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I have the Cigar box slightly different design though same content, it has everything including both pilots plus a booklet. There are no extras though I think the Cigar box looks great on my shelf. :)
Oh well. Enjoy!
Honor Blackman (Goldfinger, The Avengers)
Wilfrid Hyde-White (too many to mention)
Bernard Fox (too many to mention)
John Williams (many Hitchcock films)
Richard Basehart (accomplished theatre actor)
Arthur Malet (too many to mention)
a murder mystery in London in the theatre scene...
nope I don't talk Agatha Christie...you have guessed right it's Columbo.
In DAGGER OF THE MIND 1972 Columbo goes to London and the entire episode is shot in London!
Certainly one of the most unusual episodes as Columbo is a real alien between all those British as they come characters and the humour in this episode is unrivalled.
Falk is bloody brilliant to say the least, how he frantically runs around London town to get pictures of this or that is not to be missed and of course his American way puzzles his British counterparts in the New Scotland Yard.
In typical Murder She Wrote fashion, in no time Columbo is in the middle of a crime scene and his Scotland Yard colleague is glad to get any help.
The murderous couple Lillian Stanhope (Honor Blackman) and Nicholas Frame (Richard Basehart) more accidentally than on purpose murder Sir Roger Haversham (John Williams) who is their boss at the theatre where they are about to open the play MacBeth.
What the both of them go through in the following days trying to make it look like an accident and laying false evidence for Columbo is hard to describe. As Columbo soon knows they have something to do with it Lillian and Nicholas get more desperate by the minute to escape Columbo's brilliant deductive talent.
After I already revealed Now You See Him to be my No 1 episode let me tell you that Dagger Of The Mind is my No 2 episode.
Honor Blackman is just fantastic and captivating as Lillian Stanhope. But the supporting cast is as brilliant. Veteran actor John Williams who has played major supporting roles in so many Hitchcock movies hasn't that much screen time but just seeing him there for the 5 to 10 minutes he gets is so fabulous.
Arthur Malet as the funny, slightly annoying handyman of the theatre gives the murderous couple a hard time and it's a hoot to watch it.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and ESSENTIAL COLUMBO WATCHING
Last night became the episode with Shatner.
For whatever reason I've never seen the London episode... although I do recall seeing stills with Ms Blackman. (Even her name sounds like Fleming sans the innuendo 'Honor Blackman' )
Anyway thanks Jason I want to track down that episode.
Also of note I want to track down the paperback novels too. Never read any of them but I recall one of them features Columbo interviewing Charles Manson in prison.
looks like. Reminded me of an interview with Kris Marshall, who said he tried to
bring a bit of Columbo to how he played the part of DI Humphrey Goodman, hence
his never having a note book but rather jotting things down on bits of paper.
A Deadly State Of Mind 1975 and Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous To Your Health 1991
starring George Hamilton
Would you believe that I know George Hamilton because of DYNASTY where he played a villain in one season.
Later of course I realised he has done some iconic work.
I like the fact, that he too, like so many others has done more than one episode of Columbo.
Both times he played a memorable murderer which gets of course caught in the end by Columbo.
You can call both episodes middle of the road I guess, nothing too special about them but both belong in the upper half of my ranking anyway.
Especially the second one from 1991 I like due to the fact that smoking is the central theme in the episode and we all know how much Columbo likes to smoke ;) There are quite a few interesting moments regarding Columbo getting doubtful about his smoking.
Louis Jourdan is a great French actor that is of course best known for his portrayal of Kamal Khan in Octopussy.
It's no secret he is my favourite villain in the series. Jourdan brings the best villain performance ever in the Bond franchise imho. He and Bond are dueling quite a few times in Octopussy with words and action. It's a treat to watch them play.
But back to Columbo. Naturally I love the episode Murder Under Glass 1978 and it is in my Top 10 or at least Top 15, not just because of Jourdan, but almost.
The story is quite captivating, food critic Paul Gerard (Jourdan) who has been extorting money from restaurant owners in exchange for good reviews, murders one when threatened with exposure.
