreless
  • spoilers

    This one has Eddie Albert (known from the sitcom, "Green Acres") that here portrays a corrupt war hero Martin Hollister who kills his co-conspirator. Suzanne Pleshette (best known from Alfred Hitchcock’s "The Birds" ) plays Mrs. Stewart, a young woman who witnesses the murder but later falls for the murderer. The mystery is rather weak but the performances are very enjoyable. Eddie Albert is quite good adding pressure in the character and the way he seduces Suzanne quite charming. Suzanne Pleschette is always good anyway no matter the script and this part suits her. And of course Peter Falk is Peter Falk!moreless
Kate Reid

Kate Reid

Mrs. Walters

Guest Star

Suzanne Pleshette

Suzanne Pleshette

Helen Stewart

Guest Star

John Kerr

John Kerr

Colonel Roger Dutton

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • It is in this episode that Columbo's elusive first name is revealed (although not intentionally). When he shows his badge upon first meeting General Hollister (Eddie Albert), his identity card is also visible. Although it is rotated ninety-degrees counter-clockwise, the signature "Frank Columbo" is visible. It can be seen quite clearly on the DVD version (first season collection) by freezing the frame and zooming in on the card.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • (looking at Hollister's dress uniform on display)
      Columbo: I think it's almost too nice. I mean, all that concern about clothes, it's kinda vain, don't you think?
      Helen: Some men, Lieutenant, do not want to look like an unmade bed.

    • Columbo: Well, if it was me, if it was my gun, I would take very good care of that gun. I'd have it in my apartment where people could see it. And I would keep it polished and I would keep it oiled. And I would keep it loaded. And when a certain Colonel Dutton came to see me and threatened to expose me, that's the gun that I would use.

    • (at the exhibition of the General's war memorabilia)
      Columbo: Hey, that's nice, isn't it? Isn't that beautifully cut? Custom tailored. You know, I think it's almost too nice. I mean all that concern about clothes. It's kinda vain, don't you think?
      Helen: Some men, Lieutenant, do not want to look like an unmade bed.

    • (aboard the General's boat)
      Hollister: I don't see how a man with the name of Columbo, shouldn't he be more at home on a boat?
      Columbo: Must have been another branch of the family, sir. How soon before we land?

    • Columbo: You know what strikes me? You're the one that downgrades yourself. One dinner with General Hollister and you begin to doubt your senses.

  • NOTES (2)