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|Columbo (season 4)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Original release||September 15, 1974 –|
April 27, 1975
This is a list of episodes from the fourth season of Columbo.
The season originally aired Sundays at 8:30–10:00 pm (EST) as part of The NBC Sunday Mystery Movie.
The season was released on DVD by Universal Home Video.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Murderer played by||Victim(s) played by||Original air date||Runtime|
|26||1||"An Exercise in Fatality"||Bernard Kowalski||Story by : Larry Cohen |
Teleplay by : Peter S. Fischer
|Robert Conrad||Philip Bruns||September 15, 1974||97 minutes|
Renowned exercise guru Milo Janus (Robert Conrad) runs a chain of successful gyms that operate under his name. But even his charm isn't enough to calm the anger of business partner and franchise owner Gene Stafford (Philip Bruns), who's found out how Janus overcharges his own corporation for equipment and supplies, depositing the profits in offshore bank accounts. When Stafford threatens to organize other victims of Janus and to go public with a class suit, which would leave Janus open to criminal and civil charges, Janus kills him, and makes it look like Stafford was trying to lift a weight too heavy for him. Collin Wilcox plays Ruth Stafford (the victim's distraught and often boozy widow, who thoroughly mistrusts Janus), Gretchen Corbett plays Janus's secretary, and Pat Harrington, Jr. is a sleazy business associate of Janus.Final clue/twist: Columbo deduces that Stafford's sport shoes weren't tied by himself but rather by another person due to the way the laces were tied (the way a right handed person would, like Stafford's own still-tied regular shoes, which were found in his locker, were tied). Columbo concludes that the murderer must have changed the shoes on the corpse to put it in exercise clothing. As only Janus knew before the discovery of the body that (as he stated many times) Stafford was wearing exercising gear, only Janus could have committed the murder.
|27||2||"Negative Reaction"||Alf Kjellin||Peter S. Fischer||Dick Van Dyke||Antoinette Bower, Don Gordon||October 6, 1974||95 minutes|
After years of marriage to his domineering and bitter wife Frances (Antoinette Bower), professional photographer Paul Galesko (Dick Van Dyke) decides to kill her. He hires ex-con Alvin Deschler (Don Gordon) to rent an isolated ranch house. Galesko persuades his wife to accompany him there and she grudgingly agrees. He ties her to a chair, takes photographs, then shoots her. He sets things up so it will appear he is elsewhere when the pictures were taken. Galesko meets Deschler at a junkyard for a staged ransom drop. After shooting Deschler with a revolver, Galesko shoots himself in the leg with the pistol used in the first murder, then plants that gun on Deschler so that it will appear he killed the "kidnapper" in self-defense. JoAnna Cameron plays Galesko's assistant, with whom he is planning a romantic getaway. Michael Strong, Larry Storch, Vito Scotti, and John Ashton guest star as does Joyce Van Patten, playing a nun running a homeless shelter who assumes, just by looking at Columbo for the first time, that he is down and out and offers him food and a better coat.Final clue/twist: Columbo stages a false accusation, using a mirror-inverted version of the kidnapping picture that Galesko made to fabricate an alibi, showing a different time on the clock visible in the picture – a time for which Galesko has no alibi. A furious Galesko accuses Columbo of framing him with false evidence. Columbo claims the original copy of the photo was accidentally destroyed. Galesko rushes to the evidence vault and grabs the camera (on a shelf with numerous other cameras) that was found in Deschler's hotel room to get the negative that will show the real time the photo was taken. Galesko thus gives himself away by having identified the camera that the killer used despite the fact that he was never given any details about the camera by the police, thus revealing that he [Galesko] took the photo in the first place and is, therefore, the murderer.
|28||3||"By Dawn's Early Light"||Harvey Hart||Howard Berk||Patrick McGoohan||Tom Simcox||October 27, 1974||98 minutes|
Colonel Lyle C. Rumford (Patrick McGoohan), head of the Haynes Military Academy, an all-boys school, is told by Board of Trustees president William Haynes (Tom Simcox), with whom Rumford has a strained and contentious relationship, that it must be converted into a coed school due to declining enrollment. Haynes, grandson of the academy's founder and once a cadet under the colonel, also decides Rumford will no longer be in charge. Rumford rigs a school cannon by blocking its discharge with a cleaning rag, then modifies the shell with a more powerful explosive so that the cannon will explode when Haynes fires it on Founder's Day. Rumford pins the "accident" on an emotionally troubled cadet, Roy Springer (Mark Wheeler), who had gun-cleaning duty. Rumford is trapped by Columbo due to his own fanatic sense of duty.
