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Columbo: Death Lends a Hand

Wealthy Arthur Hunnicut hires private investigator Brimmer when he suspects his wife is cheating on him. There follows a complicated blackmail plot and the murder of a beautiful woman.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 1x4
Airdate: Wednesday October 06th, 1971

Special Guest Stars
Ray MillandRay Milland
As Arthur Kennicutt

Guest Stars
Robert CulpRobert Culp
As Investigator Brimmer
Pat CrowleyPat Crowley
As Lenore Kennicutt (as Patricia Crowley)

Co-Guest Stars
Don KeeferDon Keefer
As Medical Examiner
Brett HalseyBrett Halsey
As Ken Archer
Eric JamesEric James
As Denning (R.J. Denning)
Len WaylandLen Wayland
As Captain of Detectives
Lieux DresslerLieux Dressler
As Ceil Gentry
Barbara BaldavinBarbara Baldavin
As Brimmer's Secretary

Bill HickmanBill Hickman
As Traffic Cop
Main Cast
Peter FalkPeter Falk
As Lieutenant Columbo


Private investigator Brimmer is test-firing a gun at a firing range. Once he finishes, he leave with his underlings, who report to him the status on his company's current cases. Brimmer goes to his office and prepares for a meeting with one of his clients, newspaper owner Arthur Kennicutt. While he waits, Brimmer contacts a woman in the next room and tells her to listen in carefully. When Kennicutt arrives, Brimmer tells Kennicutt that he's kept his wife Lenore under surveillance for the last five weeks, per his request. He assures Kennicutt that Lenore has been faithful to him. Kennicutt is surprised, but admits that he's angry at himself for marrying a younger woman and becoming paranoid...

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Episode Notes
Richard Levinson and William Link won an Emmy award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for this episode

Episode Quotes
Columbo: (taking a golf lesson with a suspect) Listen, can I help you out? Don't say anything else. You don't have an attorney. Wait until you get an attorney. This way you can hurt your case. Believe me, I know something about my business. I don't know nothing about golf, you know. See, that's your business. I know something about my business. And believe me, you know, down through the years, uh, you get so that you, uh, you develop a nose for things, you see, and, uh, (makes a perfect swing) after a while, the ol' nose just tells you when someone is not giving you the truth. Now, uh, I'm gonna forget about the lesson because I could never learn this game, but I'll be back to talk to you.

Columbo: Isn't that weird? What a coincidence!
Investigator Brimmer: What's that?
Columbo: Here a moment ago we were talking about left-handed people and you're left-handed.

Investigator Brimmer: You're a very observant man, Lieutenant.
Columbo: That's not what my wife says, sir.

Columbo: I was just wondering, because your beach house and his beach house, they're fairly close, aren't they?
Investigator Brimmer: No. It's a couple of miles.
Columbo: That close. Isn't that a coincidence? I'll tell ya, this case is just full of 'em.

Investigator Brimmer: Lieutenant, you have a marvelously convoluted mind.

Columbo: You know what it was that really made up my mind?
Investigator Brimmer: What was that?
Columbo: The Kennicutt case. I don't want to give up working on it just now. Not when I'm so close to a solution.
Investigator Brimmer: Well, uh, you want to let me in on it?
Columbo: Oh, certainly. Don't worry. You'll be the first to know. Good night.

Arthur Kennicutt: What would you have done if the car hadn't broken down? You couldn't set up this trap.
Columbo: Well, I guess we would have found some other way. You know what this place reminds me of, just seeing all these cars? You know, in our neighborhood we had a bunch of jokers. I mean we were a real loud bunch of guys and we figured out a perfect way to put a car out of commission. You take a potato, you stick it in the exhaust pipe. Doesn't cause any damage but the car won't start. It was a terrible thing to do. And I got a feeling that the reason I became a cop was to make up for all those jokes I played when I was a kid.

Episode Goofs
When Brimmer drives to the construction site to dump Lenore's body, his black Cadillac briefly transforms into a green car driven by Lee Grant. This occurs because of the use of footage from "Ransom for a Dead Man".

When Brimmer writes out a receipt for Columbo for the files, he starts to write on the folder. But in the next shot he's writing on a pad on top of the folder.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRichard Levinson  |  William Link
ProducerRichard Levinson  |  William Link
Associate ProducerRobert F. O'Neill
MusicGil Melle
Costume DesignerBurton Miller
Set DecoratorRichard Friedman (2)
Director of PhotographyRussell Metty
Story EditorSteven Bochco
Art DirectorArchie J. Bacon
Main Title DesignWayne Fitzgerald
Film EditorEdward M. Abroms
SoundDavid H. Moriarty
Assistant DirectorJack Barry (2)
Unit ManagerHenry Kline
Editorial SupervisorRichard Belding
Theme MusicHenry Mancini
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