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Rate "Murder by the Book"
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8 100%  100%  [ 1 ]
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Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Time And Realative Dimension In Space
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Episode: 1 - Murder by the Book


Original Air Date: September 15, 1971
Starring Cast: Peter Falk, Martin Milner, Rosemary Forsyth and Jack Cassidy
Writer(s): Steven Bochco
Director: Steven Spielberg

When one member of a mystery writing team wants to break from his less talented partner, he becomes the victim in a real-life murder mystery.



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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:38 am 
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I'm glad to be the first to comment on the first Columbo post here. Murder By The Book is a great episode. No one could play those fun "superficial" characters like Jack Cassidy.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:59 pm 
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True enough. Jack was under appreciated, imo. Whenever I think of a good, compelling villain type - Jack springs to my mind.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:59 pm 
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He was equally good at playing those kinds of characters in COMEDIES. I've only seen one episode in a long while (thanks to YouTube), but he played a funny Ted Baxter "prototype" on the sitcom "He and She."


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Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Was decent on Night Gallery too and was so great in Columbo, they brought him back for 2 more episodes, tying Robert Culp for appearances in the original series and Patrick McGoohan had 2. If you count the new series as well, McGoohan has the record with 4 Columbo appearances.

Are there more Columbo episodes here? They should be easier to post now that they're all on DVD right? I used to love to watch reruns of this show and Mike Hammer, my 2 favorite mystery shows of all time, the Stacy Keach version. Could you guys post those too?

As for this episode, I give it an 8. Clever writing by Stephen Bochco and great direction by a young, then unknown Stephen Spielberg. I once read that this was the only time Peter Falk didn't know where the camera was right away when performing a scene. The only downside is, most of these people confess when they don't have to. I say, just shut up and lawyer up. Even if it WAS Ken Franklin's handwriting, he could always try to get his lawyer to get him acquitted or have the evidence thrown out as Columbo found it without a search warrant. There's nothing else to really physically tie him to the crime. That's why I rank other episodes higher, because the best Columbos, to me, involve him finding that one piece of evidence that will convict the killer or by tricking the killer into incriminating himself, like getting Robert Culp's character to search for non existent evidence on a body or tricking Dick Van Dyke's character into identifying the camera used to take his dead wife's picture before shooting her.

In terms of clues and endings, I like Cassidy's other 2 Columbo episodes better, Publish or Perish, with Mickey Spillane as the victim and Now You See Him.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:57 pm 
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I agree that those confessions can be a bad thing sometimes. Speaking of Robert Culp, I always like one line of his at the end of "The Most Crucial Game." When Columbo tells him about a big piece of evidence against him, Culp say "Wait a minute. You don't expect me to say anything else now, do you?"
That seems like such a sensible answer, compared to some of those confessions.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:00 am 
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Yeah and in other episodes, killers have said that same line or Columbo himself has said that even if they don't say anything, he has enough evidence against them. I remember one episode where he's asked for proof and says he wouldn't say it if he couldn't prove it, but that's exactly what he sometimes did.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:23 am 
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Oh yeah, glad to know I'm not the only Columbo fan here. What are the favorite Columbo episodes of you guys? Any Mike Hammer fans here? I liked the one with Stacy Keach better than the Darren McGavin version.


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