Movie Details
Recommendation

Columbo: A Bird in the Hand (1992)

 
 

Daly, Delores and the Drink

Peter Falk and Greg Eviganin Columbo: A Bird in the Hand (1992)

Harold McCain (Greg Evigan) is a gambler all but one who seems to lose more than he wins and as such has mounting debts and some heavy hitters after him. Harold's uncle just happens to be Big Fred (Steve Forrest) a millionaire businessman and owner of a football team but Fred is tired of Harold's gambling and won't lend him any more money. It is why Harold comes up with a plan to murder his uncle by placing a bomb under his car and then pump his uncle's wife Delores (Tyne Daly), a drunk who has a thing for him, for money. The thing is that whilst Big Fred dies it is because he was run over whilst jogging rather than being down to the bomb which when Lieutenant Columbo (Peter Falk) learns that someone was planning on killing Fred starts his investigations.

"Columbo: A Bird in the Hand" is what I would call a pantomime episode because everyone in this episode over plays their parts. We have Greg Evigan turning on the evil eyes as Harold anxiously watches Columbo snooping around. Then there is León Singer who turns on the accent as gardener Fernando. But mostly there is Tyne Daly who really lays on the alcoholic aunt aspect of her character who is hot for Harold. And of course there is Peter Falk giving it bumbling and humble etc etc. But I say this is a pantomime episode because the humorous nature of the over the top acting is intentional especially when it comes to Columbo's banter with Harold and also Delores.

Tyne Daly and Greg Evigan in Columbo: A Bird in the Hand (1992)

As such whilst "Columbo: A Bird in the Hand" delivers this interesting set up of an intended murder being gazumped by what appears to initially be an accidental death before we get an accidental murder the focus is for at least the first half very much on the humour something which was pretty common in the "Columbo" TV movies of the 90s. And it has to be said that this is an enjoyable episode mostly because the love which Tyne Daly brings with her and because of her full of smiles and liquor performance as southern belle Delores. I wish I could say more but in truth "Columbo: A Bird in the Hand" is a surprisingly simple episode, of course a predictable one and rests on the humour and the guest performances rather than the crime or the actual investigation although it does have a bit of a twist.

What this all boils down to is that "Columbo: A Bird in the Hand" is really an episode for those who enjoyed the comedy of Columbo rather than the crime solving part. And for those who did watch for the comedy get it two ways with the usual antics of Peter Falk but the wonderfully comical acting of Tyne Daly as a drunk.

close

Movie Recommendations

Columbo: Grand Deceptions

Columbo: Grand Deceptions (1989)

Having headed up a foundation General Paget (Stephen Elliott) employs Colon ...

Columbo Goes to College

Columbo Goes to College (1990)

Cooper Redman (Gary Hershberger) is already in enough trouble with his fath ...

Columbo: A Friend in Deed

Columbo: A Friend in Deed (1974)

When Hugh Caldwell (Michael McGuire) kills his cheating wife he goes to his ...

Columbo: A Matter of Honor

Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976)

When Curro Rangel (A Martinez) is almost killed by a bull his father Hector ...

Columbo: A Stitch in Crime

Columbo: A Stitch in Crime (1973)

Having worked on a way to prevent transplant rejection Dr. Barry Mayfield ( ...

Columbo: The Most Crucial Game

Columbo: The Most Crucial Game (1972)

Paul Hanlon (Robert Culp) has worked hard for Eric Wagner (Dean Stockwell) ...

Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case

Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case (1977)

Oliver Brandt (Theodore Bikel) and Bertie Hastings (Sorrell Booke) have bee ...

Columbo: Swan Song

Columbo: Swan Song (1974)

Tommy Brown (Johnny Cash) has never hid the fact that he was inside when he ...

Columbo: Suitable for Framing

Columbo: Suitable for Framing (1971)

When renowned art collector Rudy Matthews (Robert Shayne) is murdered the m ...

Columbo: Strange Bedfellows

Columbo: Strange Bedfellows (1995)

Race horse owner Graham McVeigh (George Wendt) has had enough of his younge ...

Columbo: Murder Under Glass

Columbo: Murder Under Glass (1978)

Famous food critic Paul Gerard (Louis Jourdan) is not all he appears to be ...

Columbo: Lovely But Lethal

Columbo: Lovely But Lethal (1973)

Viveca Scott's (Vera Miles) cosmetics empire is starting to flag and her lo ...

Columbo: Lady in Waiting

Columbo: Lady in Waiting (1971)

All her life Beth Chadwick (Susan Clark) has had to deal with the men of he ...

Columbo Cries Wolf

Columbo Cries Wolf (1990)

Business woman Dian Hunter (Deidre Hall) has decided to sell her shares in ...

Columbo: Fade in to Murder

Columbo: Fade in to Murder (1976)

Ward Fowler (William Shatner) plays Detective Lucerne on a popular TV show ...

Follow The Movie Scene

Follow The Movie Scene on Twitter Like The Movie Scene on facebook Join The Movie Scene on Gplus Subscribe to The Movie Scene's RSS