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Good old Columbo

Started by Nowhere Man, November 14, 2021, 01:50:51 AM

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Ignatius_S

Quote from: pigamus on November 15, 2021, 07:36:13 PM
A lot of people, including Falk himself, strongly believed that Columbo actually just lived on his own in some crummy apartment, and everything else was a lie. But why would such a nice man be on his own?

Do you have a source for Falk saying that? In his autobiography, Falk mentions Columbo's huge extended family but when mentioning the in-laws, doesn't give any impression that Columbo has made them up.

On The Columbophile blog, there's an article about the evidence for there being a Mrs Columbo (albeit doesn't mention everything) and which also mentions that in an interview with Falk when it's mentioned that Columbo's talk of his wife and in-laws might be something Columbo has made up, Falk is explicit in saying that's not the case.

IIRC, in that article, it's mentioned that initially, Falk, Levinson and Link weren't sure if there was a Mrs Columbo but that changed. Also, one of the reasons Columbo gives for being suspicious of the murderer in Prescription Murder, only really works if Columbo is married - although I think someone could make an argument that this isn't necessary. (When the doctor returns home, he doesn't call out to his wife, which Columbo says he always does to his own wife; although he could be making it up, this works best as an observation from his own happy marriage.) Even if the three weren't sure about the existence of the wife, the existence makes more sense than a lie.

bgmnts

I don't believe anyone goes on a cruise on their own.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on November 15, 2021, 08:03:22 PM
Can you do Six Degrees of Columbo like Will Smith[nb]Not that one[/nb] does with Bergerac? If you name a film, he can use the actors in it to hop from there to a Bergerac episode in six moves or fewer.

Yup, reckon you could!

Obviously, there are big names that appeared that in many things, but there's also an actor, Mike Lally, who appeared in more than 20 Columbo episodes (usually non-speaking but he has a lovely scene with just him and Falk in Now You See Him). He's got 487 acting credits on IMDb - https://m.imdb.com/name/nm0482474/filmotype/actor?ref_=m_nmfm_1 - including some very big films and TV shows... so with him, I suspect a lot would be less than six!

Ignatius_S

Quote from: bgmnts on November 15, 2021, 09:27:30 PM
I don't believe anyone goes on a cruise on their own.

In the episode, he also mentions that his wife won the cruise. But who know, maybe he's actually paid for two tickets and has been dressing in drag.

Kelvin

His wife has to be real. He mentions her and her relations to countless people who he has no reason to lie to, including people on the police force.

bgmnts

Is the tv show Mrs. Columbo canon in the Columboverse?

Ignatius_S

November 15, 2021, 10:28:05 PM #36 Last Edit: November 15, 2021, 10:38:26 PM by Ignatius_S
Quote from: bgmnts on November 15, 2021, 10:06:48 PM
Is the tv show Mrs. Columbo canon in the Columboverse?

You don't need to be a Columbo to know the answer is no.

Kate Mulgrew's character is only Mrs Columbo for part of the series - she gets divorced partway through. Unlike the Mrs Columbo is the Falk series, she has a career (works as a journalist).

Also, given the age difference between Falk and Mulgrew, it's an unlikely pairing. If the former was playing someone who was her actual age, she would have been 13 years old when the first episode of Columbo is set; an episode where Mrs Columbo is mentioned. For it to be canon, Columbo would have to be working a beat in Massachusetts.

*edit* there is a decent overview at: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Columbo

NBC did market it as a spin-off about the actual Mrs Columbo, but reaction was so negative that the network changed it so it wasn't. I think on the Columbophile site, there's mention of Link and Levinson, realising that they couldn't stop it, did try to suggest ideas (e.g. casting) so it was consistent with Columbo but realised quickly that there was sod all point doing that. Certainly, they and Falk were public in voicing disapproval.

Keebleman

Quote from: Jake Thingray on November 15, 2021, 07:04:15 PM
Beat me to that observation. Presumably no-one's read the recently published Shooting Columbo by David Koenig.

The Gilbert Gottfried Podcast will shortly be airing a Columbo-themed episode with Koenig as the main interviewee.

Keebleman

Quote from: Keebleman on November 15, 2021, 10:34:26 PM
The Gilbert Gottfried Podcast will shortly be airing a Columbo-themed episode with Koenig as the main interviewee.

Very shortly - it came out today!

https://www.gilbertpodcast.com/david-koenig/

pigamus

Quote from: Ignatius_S on November 15, 2021, 09:25:26 PM
Do you have a source for Falk saying that? In his autobiography, Falk mentions Columbo's huge extended family but when mentioning the in-laws, doesn't give any impression that Columbo has made them up.

https://en-academic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/159475

"During the first incarnation of the series, between 1971 and 1978, it was widely believed in Hollywood that Columbo's "wife" was a fictional ploy used only for conversation with his prey, and that the character actually lived alone in a furnished room. Falk is reported in magazine profiles to have strongly believed this."

Probably he changed his mind.

Sebastian Cobb

Columbo speaks with too much sincere fondness of Mrs Columbo for it to be bullshit imo.

H-O-W-L

I really love Columbo. I think it's a delightful show and one of the great examples that cop shows can still be fun. It's weird really -- I resent the structure of police as we know it currently and I don't at all like modern procedurals but I love Vice and Columbo -- perhaps because they consciously exist in a world of artifice where the bad bastards can genuinely be bad bastards, even if flawed or sympathetic (as in some Columbo episodes), you know? I dunno. Probably shows I'm some secret Nazi or something.

chveik

Quote from: H-O-W-L on November 16, 2021, 03:49:41 AM
I really love Columbo. I think it's a delightful show and one of the great examples that cop shows can still be fun. It's weird really -- I resent the structure of police as we know it currently and I don't at all like modern procedurals but I love Vice and Columbo -- perhaps because they consciously exist in a world of artifice where the bad bastards can genuinely be bad bastards, even if flawed or sympathetic (as in some Columbo episodes), you know? I dunno. Probably shows I'm some secret Nazi or something.

ive never watched vice (i deffo will after your thread) but columbo is removed from the reality of what the police actually does. he's not there to crack down on poor people, the majority of the cases  indeed concern rich bastards. it's more akin to classic private detective narratives, sherlock holmes, father brown etc. it's just great because how tightly plotted it is and that each episode gives an insight into a particular world. every case is some sort of battle between two minds, there's a notable absence of cop propaganda.

