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Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976)

 
 

Columbo's a Bull Detective

Peter Falk in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976)

When Curro Rangel (A Martinez) is almost killed by a bull his father Hector Rangel (Robert Carricart) knows that famed bull fighter Luis Montoya (Ricardo Montalban) hesitated when he went into the ring to help as he has lost his nerve. Unable to have his legendary name tarnished Montoya cons Hector into the bull ring and then after darting him with a tranquilizer lets the bull loose on him. It just so happens that having gone on vacation to Mexico Columbo (Peter Falk) finds himself assisting Commandante Sanchez (Pedro Armendáriz Jr.) with the case following the Lieutenant having a prang with a local driver and his car is impounded.

So Columbo ends on a bit of a bus man's holiday getting himself roped in to help solve a murder case in Mexico and finds himself dealing with a large bit of bull in more senses than one. That is very much the USP when it comes to "Columbo: A Matter of Honor" as beyond the set up what we have is the usual formula of being shown a murder and then watching the Los Angeles Lieutenant question several people with a smile on his face, a cigar in his hand and of course the crumple old raincoat he wears. And on top of this there are some moments of comedy from the initial prang where Columbo is inundated by locals to a close encounter with a young bull which leads to him jumping on a table.

Ricardo Montalban and Pedro Armendáriz Jr. in Columbo: A Matter of Honor (1976)

Now as always there are always the enjoyable celebrity performances and "Columbo: A Matter of Honor" features a wonderful performance from Ricardo Montalban who as Montoya delivers a captivating memory of being given a standing ovation when he killed the bull which gored him and ended his career. But the trouble of sorts with "Columbo: A Matter of Honor" is that the clues which Columbo comes up with seem so tenuous that it is really is a bit of a stretch when he finally gathers enough proof to pin everything on Luis Montoya.

What this all boils down to is that is "Columbo: A Matter of Honor" is still an enjoyable episode/ TV movie but it is one which seems to stretch the Lieutenant's logic when it comes to his line of enquiry. Thankfully not only is Peter Falk on fine form but so is Ricardo Montalban who brings a lot of conviction to his performance which helps lift this episode/TV Movie.

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