Final clue/twist: When Columbo gets suspicious about Rumford's almost maniacal attempts to find a bottle of prohibited cider, he learns how and when the cider was made. After finding the cider, Columbo asks Rumford offhandedly if he had seen the cider earlier. After Rumford says yes, Columbo tells him that he could've only seen the cider on the morning before the murder – and only within a brief time frame during the early morning hours of the day of the murder and only when standing near the cannon (because the cider wasn't in place or visible before or after or from other locations) – when Rumford claimed to have been asleep.With this episode McGoohan won the first of his two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. His second was for Agenda for Murder. Father and son Bruce Kirby and Bruno Kirby co-star, as a sergeant and a cadet, respectively. Bruce Kirby appears in a number of Columbo episodes. Madeleine Sherwood plays Rumford's no-nonsense secretary. Location filming took place at The Citadel in South Carolina.
|29||4||"Troubled Waters"||Ben Gazzara||Story by : Jackson Gillis and William Driskill |
Teleplay by : William Driskill
|Robert Vaughn||Poupée Bocar||February 9, 1975||98 minutes|
While aboard a Mexican cruise he takes frequently, auto executive Hayden Danziger (Robert Vaughn) has been having an affair with the ship's lounge singer Rosanna Wells (Poupée Bocar). When Wells threatens to expose their affair to Danziger's wife, Sylvia (Jane Greer), Danziger decides to get rid of Wells. To set up his alibi, he inhales some amyl nitrite to feign a heart attack in the swimming pool, so that he will be checked into the ship's hospital.
During a lapse in security, Danziger dons a crewman's uniform, sneaks out of his hospital bed, and waits in Wells's cabin for her performance break. When Wells comes back, Danziger shoots her, plants evidence to implicate a band musician, Lloyd Harrington (Dean Stockwell) – who had been in a relationship with Wells before she discarded him – ditches the pistol and returns to the hospital before the doctors can find him missing. Columbo, who just happens to be enjoying the same cruise with his wife, is pressed into service by the ship's captain (Patrick Macnee). Bernard Fox and Robert Douglas also guest star.Final clue/twist: Columbo convinces Danziger that only if they find the gloves with gunpowder remains can they arrest Harrington. So Danziger takes another pair of rubber gloves and shoots a gun belonging to another employee with it. When the gloves (conveniently placed by Danziger) are found, Columbo finds Danziger's fingerprints inside the rubber gloves.
|30||5||"Playback"||Bernard L. Kowalski||David P. Lewis & Booker T. Bradshaw||Oskar Werner||Martha Scott||March 2, 1975||73 minutes|
Harold Van Wick (Oskar Werner), the controlling, arrogant, gadget-obsessed president of Midas Electronics, has wired his estate-home with closed-circuit television cameras and video recorders. His mother-in-law Margaret Midas (Martha Scott), who owns the company, and who blames a steep drop in profits on Van Wick's costly fascination with gadgetry, orders him to resign his post by the following morning, or she will expose his philandering ways to his wife, her daughter, Elizabeth. Van Wick has already set in motion a scheme to murder her. He rigs his high-tech home security system and shoots Margaret when she is in the viewing field of one camera, feeding a recording of an empty study to the guard monitoring the estate's rooms. Having already forced open a window and planted footprints outside it to make the murder look like the deed of a burglar, he then uses a timer to play back the tape of the shooting to the gatehouse guard's monitor to make it look like Margaret was shot by an intruder after Van Wick had left the house for a party. Gena Rowlands portrays Van Wick's beautiful wife who uses a wheelchair. Robert Brown played Arthur Midas, Margaret's son and Elizabeth's brother. Patricia Barry plays the owner of an art gallery which has provided Van Wick with an ostensible alibi, and Trisha Noble plays her sexy assistant who may or may not have had an affair with Van Wick.Final clue/twist: Columbo notices, while simultaneously viewing security monitor recordings from both before and after the murder, that Van Wick's invitation for the party was still in the frame after the recorded murder. As Van Wick needed the invitation and presented it at the party which was his alibi, he practically had to have stepped over the victim's body to retrieve it.
|31||6||"A Deadly State of Mind"||Harvey Hart||Peter S. Fischer||George Hamilton||Stephen Elliott, Lesley Ann Warren||April 27, 1975||74 minutes|
Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Collier (George Hamilton) is expecting to meet his beautiful married lover at her isolated beach house in the empty season. However, he finds her husband, Carl Donner (Stephen Elliott), present as well. Carl prevented his wife, Nadia (Lesley Ann Warren), from calling Collier to warn him off. The two men get into a violent confrontation over Collier's affair and drugging of Nadia, who is also one of Collier's patients.
Overmatched, a desperate Collier grabs a fireplace poker and kills Carl with one blow. While Collier is speeding away, he has to hit the brakes to avoid a blind man walking with his dog. Collier's car bangs into one of the posts along the long driveway. He concocts a cover story involving a home robbery gone astray. But when Columbo makes clear Nadia's story is not credible and the increasingly unstable woman appears about to break, Collier hypnotizes her into taking a deadly swan dive from her fifth floor balcony towards the swimming pool below.
Final clue/twist: Although Columbo (unusually) admits he cannot prove Collier killed Nadia, he claims to have a witness to the first murder. When Collier is confronted with the "eyewitness" (a man with dark sunglasses who looks just like the blind man whom Collier had to avoid hitting with his car on the day of the murder), he claims that the man is blind, so he can't be a witness.When Columbo asks Collier how he knows the man is blind (although the entire scene is staged, that everyone would think the man is blind), Collier makes some assumptions but is stunned when the man is able to read from a magazine he is offered. It's revealed that the man is the brother of the actual blind man. So Collier's "knowing" that the witness is blind proved that Collier had seen him before even though Collier and Nadia had claimed the doctor had never been to the beach house.