Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man

Columbo: Ransom for a Dead Man

Richard Irving (1971)

PG Certificate


Our Score
Four years after he first played Lieutenant Columbo in the TV movie Prescription Murder, Peter Falk reprised the role in this pilot for the long-running TV series. Based on a story by William Link and Richard Levinson, who created the original character, the tale sees the perceptive detective on the trail of a lawyer who has passed off her rich husband's murder as a kidnap plot. Lee Grant was rewarded with an Emmy nomination for her bravura performance as the lawyer, and Falk is typically sly as he seemingly stumbles towards the solution.


A devious lawyer hatches the perfect murder plot - she kills her husband, tells the police he has been kidnapped and leaves the body at the ransom drop, making it look like the criminals who abducted him finished him off. However, the crumpled cop sees through her ruse and begins picking apart her story in his inimitable manner. Detective drama, starring Peter Falk, Lee Grant and Patricia Mattick.

Cast & Crew

Lt Columbo Peter Falk
Leslie Williams Lee Grant
Michael Clark John Fink
Agent Carlson Harold Gould
Margaret Williams Patricia Mattick
Hammond Paul Carr
Phil Jed Allan
Richard Charles Macaulay
Director Richard Irving
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD