Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect Crimes

What were the 10 best Columbo episodes? Adam Graham at the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio site offers his picks, choosing solely from the original 1970s NBC Mystery Movie installments. Part I of his list is here, Part II is here, and click here to see his three top choices.

My thoughts? Well, all of Graham’s selections are good ones, but it’s hard to believe that he left out “Negative Reaction” (in which Dick Van Dyke guest starred as a murderous photographer) and “Any Old Port in a Storm” (with Donald Pleasance as a winemaker who would rather kill his half-brother than allow him to sell the family business). I would probably have dropped “The Conspirators” and “Short Fuse” to make room.

Does anybody else have thoughts on this matter?

3 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I recently finished the first season of Columbo and Jack Cassidy jumped out as my favorite villain with Robert Culp a close second.

squeezegutalley said...

It's maybe not the greatest episode, but I do like 'Etude in Black'. It's a Dean Hargrove script, it's got Myrna Loy in it, and of course the murderer is Falk's old friend and collaborator John Cassavettes!

Oh, and I also have a soft spot for all of the Robert Vaughn episodes...

Greg M. said...

Well, I do say that even a bad episode of Columbo is better than most anything else on TV today, so I find this an interesting list. However, if I could make one change, it would be to take Murder Under Glass off the list. This was an episode I rarely saw until I got the DVD. And when I rewatched it, I found that there was a large hole in the plot (when, exactly, did Louis Jourdan have time to change the capsule in the corkscrew? We never see it, and he never seems to have the time to do it before the police arrive). As a result, it made for a disappointing ending to a great episode. I would replace it with the great Exercise in Fatality. Here we have a great egotistical villain, whom Columbo thoroughly detests, and the "Gotcha" moment at the end, to me, is one of the best in the series.