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Columbo: There's Just One More Thing...


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Old 15-01-2012, 16:27
Stuart0000x
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Hey

For the past few months I have been watching Columbo, and I have to say that he is one of my favourite detective shows.

I'm only 22, and I feel more drawn to old crime dramas than to new, younger ones, and here are the reasons why.

Although many would argue otherwise, I believe that most modern crime dramas to be mostly the same; tough, young, often phyically well built and probably very attractive detective with emotional or domestic problems, often the reason for their involvement in crime or their drawbacks in their profession and/or off duty life, sometimes having a bad attitude problem. In many ways, I find that these scenarios are so overdone, that they're more like cliches now. Not that it bothers me, but it seems another thing that modern programs lean more heavily on having a more detailed, and more gory crime/murder scene.

In contrast to that, you have Columbo. More often the crime is murder, but that is merely the simple firewood to get this story going, the real attraction is the interaction between Columbo and the murderer.

Upon looking at Columbo he is the very opposite of modern detectives, small; stout, messy, scruffy, bad hair, generally looking he just got out of bed. But he is highly intellegent, and is a good fencing partner to have pitted against the killer.
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Old 15-01-2012, 17:51
Gulftastic
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Oh, Columbo was excellent TV in it's prime (the 70's). As you say, none of the flashy nonsense that often passes for crime drama these days, just a scruffy little man using his brain to get his man/woman.

The only thing that ever annoys me is how the normally rich killers keep talking to him. In reality they'd just lawyer up straight away. It's only through him coming back time and time again with his 'one more thing....' that he ever gets a conviction!
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Old 15-01-2012, 18:38
Johnbee
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OP I think you should realise that the cliche crime drama of which you speakm with the darkness and the toughness and family troubles are in fact almost confined to the BBC. Other channels, and crime drama from abroad, are not like trhat.
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Old 15-01-2012, 18:39
Kromm
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Oh, Columbo was excellent TV in it's prime (the 70's). As you say, none of the flashy nonsense that often passes for crime drama these days, just a scruffy little man using his brain to get his man/woman.

The only thing that ever annoys me is how the normally rich killers keep talking to him. In reality they'd just lawyer up straight away. It's only through him coming back time and time again with his 'one more thing....' that he ever gets a conviction!
I think that "go to the lawyer" thing is a more modern attitude. Further back (and as a sign of their arrogance as killers) the notion is that they didn't lawyer up because they felt it would make them look suspicious.

Also, its supposed to be key that they always underestimate him. They inherently feel he's some badly paid public servant, barely competent to tie his shoes, much less out-smart them.
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Old 15-01-2012, 19:21
starsailor
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Columbo is just great. One show I can watch time and time again regardless of if I've seen the episode before (and I must have seen all of them now). Peter Falk has it nailed to a tee.

As said, his underplay reeling in the arrogance of the rich murderer is just wonderful.
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Old 15-01-2012, 19:35
Smerph
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Classic Columbo is brilliant. Anything made outside of the 70's sadly less so.

Personal favourite episode was "Try and Catch Me" with Ruth Gordon as an entirely sympathetic murderer. Rather liked it when Columbo actually seemed to like his suspects.

Peter Falk - Legend.
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Old 15-01-2012, 19:44
mklass
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I love Peter Falk as well, and have watched Columbo for years and!.... i was very pleasantly surprised that i hadn't seen todays episode!....!!!.. i thought i had seen them all!.....wonderful series, wonderful actor, such a pity he's not around any more!... i know he was too ill and old to make any more shows but....
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Old 29-07-2013, 10:22
Fred Flintstone
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Never tire of watching Columbo and nice to see ITV re-running some from the seventies on Sundays. Etude in Black was one of my favourites with John Cassavetes and directed by Nicholas Colasanto who played Coach in Cheers.
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Old 29-07-2013, 10:32
Potkettle
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I think I have watched all of them and some more than once. I loved his role as the bumbling detective. Definitely my favourite, so corny and predictable but that is what I enjoyed.
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Old 29-07-2013, 10:36
David Wright
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Columbo was great - It doesn't surprise me that the OP likes Columbo even though he is only 22.

Good telly is good telly whether your young or old.

Columbo has resonated in many detective series down the line - I think you can find several elements of Columbo in Morse and A Touch Frost in particular.