H-O-W-L

Yeah, I guess that's why I adore it so much. Even Vice has a couple cringeworthy "THIS IS WHAT COPS GOTTA DO!" moments in the middle seasons.

Jerzy Bondov

I love how Columbo just seems to be able to do whatever he fucking wants all day long because he also catches rich murderers.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

Bah! I got beaten to mentioning the " Mrs. Columbo"  TV series!

I swear to Jodie we've had * exactly * this same thread before, posts worded exactly the same, and everything!

Quote from: An tSaoi on November 15, 2021, 08:38:06 PM
I think there are episodes where he buys gifts for his wife. If it was all part of the act, why bother?

Anyway a man with one eye would be disqualified from being a policeman. SHOW RUINED.

real Columbo wld also be fired for refusing to carry a gun and inveigling other cops to fraud his firearms test

Sonny_Jim

Quote from: Sebastian Cobb on November 16, 2021, 12:09:09 AM
Columbo speaks with too much sincere fondness of Mrs Columbo for it to be bullshit imo.
You can speak fondly about dead people.  Personally I'm in the 'I wish it were true that she's dead, but unfortunately she isn't' camp.

Quote from: bgmnts on November 15, 2021, 06:15:38 PM
I don't think Columbo's cases would do well in court anyway.
As always, the Columbophile blog has a couple of great articles about that:

https://columbophile.com/2017/05/17/what-happens-when-columbos-cases-go-to-court/
https://columbophile.com/2017/05/20/when-columbo-goes-to-court-a-second-opinion/

Favourite episodes for me are probably the one where
Spoiler alert
he tricks the guy into looking for a lost contact lens in the boot of his car
[close]
and there's another one that has a semi-convoluted ending revolving around whether or not Columbos fingerprints are on a painting.  Also the Johnny Cash one makes me grin, so good to see them both on screen together.

monkfromhavana

Has anyone seen the banned episode where Columbo fits up an innocent black man due to his hatred of other ethnicities?

George White

Quote from: Gurke and Hare on November 15, 2021, 08:03:22 PM
Can you do Six Degrees of Columbo like Will Smith[nb]Not that one[/nb] does with Bergerac? If you name a film, he can use the actors in it to hop from there to a Bergerac episode in six moves or fewer.

Prolific extra Guy Standeven did both.

Replies From View

does he have a glass eye or what

Glebe

Quote from: Ignatius_S on November 15, 2021, 06:06:02 PMWrong, wrong, wrong!

Ameche played a lawyer in Suitable for Framing, but was not involved in the crime in any way. Also, Columbo had far too much class to have the high society criminal be restrained in handcuffs.

No wonder this forum is on its knees.

I didn't say Columbo himself would put the handcuffs on! And admittedly I'm thinking of the Quincy episode where Don Ameche is Quincy's old magician friend embroiled in a murder case.

Egyptian Feast

I've never understood why he isn't the most famous cop in America after years of solving 'perfect' crimes committed by the top people in their particular field. He's banged up Hollywood legends, famous singers, chess masters, crime writers, politicians, TV chefs etc. etc. and every time he shows up at a fresh crime scene the chief suspect thinks "lol at this clown" rather than shitting themselves and confessing immediately. Maybe he really is shit at securing convictions.

Replies From View

He would have been even better with that mouth quirk Gordon Brown shared



Colombo and Brown - imagine it.  Could have had it that there's one main one with the other one miniaturised, then they shrink and grow respectively without controlling it, so they're just like "your turn now then" with the other one suddenly taking over even if they haven't been paying attention due to their glass eyes


Really handy for filming in the US and UK - save on costs of travel since they could just use their own back streets while the other one was shrunken.  Especially good for filming during lockdowns too


If Columbo's wife is real then why did he have to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Steve Martin's house?

Keebleman

I was aware of the character from when I was a little kid, but I never saw an episode until I was in my twenties.  I was flicking through channels and found the one with Jack Cassidy as a magician.  I had missed the opening so didn't even know it was a Columbo episode.  I had always thought that it would be interesting to have a Hercule Poirot style murder mystery but with the audience knowing the killer from the start, and here was exactly that idea!  Enjoyed it a lot and couldn't wait to watch more.  I must admit I was disappointed when I realised that each episode hewed to the same 'ingenious' formula, but within its strict self-imposed boundaries the show is usually entertaining (the 'Columbo Comes to London' one is a definite exception).

Sonny_Jim

The one with Honor Blackman?  Yeah it's shit but I enjoyed it in a campy 'The Simpsons are going to London!' sort-of way.

I'm of the firm belief that there is no reason what-so-ever to watch every single episode, especially the 'revival' crap.  I seem to remember the second Shatner one is absolutely dreadful.  But I've got them all downloaded anyway, I just pick a random one every couple of Sundays just to veg out to.

George White

The London one, Dagger of the Mind does feature Crawford's Cream Crackers and a copy of Punch in the gents' club, which are basically the sole concessions to non-touristy Brititshness, aside from the newspaper with the headline about Jeff Blockley joining Bertie Mee's Arsenal.

Glebe