“Columbo” Ransom for a Dead Man

Directed by Richard Irving. With Peter Falk, Lee Grant, John Fink, Harold Gould. A brilliant tort attorney gets rid of her boring husband by faking his kidnapping and keeping the ransom. The FBI may be fooled, but not Columbo.

Another fine Columbo entry, this time about a woman that had it all figured out, that is until Columbo showed up with just one more thing to ask her. This is the last of the quasi pilot episodes, the series pivots from movies of the week to movies of the week masquerading as a television series. Peter Falk (The titular Columbo) was busy enough and had enough pull that the show only did one episode a month, to better afford him time and energy to work on his rather successful movie career at the same time. This gave the show a higher quality and longer run time and was popular enough that it ran for another ten seasons over twenty years! I’m watching them on the Peacock network, so I’m only going to get the first seven seasons this way, the last three moved networks over to ABC, which to my knowledge doesn’t have a streaming service just yet.

About this second movie though, it was well enough done that I enjoyed it, though there’s a daughter played by Patricia Mattick that I didn’t like much about, neither the character’s story or her acting. I guess there’s something to be said for generational situations and the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but having a kid off in Europe for school just seemed weird.

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