Even "Luther" has a homage to Columbo with Idris Elba recently confirming that Luthers coat was meant as a tribute to Columbo.
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Old 29-07-2013, 11:14
Verence
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There is a Canadian police drama currently being made called Motive which like Columbo tells the audience who the murderer is right at the start

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motive_(TV_series)
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Old 29-07-2013, 12:49
Tiwttmos
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On a wet miserable Sunday afternoon, you can't beat a bit of Columbo!
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Old 29-07-2013, 15:08
Shrike
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The bumbling detective is similar to Poirot who was dismissed as a "funny little foreigner" and Miss Marple "harmless old lady"

I quite like Columbo but I did find it rather formulaic eventually. It was also annoying that he almost seemed to have been watching the program intro as he invariably knew immediately whodunnit and just spent the rest of the episode catching the perp out.
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Old 29-07-2013, 15:38
degsyhufc
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I think I have watched all of them and some more than once. I loved his role as the bumbling detective. Definitely my favourite, so corny and predictable but that is what I enjoyed.
The bumbling detective is similar to Poirot who was dismissed as a "funny little foreigner" and Miss Marple "harmless old lady"

I quite like Columbo but I did find it rather formulaic eventually. It was also annoying that he almost seemed to have been watching the program intro as he invariably knew immediately whodunnit and just spent the rest of the episode catching the perp out.
Agree with these. Some of the plots were just stupid
But it's an enjoyable show and he was a great.
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Old 02-08-2013, 14:09
Barbra
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Classic Columbo is brilliant. Anything made outside of the 70's sadly less so.

Personal favourite episode was "Try and Catch Me" with Ruth Gordon as an entirely sympathetic murderer. Rather liked it when Columbo actually seemed to like his suspects.

Peter Falk - Legend.
There are so many enjoyable episodes but I absolutely agree with you that this is THE best episode, Ruth was great. The one with Anne Baxter as the suspect was also very watchable.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:20
Johnbee
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< The only thing that ever annoys me is how the normally rich killers keep talking to him. In reality they'd just lawyer up straight away >

I suppose they could do that, but of course it would be an immediate admission of guilt. Obviously a real innocent person would want to help the police. It might be a bit more realistic than everyone thinks.
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:24
Verence
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There are so many enjoyable episodes but I absolutely agree with you that this is THE best episode, Ruth was great. The one with Anne Baxter as the suspect was also very watchable.
Is that the one where
Spoiler
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Old 02-08-2013, 20:33
zx50
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Columbo's great. As soon as he spots something suspicious from someone no matter what it is, he then latches onto that and then starts pestering them. Never fails to catch the murderer. Of course, he always behaves as if the murderer is safe and that he's only chatting with them about their career, or something else maybe. Great series of films though.
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:41
Barbra
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Is that the one where
Spoiler
You may well be right. Here's a brief write up plus 15 reviews of the episode "Requiem for a Falling Star".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071350/
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:46
Fairyprincess0
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As a kid columbo used to annoy me, because you always saw who did the Murder. Of course, as an adult I can appreciated that trying to guess whodunit isn't the point.

No, it's about columbo winding up the murder, and that's brilliant!!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:48
peter_jenkins2
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I just watched the original Columbo tv movie Prescription Murder today on Bluray and its better than I remembered it although the pilot film up next Ransom for A Deadman is hard to beat but I'm only watching one a week so that will have to wait .
The Columbo Bluray boxset has been out in Japan for nearly 2 years so I recommend it for hardcore fans .
I got it for under 250 and even with the 50+ customs charge it was still a bargain in comparison with the usual prices .

For background on Columbo you should search out this book. I got it shortly after it came out when the BBC first started airing it in the late 80's so it only covers the original 70's films but it carries interviews with many cast and crew - lots of who are now dead.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Columbo-Phil...=columbo+phile

Although ITV have screened some of the revival episodes of the late 80's and 90's in HD none of the 70's movies are aired in HD so thats another good reason to get the Bluray.

A complete Bluray boxset here or in the US is not looking too likely at the moment . Germany have just one episode on Bluray although it is a good one - By Dawns Early Light - the military episode with Patrick McGoohan and its in English

http://www.amazon.de/Columbo-Teufels...ywords=columbo
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:52
Barbra
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The same formula has worked for an amazing 69 episodes!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Columbo_episodes
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Old 02-08-2013, 21:54
peter_jenkins2
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The same formula has worked for an amazing 69 episodes!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Columbo_episodes
To be pedantic - there are a few episodes that don't strictly adhere to the formula.
One of the dullest episodes is Last Salute to the Commodore where we don't actually discover who the murderer is until the end .

IIRC its No Time to Die where there actually is no murder
There are some others that veer slightly off the usual formula - but not many
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:07
Barbra
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I stand corrected
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Old 02-08-2013, 22:12
peter_jenkins2
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I stand corrected
Its been 10 years since the last episode was made but I think they will continue to air for decades to come.

If you like the music of Columbo you may like to know that a good number of the 70's episodes ( but only one of the revival ones) on the Bluray set have isolated music and effects tracks so you can enjoy the music without the inteference of dialogue.
The early episodes especially with Billy Goldenberg are great to listen to and the Bluray has the option to select only the scenes with music so you don't have to skip through jumping the silence.

There was also a Radio 4 documentary about 4 years ago . Only 30 minutes long but with lots of interview audio from Peter Falk . Shame there is no tv equivalent - its the only background programme on the series I know of .
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