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on 14 December 2004
Fans of the enigmatic Lieutenant Columbo have every reason to celebrate the launch of this DVD, even if they already know every episode intimately.
A staple of weekend afternoon slots the world over, these are episodes you'll probably have seen a dozen times, but the crisp picture and sound quality of the DVD makes this an essential purchase for the serios Columbo fan.
Detractors of the crumpled detective will argue that every episode is the same. 'Seen one you've seen 'em all,' they moan, but the truth is that quite outside the formulaic approach of each episode, there are countless magical moments in each show that delight the watchful viewer.
Little things, like Columbo's hand movements, the twinkle in his eye when he's on to to his man (or woman) and the delightful interchanges between him and minor characters help make each viewing unique and rewarding.
Falk is magnificent in the role. Even in this, the first series, he plays the Columbo character like he was born to it, immediately achieving a standard of performance that endeared him to millions while never becoming tired, even after three decades in the role. The special guest stars, all certain they can bamboozle the seemingly bungling lieutenant, each add their own inimitable contrast to Falk's central figure and all obviously revel in the roles, mixing up snarling menace, frustration and over-enthusiastic support to their nemesis.
Every episode is a treat, and this DVD also includes both pilot episodes, the first of which features a rather different, and far more aggressive Columbo, but one that is no less enjoyable to watch. There are no extras, which will disappoint some, but for me just the opportunity to have such a collection on DVD is reward enough.
If you're a fan of Columbo, or you just think you might be, buy this, if only to ensure that they release the whole collection on DVD.
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on 28 February 2005
In 1968 America saw the advent of a new television detective, Lt. Columbo (played by Peter Falk). Columbo quickly became a favorite with audiences, and his trademark rumpled raincoat and distinctive way of talking made him instantly recognizable. The pilot movie for Columbo premiered in 1968, and they are still making Columbo movies to this day.
Yep, I have been a Columbo fan pretty much as long as I can remember and I was quite glad when this collection came out. It has nine great, uncut episodes, and is quite a value for your dollar. My family and I love watching these DVDs, and highly recommend them to you and your family.
The nine episodes are:
Prescription Murder - 1968 - When a ruthless psychiatrist (Gene Barry) plans out the perfect murder, everything seems to fall into place...until a dogged young detective named Columbo comes along.
Ransom for a Dead Man - 1971 - A clever lawyer decides to fake her husband's kidnapping, so as to disguise his murder. Now, it's up to Columbo to unravel the plot.
Murder by the Book - 1971 - Ken Franklin's (Jack Cassidy) successful career as the face of a crime writing duo is about to come to an end. What he needs to do is bump off his partner, and keep the proceeds of the books, and keep Lt. Columbo from figuring it all out.
Death Lends a Hand - 1971 - When a successful private investigator (Robert Culp) accidentally kills the woman he's investigating, he needs to cover everything up, and fast. But, is he fast enough to stay ahead of Columbo?
Dead Weight - 1971 - War hero General Hollister (Eddie Albert) has a secret that he is willing kill to keep hidden, but there's a rumpled detective on his trail who just won't let go.
Suitable for Framing - 1971 - Art Critic Dale Kingston (Ross Martin) wants to inherit his uncle's art collection, and plans the perfect murder...well, almost perfect.
Lady in Waiting - 1971 - Beth Chadwick wants out from under her brother's thumb, and is willing to do whatever it takes. But, her plans do not include a police lieutenant who refuses to give up.
Short Fuse - 1972 - When the director of a chemical company suddenly turns up dead, Lt. Columbo quickly realizes that there's more to his wife's nephew Roger (Roddy McDowall) than meets the eye.
Blueprint for Murder - 1972 - When a disgruntled client sets out to destroy his plans, architect Elliot Markham murders him, and sets out to find the perfect hiding place for a body. But, Lt. Columbo is right behind him, and must be dealt with.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 January 2005
These early pilots and episodes of Columbo from the first series have a real quality about them. It's something to do with nostalgia, I guess, but really it's much more than that. All the ingredients are right: Peter Falk; big-name casts; superb Technicolor cinematography; intelligent scripts; humour; and drama.
Columbo never chases anybody in his car, never shoots anyone, never swears, just beats the criminals with the power of his mind, much like Poirot. Columbo is for fans of literate crime drama, and they don't get much better.
I like this particular set, which has six DVDs in a particularly attractive case. It includes both pilot episodes (films in their own right really, which take up a whole DVD each) so you can see how Peter Falk - incredibly young in the first pilot - developed the Lieutenant's character.
I'm impressed too by the quality of the transfer onto DVD. There's a richness to the colour that's very appealing.
Highly recommended.
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on 23 September 2004
Columbo has been a feature of daytime TV for many years now, but it has always stood out for me as having an edge over the other 'TV movie' series.
Each episode is based on exactly the same formula; the viewer witnesses the murder, Columbo meets murderer and immediately recognises his/her guilt, Columbo puts on the pressure "Just one more thing", and the murderer finally cracks. Although you might think this would get tiresome after 9 episodes, Columbo's humorous idiosyncrasies and constant harassment drive the murderer to such fury that they often give up simply so he'll leave them alone.
I'm always amazed by the fact that I enjoy Columbo so much, but i guess it just adds up to more than the sum of it's parts. If you like one episode of Columbo, you like them all and therefore this DVD is for you.
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One of the best tv detectives ever! Also one of the most recognisable with his trademark mack and cigar, that was Peter Falk's Lieutenant Columbo.