Jourdan hasn't done much in the US. I cherish all his TV show appearances and re-watch them every now and then as I almost own all of them on DVD.
In Charlie's Angels he plays Dr. Redmont in Nips and Tucks.
In Vega$ he plays Nicholas Rambeau in The Lido Girls and French Twist
In Hotel he plays Adam Vidocq in Prisms
He also appeared in numerous TV-mini-series and TV films.
In the 50s and 60s he made quite a few very good films in Hollywood like Gigi in 1958.
If you like Jourdan check some of his work out but most certainly watch his Columbo episode.
Me too, and Columbo is a great show for learning new things about other professions. Fugu poison first features in Ian Fleming's FRWL (1957) and Dr. No (1958) too of course and also later on in John Gardner's Never Send Flowers (1993) too.
Not to worry. I even wonder if Fleming inspired Columbo in this instance? Tom Mankiewicz was a paid Columbo script reader in the 1970s after all. He was personally requested by Peter Falk who knew of his Bond film work.
The tension that is generated between Columbo and an arrogant murderer, when they both know what they're up to but nevertheless keep the façade, is priceless. It's the same as with the social encounters between James Bond and the villains before the charade is over and they battle it out. Terrific stuff. One of the finest examples of this is in Double Exposure, in the scene with Robert Culp in the golf course.
Columbo also has some terrific, experimental music scores, that play up the psychological aspect of the cat-and-mouse game.
After Last Salute to the Commodore (an admittedly experimental episode) and for the remainder of the seventies, I find Peter Falk's performance was different than before. His behavior toward murderers became more arrogant and cartoonish. The book The Columbo Phile explains this away as a change instilled by a new producer, Richard Alan Simmons, to make Columbo more threatening. It can be construed as being just that, especially in episodes such as Make Me a Perfect Murder and Murder Under Glass, in which you can cut the tension between the characters with a knife. Around other people, though, Columbo behaves as usual, as with Mario, the victim's nephew in the latter episode.
In the 80s and 90s, Falk combined that style of playing the character with his original interpretation, and even when being cartoonish and arrogant, came across as less intense than before. I prefer that type of Columbo to the late seventies one, even though I think I understand the reasoning behind the latter. At any rate, one of the charms of the Columbo character is that, underneath the smile and politeness, when it comes to catching a killer, he is one determined, almost ruthless person.
Highly recommended and I'm due a Columbothon as well.
I think I'll start right from the beginning and do a complete rewatch, I like the two pilots with Falk I have never seen the earlier take on the character by Bert Freed in 1960. Out of curiosity I would like to watch Bert Freed take, though I believe it's the Prescription Murder plot?
That is good value I got my boxset half price from Amazon, I hope Columbo finds its way to Bluray at some point. You are not far from the last episodes, I always found the last few seasons a mixed bag.
Edited: released this year? Just found the first two seasons on Bluray...
yeah so far from abc series I have only found columbo cries wolf and agenda for murder up to par with the earlier series. A couple have been atrocious (Grand deceptions is awful - no explanation why a shop would send soldiers in a book box and vice versa). There were quite a few duds from the early seasons as well e.g. double shock, greenhouse jungle, crucial game, mind over mayhem, but also a lot of very good ones
Wait till you watch MURDER WITH TOO MANY NOTES
I rather liked Greenhouse Jungle think Ray Milland is good value.
I want to point out that there are two issues of the Columbo series available. The newer one released in 2011/2012 (a boxset) is based on the remasters and is much clearer than the old single set releases imho. In fact, I'd say it's so good that it's not necessary to purchase the blu rays, given the age of the series.
This is the boxset I have not sure which release it is, though the picture quality is good for the most part on dvd.
Yeah the newer box set is what I've got. I thought they were the unedited episodes, but I've noticed a scene deleted from 'agenda for murder'. The victim's wife never appears but is credited on imdb.
Prior to buying that Box set I had several individual seasons which I sold when I bought the boxset, I think many of the earlier episode look very cinematic.