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Season 1 Episode 6

Suitable for Framing

Aired Unknown Nov 17, 1971 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
73 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Suitable for Framing
An art critic, Dale Kingston, kills his uncle for his valuable collection of paintings. All the clues lead to the dead man's first wife but Columbo doesn't believe it.

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  • Suitable, But Also Predictable

    Predictable and mundane, Suitable for Framing is a passionless crime thriller. The story follows an art critic who kills his uncle in order to inherit his art collection, but to succeed he'll have to manipulate the police and Lt. Columbo into arresting his aunt-in-law for the crime. The plot's rather obvious, although it does a good job at staging the climax where Columbo reveals how he solved the case. And, there are some strong supporting performances from Don Ameche and Kim Hunter. Suitable for Framing isn't necessarily bad, it's just poorly executed.moreless
  • All the elements of classic "Columbo" (spoilers within)

    The "Columbo" formula is perfectly executed in "Suitable for Framing." Take a wealthy, arrogant murderer at the top of the social ladder and a seemingly perfect crime. Add Columbo. Watch killer and plot unravel.

    As it has been mentioned in this guide, Ross Martin and Peter Falk had a history of working together and it shows in their performances. Their interplay is sharp and witty; Martin's disdain for Columbo oozes gloriously with each sneer, and Falk is in perfect befuddlement, all the while encircling his prey.

    The denouement of this one has got to be one of my favorites...SPOILERS...Ross Martin's frantic declaration that Columbo planted the prints on the pictures, only to have Peter Falk hold up his gloved hands. No words, no catchphrase. Nothing. He's just caught the killer. Priceless. And Martin's dejection when he sees the gloves. One of the all-time best endings of the series, in my opinion.moreless
  • (Spoilers)

    In this one Columbo follows and art critic who suspects of killing a man and stealing paintings. The bad guy always trying to cover up his crime never escapes Columbo's suspicions.

    One of the things that attracts me to early Columbo's is how amusingly dated they now appear. In this episode the first thing you notice is the dreadful crushed velvet dinner-jacket and huge bow tie that the central character, Dale Kingston, wears. Later, he goes to a chitzy art exhibition where lots of art luvee's wearing silk neck-ties reside. In every scene, you hear a never-ending bossa-nova tune in the background as Kingston makes cutting remarks and jokes with artists. The cars people drive are ridiculously huge with ultra springy suspension. After all this is 1971, when flares were just starting to become wider and cars were pre-emissions. There are interesting appearances by Don Ameche and Kim Hunter, the latter will be best remembered for being a monkey in the Planet of the Apes series. If you like Columbo and like to see how tasteless wealthy Americans were back then, watch it.

    All very entertaining and interesting keeping you quessing to the end how the crime will be solved.moreless
Don Ameche

Don Ameche

Frank Simpson

Guest Star

Kim Hunter

Kim Hunter

Edna Mathews

Guest Star

Rosanna Huffman

Rosanna Huffman

Tracy O'Connor

Guest Star

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In the opening scene, we see Dale remove several paintings from the wall. Then, when Tracy enters, we see her admire the paintings still on the wall--including two of the paintings that Dale had taken down already. These two paintings not only have jumped back onto the wall--they also mended themselves where Dale had sliced them with a knife.

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Tracy: Ugh.
      Kingston: Pull yourself together. There's no reason to be frightened. Just my uncle. I assure you he's far more amiable now then he ever was when he was alive.

    • (Columbo helps Edna Mathews into her car)
      Columbo: Just do what my wife does, 'cause when she hits a department store, she can forget anything, even the fact that I'm sitting outside waiting.

    • Kingston: All right, Lieutenant, you claim that I planted these paintings. Suppose you prove it.
      Columbo: (looking at the fingerprint expert): Can we?
      Expert Yeah.
      Columbo: (looking back at Kingston) Yeah. With fingerprints.

    • Columbo: Well, you see, he pulled the rug out from under you when he left his collection to Mrs. Mathews so you only had one thing that you could do -- murder him and blame it on her.

    • Kingston: Wait a minute. You mean, you think the thief was a woman?
      Columbo: One of them.
      Kingston: One of them?
      Columbo: Well, there were too many pictures there for one person to carry, don't you think? And besides, the burglar alarm thing, you know, there's only one way to really beat that, is if you have somebody else from the inside open the door.
      Kingston: I don't think I understand.
      Columbo: You know what, that's the trouble. Neither do I.

    • Columbo: You know that gallery you went to? Checked out. I hope you don't mind.
      Kingston: Oh, that's your job. And?
      Columbo: Uh, the parking lot boy, he remembered when you got there, all right. So that if Mr. Mathews was killed at 11:00, then you sure didn't do it.
      Kingston: Now, isn't that a shame, Lieutenant? And here I am your best and most obvious suspect, too.
      Columbo: Ah, don't say things like that. Really, you got me all wrong.

    • Columbo: Uh, so this is a television studio, huh?
      Kingston: Yes.
      Columbo: Quite a place.
      Kingston: Well, it's a barn, really. I'm sure it's not as glamorous as you thought it'd be.
      Columbo: That's right, it isn't. But things aren't really what they seem to be, are they?
      Kingston: My, how observant you are.

  • NOTES (3)