Season 2 Episode 5

Requiem for a Falling Star

Aired Unknown Jan 21, 1973 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Requiem for a Falling Star
Nora Chandler, a fading movie star is threatened by a forthcoming tell-all book and some of the secrets it will reveal. She attempts to murder Jerry Parks, the author but accidentally kills her P.A. Columbo roots out the connection between the current case and the mysterious disappearance of the actress's husband. The solution to the case involves a Shriner's ring, and an inoperative fountain.moreless

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  • Columbo Pursues a Star

    Anne Baxter stars in the Columbo thriller Requiem for a Falling Star. The story follows an aging Hollywood starlet who murders her assistant and stages it to look like a case of mistaken identity; and it's up to Lt. Columbo to sort it all out. The plot has a fair amount of depth to it, but the resolution is a bit too simplistic and is somewhat anticlimactic. However, Baxter has good on-screen chemistry with Peter Falk, and gives a very strong and engaging performance. A well-crafted mystery film, Requiem for a Falling Star is full of suspense and intrigue.moreless
  • Spoilers

    A fairly comprehensive view of Hollywood history from its days of independence to the acquisition of parent companies, written authoritatively by Jackson Gillis and directed with a sense of Hollywood hectics and a certain gusto by Richard Quine (Columbo spots a television across the room behind the camera and crosses over to it, while the camera speedily pans on him and then jockeys into position to pick up the tail end of the shot).

    Faded movie actress Nora Chandler (Anne Baxter) is being blackmailed by a gossip columnist, Jerry Parks (Mel Ferrer). Parks is also romancing Chandler's secretary (Pippa Scott) who knows all the great star's secrets. Chandler in desperation blows up the columnist's car – but it turns out her secretary was the one driving.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk

Lieutenant Columbo (no first name)

Pippa Scott

Pippa Scott

Jean Davis

Guest Star

Anne Baxter

Anne Baxter

Nora Chandler

Guest Star

Mel Ferrer

Mel Ferrer

Jerry Parks

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When Columbo first visits Nora at her "cottage," she tells him that it had been built for her when she was a child actress. Later, when Columbo is speaking with Mr. Fallen, Fallen tells him that Al Cumberland had given the house to Nora before they were married.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Columbo: I had an uncle who played bagpipes in the Shriners band; he couldn't play a note, but nobody could tell the difference.

    • Columbo: September 16, 1960. That was the day you ordered the fountain.
      Nora: Well, I don't remember the exact day.
      Columbo: September 15, the day before. That was the day your husband disappeared. Now it starts to make some sense. I have a possible explanation for why the fountain doesn't run. In order to lay water pipe somebody would have to dig up the lawn, wouldn't they?

    • (Nora Chandler has changed Columbo's tie with an attractive gold one)
      Columbo: Yeah, I was thinking. Uh, I've got an anniversary coming up next week. I wonder if I could have that back and save this for a special occasion.
      Nora: Sure, here. Why don't you get your wife to take you on a shopping tour for your anniversary, huh? Take a look at (looking down his body) some suits, some shirts, slacks, socks, shoes...

    • Mr. Fallen: Actors, Lieutenant. Take my advice. Avoid actors. They'll kill ya.
      Columbo: Well, thanks Mr. Fallen. I'll be sure to tell your boss I appreciate your hospitality.
      Fallen: I AM the boss.
      Columbo: Oh, gee. You know it never occurred to me. I mean anybody so young--
      Fallen: It's all right. I would never typecast you as a detective either.

  • NOTES (1)