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Prescription: Murder (1968)

A psychiatrist uses a patient he is having an affair with to help him kill his wife, but his perfect alibi may come apart at the hands of a seemingly befuddled LAPD lieutenant.

Director:

Richard Irving

Writers:

Richard Levinson (teleplay), William Link (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Lt. Columbo
Gene Barry ... Dr. Ray Flemming
Katherine Justice ... Joan Hudson
William Windom ... Burt Gordon
Nina Foch ... Carol Flemming
Virginia Gregg ... Miss Petrie
Andrea King ... Cynthia Gordon
Susanne Benton ... The Blonde
Ena Hartman Ena Hartman ... Nurse
Sherry Boucher ... Air Hostess
Anthony James ... Tommy
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Storyline

A psychiatrist who is married, is having an affair. His wife threatens to divorce him and take him to the cleaners if she ever catches him. So along with his mistress he plans to kill her and make it seem like she was killed by an intruder. He goes out of town as part of his plan and returns to find the police there investigating and the man investigating is Lt. Columbo. Columbo is a little odd and he asks the man some questions that he finds intrusive. Columbo continues to question him and the man's friend an ADA warns Columbo to watch his step. But Columbo goes on. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The pilot episode of television's most popular detective. See more »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prescription: Murder See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unlike in the regular show where Lieutenant Columbo had a more subtle, incisive method of interrogation, in "Prescription: Murder" he is more aggressive and intimidating. See more »

Goofs

During the "session" with Columbo, the doctor is gesturing with his drink. Toward the end of talking about his hypothetical murderer, he slops his drink a couple times, but ignores it and carries on. This is a natural action for someone who is gesturing during a conversation that he is engrossed in. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ray Flemming: You're an intelligent man, Columbo, but you hide it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The beginning credits feature a series of brightly colored animated splotches. The splotches were meant to resemble the ink blots used in a Rorschach test, as the villain in this movie was a psychiatrist. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Born running
22 September 2003 | by GrrrimSee all my reviews

Finally managed to catch the very first appearance of Colombo today and I must say my respect for the character and Peter Falk is not only supported but strengthened.

Looking back 35 years it's hard to think that this is in fact the first appearance. With most characters and shows there's some level of evolution, working out the flaws and building up the depth. But this is the first time I've seen a genesis of a character so purely defined from the very beginning.

Although the dirty long coat barely has a wrinkle, along with Falk's face, the man looks like he was born for the part. It's as if the character was thrust up from the earth already carved in granite.

Most of the time when an actor is so deeply associated with a role it is a pity he was not able to explore other characters and develop a broader identity as an actor. Most notably William Shatner, a great actor in the 60s who created a defining character for the next few decades but was never able to break from that limited role and instead largely wasted his given talents in the part. However Falk in his defining role cannot be considered to have wasted his skills. Instead redefining and refining the character to the point where it becomes as much as a living breathing person as fiction could be.

It is very fact that in this first appearance Falk is so suited to the role that you realise that the actor could not be wasting his time pursuing a role he was obviously born to play.

Everything is here for an excellent murder mystery, the perfect plan, the cunning criminal and the dogged detective. Very close to perfection.


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