Author Topic: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant  (Read 2772 times)

icehaven

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Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« on: March 09, 2021, 02:35:19 PM »
I've been watching some Columbo episodes on Sunday afternoons and I haven't seen them since I was a kid so I never realised how dodgy his practices are. In the few I've seen he's planted evidence at least twice, searched private homes with no warrant and sometimes no permission, regularly stalked suspects to the point of harassment and rarely seems to keep any of his police colleagues informed of what he's doing or where he is.

It's no wonder the program always ends as soon as he nabs the murderer as I'd imagine every single one of them had their cases thrown out and walked free thanks to Columbo's professional misconduct. And yet he was still considered one of the LAPD's best? Pfffft.

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 02:41:03 PM »
To be fair, that's most police series. They may not follow the rules but they get results.

pigamus

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2021, 02:45:01 PM »
Actually he would have just twinkled at the judge and that would have been that, death row, bang, no bother. “And please take your dog out of the courtroom, Lieutenant!”

pigamus

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2021, 02:47:46 PM »
And can I just say that the DVD boxset is a joke. No index. No clue which episodes are on which discs. Shouldn’t be allowed to sell them like that.

imitationleather

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 02:48:01 PM »
To be fair, that's most police series. They may not follow the rules but they get results.

Bit of a maverick, not afraid to break the law if he thinks it's necessary. He's not a criminal, you know, but he will, perhaps, travel 80mph on the motorway if, for example, he wants to get somewhere quickly.

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2021, 02:48:06 PM »
I think the only police series I remember where the police usually stick to the rules is The Bill, and they often complain about it while they do. Obviously corrupt officers like Don Beech and Pete Ramsey are an exception, and DI Burnside often bent the rules.

I know Robocop is mainly a film character rather than a TV character, but he is a really bad police officer even by the standards of dystopian Detroit. In the first film he throws an armed robber (who I know was about to kill someone, but that doesn't mean he should be killed if it is avoidable) into a fridge and then leaves his body there. And then in the cocaine factory he just shoots everyone rather than disarming them one by one. Now that's a bad cop. Although I suppose Robocop's Detroit is too crime-ridden that the people living there might disagree strongly with me.

Of course in the Tv series he is much better behaved.

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 04:28:17 PM »
To be fair, that's most police series. They may not follow the rules but they get results.

Dirty Harry dispenses of all that trial admin by just shooting the baddie and walking off.

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2021, 05:02:13 PM »
i feel like Columbo's not that good as a detective, he just harasses the suspects until they give up and confess.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2021, 05:11:28 PM »
Dirty Harry dispenses of all that trial admin by just shooting the baddie and walking off.

Not in the original.
Or in the first sequel, where he's up against other cops who just shoot the baddies and ride off.
Nor in the third sequel, where he pointedly does not kill the serial killer and, indeed, walks off.

But in the fourth sequel, sure, where he uses a harpoon gun to do it.

bgmnts

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2021, 05:20:11 PM »
i feel like Columbo's not that good as a detective, he just harasses the suspects until they give up and confess.

He gets the job done though.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 05:57:51 AM »
Bit of a maverick, not afraid to break the law if he thinks it's necessary. He's not a criminal, you know, but he will, perhaps, travel 80mph on the motorway if, for example, he wants to get somewhere quickly.

As if Columbo's car could go 80mph without shuddering to pieces.

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 06:25:21 AM »
I do think everyone just needs to accept that he does indeed get the job done.  Yeah, he breaks all the rules regarding due process and none of his evidence is admissible in a court of law, but that’s besides the point; he smokes cigars and wears a mac!  What have you ever done?!  Exactly.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 08:47:42 AM »
i feel like Columbo's not that good as a detective, he just harasses the suspects until they give up and confess.
Bollocks.  Most episodes he exposes the villain in clever and subtle ways.  One of my favourites is one where he gets the baddy to start frantically searching for a contact lens in the boot of a car, only to catch him in the act of trying to dispose of it, only to reveal later that the victim didn't even wear contacts, he just made the bad guy think that.

On the topic of 'yeah but it's all circumstantial evidence, innit?', you can convict with only circumstantial evidence, but to be honest there's plenty of shit he does that wouldn't get anywhere near a jury.  There's some excellent posts on the amazing Columbophile blog that delve into the legalities of a few episodes..


Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2021, 08:51:30 AM »
I love the way he plays with his suspects and lulls them into a false sense of security. He often uses their pomposity against them and has a handle on who the murderer is pretty early on because of how much of a smug twat they are.

I watched his first appearance (played by Falk at least) in that one-off episode and was surprised at how much his modus operandi was laid out so openly, even the suspect knew what he was doing but was eventually powerless to prevent getting caught

icehaven

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2021, 09:07:19 AM »
i feel like Columbo's not that good as a detective, he just harasses the suspects until they give up and confess.

