Peter Falk will forever be linked with the raincoat-wearing detective who asked suspects about their shoes. But the character was created seven years earlier for a show called ‘The Sunday Mystery Hour’ (in which Columbo was played by Bert Freed), and when the script for the TV movie ‘Prescription: Murder floated around Hollywood in 1968, Falk only got the part because Bing Crosby became unavailable. Falk has since played the shuffling detective in this series more than 70 times (his third movie, ‘Columbo: Murder By the Book’, was directed by a very young Steven Spielberg in 1971). In 1992, Falk was given a fresh raincoat to wear; the original was said to be at the Smithsonian Museum, but Falk insists it is in his wardrobe. If you find Columbo intensely irritating, don’t worry – it is deliberate. He is loosely based on the inspector who brings down Raskolnikov in Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’.
A murder mystery show that tells you who the killer is at the begining of each episode, and still manages to keep you at the edge of your seat by setting up and following to the end the battle between a homicide detective and a murderer.
This show is simply the best ever. The guest stars are ALL excellent, the writing is outstanding, and the the Character of Columbo is definatly my favorite character of all time. I still record every episode that comes on TV where i live and watch it when i get home from work even though i have seen them all MANY, MANY times...i will NEVER tire of a single episode. The fact that you can fill out a detailed bio of Columbos wife if you have seen all the episodes, even though she never appeared on the show even once...that is just GENIUS...
From watching this as a little gal at my Mom's side, to watching it on cable and still loving it, this show has captivated me. Columbo has a brillant way that he plays the opposing forces and he can get them to walk right into giving themselves away. This shows some excellent writing, some great acting and some dynamite directing. With Guest stars that made you sit up and take notice, it was a show that lasted from the 70's, 80's and 90's. It never wore out.
Columbo is just one of my favourite detective shows that have ever been made, I make a habit of watching any repeats that appear every so often on Saturdays and Sundays.
It is a perfect example of what a detective show should be. Peter Falk stars as a detective that isn’t what he seems, infact the police on scene always think that he is some kind of civilian who is a bit confused. The murderer thinks he’s created the perfect murder and are sure they have nothing to worry about after Columbo has talked to them about his wife and is being so nice, until there’s “Just one more thing”.
The beauty of the series is that we all know who killed who, which is what most crime series use to keep the suspense. Instead the audience watch the hapless detective piece things together from seemingly insignificant and unrelated pieces of evidence.
All of this is topped of with some of the greatest performances in a crime drama ever, one that comes to mind is the outstanding performance of Patrick McGoohan in “By Dawn´s Early Light” for which he won an Emmy. Stephen Spielberg even directed an episode. Peter Falk also did some of his best work on Columbo in which he was the only character to appear in all of the episodes, he will always be remembered for this role.
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