Columbo: Dead Weight (1971)

Columbo: Dead Weight (1971)
 
 

Columbo's Gone Fishing

General, that's a lot of fruit salad - Columbo

Peter Falk in Columbo: Dead Weight (1971)

Understandably retired Maj. Gen. Martin J. Hollister (Eddie Albert) is a well respected man who now heads up a construction company. The thing is that he has been using his respectability and connections with the military to win construction job on the cheap. When it comes to his attention that the brass are going to start to investigate he murders the man who could lead them back to him. But the act of murder is spotted by Helen Stewart (Suzanne Pleshette) who is out boating with her mother (Kate Reid) and when she calls the police they send in Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) to talk to Hollister. When he finds nothing and talks to Helen and her pushy, domineering mother he is even more doubtful of her claims. But Hollister also manages to track down Helen and sets about charming her whilst Columbo's brain makes him think something is off.

"Columbo: Dead Weight" is a bit of curious episode of Columbo as it seems to be unsure what sort of episode it is. For those who are familiar with "Columbo" will know what I mean because some episodes were all about the covering up of a crime, others were about the humour of Columbo going about his business and some were about the famous faces who make guest appearances. Yet "Columbo: Dead Weight" seems to be a bit of each with part of the movie playing up to Eddie Albert being in the cast as well as Suzanne Pleshette. But then you have Peter Falk delivering one comically quizzical expression after another. But then you have this crime story which develops to see the killer seducing the witness which is not typical. It simply comes together to make "Columbo: Dead Weight" curious.

Suzanne Pleshette in Columbo: Dead Weight (1971)

But even a curious episode of "Columbo" is an entertaining one and "Columbo: Dead Weight" is as entertaining as any. The whole relationship of Helen with her domineering mother is certainly amusing and I said Peter Falk fills this episode with those quintessential Columbo looks, those knowing smiles which make you smile just as much. In fact thinking about it, whilst "Columbo: Dead Weight" has this play on the usual storyline it is very much an episode where the performances end up more entertaining.

What this all boils down to is that "Columbo: Dead Weight" proves the fact that even when an episode of "Columbo" doesn't quite come together it is still as entertaining as ever.

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