Yes, and what they don't show is how he does the same thing to everyone involved with various theories for all of them, until eventually the actual murderer and the correct theory come together and the murderer is so desperate to get away from Columbo they confess and then sprint to jail.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2021, 09:08:22 AM »
Not in the original.
Or in the first sequel, where he's up against other cops who just shoot the baddies and ride off.
Nor in the third sequel, where he pointedly does not kill the serial killer and, indeed, walks off.

But in the fourth sequel, sure, where he uses a harpoon gun to do it.
Doesn't he shoot Scorpio at the end of the first film, before chucking away his badge and walking off?

icehaven

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2021, 09:14:05 AM »
I do think everyone just needs to accept that he does indeed get the job done.  Yeah, he breaks all the rules regarding due process and none of his evidence is admissible in a court of law, but that’s besides the point; he smokes cigars and wears a mac!  What have you ever done?!  Exactly.

I'll have you know I've smoked cigars and worn a mac! Granted not at the same time, I'm not a total lunatic.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2021, 09:26:11 AM »
Doesn't he shoot Scorpio at the end of the first film, before chucking away his badge and walking off?

Aside from the impact of chucking the badge away, there's an earlier scene in the first one where he pointedly doesn't just shoot Scorpio when he has the chance.

Should have used a harpoon gun, tbh.

Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2021, 09:31:03 AM »
Aside from the impact of chucking the badge away, there's an earlier scene in the first one where he pointedly doesn't just shoot Scorpio when he has the chance.

Should have used a harpoon gun, tbh.
If I'm remembering right, earlier on he can't just shoot the bad guy because there's a hostage hidden away somewhere, and dead Scorpio means no way of knowing where she is.

Not that it mattered in the end, of course, so Harry doubtless did wish he'd just harpooned the fucker when he had the chance.

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2021, 10:03:36 AM »
Columbo would be right at home in Manitowoc County.

buzby

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2021, 10:34:51 AM »
If I'm remembering right, earlier on he can't just shoot the bad guy because there's a hostage hidden away somewhere, and dead Scorpio means no way of knowing where she is.

Not that it mattered in the end, of course, so Harry doubtless did wish he'd just harpooned the fucker when he had the chance.
Yes, after stabbing Scorpio in the leg during the wild goose chase ransom drop, Callahan traces him to the athletic stadium where he's working as a caretaker and beats him to try and get the location where he had supposedly buried the teenage girl hostage alive. As it turned out, she was already dead, but Scorpio's charges are dropped because Callahan beat the confession out him and obtained evidence (the sniper rifle he had been killing people with) without a warrant.

In the final scene of the film, after the running shootout between Scorpio and Callahan at a gravel pit, he wounds Scorpio who falls over and loses his gun. Callahan then issues his famous ultimatum as Scorpio is deciding to reach for his gun. As he decides to go for it, Callahan fires his last round and kills him, and then throws his badge into the gravel pit.

Callahan killed Scorpio in self defence as he went for his weapon. Despite his harsh methods and 'old fashioned' attitude to suspects rights, he does not see himself as judge, jury and executioner. He gave Scorpio the opportunity to surrender. Throwing his badge away at the end is symbolic of his disgust at the justice system that allowed the clearly guilty Scorpio to escape on a technicality the first time he caught him. It's interesting that originally Eastwood did not agree the character would do that, but Don Siegel eventually persuaded him.

Blumf

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2021, 10:43:19 AM »
"Well Columbo, Billy is dead! They slit his throat from ear to ear."
"Hey I'm trying to eat chilli here!"

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2021, 10:47:37 AM »
"Oh, Bernard. You didn't do 'Cobumbo', did you?"
"No... I didn't have any cigars."

St_Eddie

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2021, 10:59:04 AM »
“Just one more thing, Ma’am; if you admit to murder now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you... but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you." ~ Lt. Columbo (catchphrase)

gmoney

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2021, 11:07:24 AM »
"Don't stand so, don't stand so, don't stand so close to me" Robert Kulp as Paul Hanlon in The Most Crucial Game (1972)

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2021, 11:38:42 AM »
He also pervs on children, but then this was the 70s/80s

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2021, 12:22:05 PM »
He also pervs on children, but then this was the 70s/80s
That was just his glass eye. He was actually looking off to the side.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2021, 01:52:10 PM »
Love that episode where he wanks off against the side of a girl's car so hard his eye falls out.
Then he starts to walk off but stops, turns around and says "Just one more thing" before painting the passenger door too.

bgmnts

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2021, 02:59:57 PM »
Please stop slagging Columbo, its one of the few good things about life.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Columbo: Bad Lieutenant
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2021, 03:24:49 PM »
Alright, I'll stop.


But just one more thing...

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