Columbo first hit our screens in 1968 (gulp, that long?) in the pilot episode "Prescription murder". We didn't meet him again until 1971 in a second pilot called "Ransom for a dead man" this paved the way for the seven episode first season.

Columbo was a totally different take on the murder/detective story. In Columbo we knew from the start who the murderer/s were, how they did it and how very clever they were in commiting the perfect murder. Now we watched as Columbo had to figure it all out for himself. His methods were brilliant, a modern day Sherlock Holmes disguised as a short, scruffy guy who could act stupid. . .when he needed to. Talk about lulling someone into a false sense of security! Columbo was the master.

What I liked about a Columbo was that it was a slow burner. No fast paced guns and car chases here, psychological mind games between Columbo and assailants, combined with proper detective work were all he needed to get his man and sometimes woman.

On the discs are the two pilots as previously mentioned and all seven further episodes. . .

Murder by the book-
Directed by non other than Steven Spielberg is the case of a mystery writer who believes he has committed the perfect crime.

Death lends a hand-
Guest starring Ray Milland and Robert Culp about the murder of an unfaithful wife.

Dead weight-
Starring Eddie Albert and Suzanne Pleshette. With no body or murder weapon to go on, Columbo has his work cut out here!

Suitable for framing-
Starring Don Ameche. Upon his uncle's death an art critic thinks he's in for a big payout. . .until he hears what the will says!

Lady in waiting-
Written by Steven Bochco later to be writer of NYPD Blue and LA Law. Also starring Leslie Nielsen where two siblings battle to take control of a family business.

Short fuse-
Starring Roddy MacDowell. A company lawyer is Columbos prey when his boss is murdered.

Last but not least. . .
Blue print for murder-
This is the episode where Columbo is looking for a body on or within a building site.

One of the memorable things about Columbo as well as that we never ever find his first name out were the special guest stars as mentioned above. It was like you'd made it if you were asked to appear.

I would say (as a fan) there are no weak episodes here. Each one as good as the other in their own way. There are no extras in this set but the set is strong enough nevertheless.

Well worth the price. I usually hate saying this but, they don't make em like this any more. Brilliant!
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on 30 November 2004
What an outrageous yet brilliant idea, to have a detective series where you see who did the murder right at the beginning. The fascination comes from watching Columbo (Peter Falk), scruffy, vague and (apparently) absent-minded, gradually figure oiut how the murdered committed the crime, and relentlessly closing in on his suspect.
In every episode, you see the confident criminal dismiss Columbo as hopeless, then watch with satisfaction as it gradually dawns on them that he's much smarter than he looks. and you wait for the moment when he turns around and says "oh, just one more thing-".
It's a delight to have the complete first series on DVD, I hope it won't be too long before they bring out the others.
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on 9 March 2011
I love the Columbo series vary much. It was simply unique in that we always knew who the murderer was and how the deed was committed. Instead, we had to watch Columbo figure it out for himself and to trap the killer into confessing. I prefer the early series, the ones made in the 70's. I can't explain exactly why but they just seemed better. There was always a host of stars who made appearances throughout the 10 series, including Donald Pleasance, Patrick McGoohan (probably spelled wrong), William Shatnar, Leonard Nimoy, Roddy McDowall, and on the list goes.

My particular favourite episode is contained within this series, and is the first episode of the first series; Murder By The Book.

There are no extras on these DVD sets, but the picture and sound quality are vary good.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2012
I'm relatively new to Columbo having previously only watched a handful when sparingly shown at the weekends. However what I did see I very much enjoyed and decided to pick up the first season on DVD. Thankfully I was not disappointed.

Peter Faulk is so very good as Columbo, there's really been no other detective quite like him. His bumbling, apologetic façade masks a very thorough policeman who stops at nothing to catch the killer. His mannerisms are so perfect that watching the murderer fall into his trap is what makes Columbo such entertaining viewing.

The first season has some really gripping episodes and also features two pilot episodes as bonuses that are just brilliant. For an evening's entertainment you can't go wrong with a bit of Columbo!
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on 3 November 2006
Columbo has to rank as one of the all time best detective series with the brilliant Peter Falk in the lead role. New york Born falk really excels as the down beat detective that has made his name. He drives a beaten up peugeot 403 cabrio and despite all the rust it's columbo's special car !. So on many episodes he is almost turned away from a crime scene as the officers think he's a nosey passer by. But once Columbo starts investigating he has an uncanny knack of figuring out who the murderer is almost right away. He leads the murderer into a state of calm and then lies in wait for them to slip up and confess. But mostly he manages to convict them on a minor detail or scrap of evidence. The real master stroke is that Columbo seems to stupid to figure out who the murderer is.
When in actual fact he picks up on all the minor details and askes 'And just one more thing' driving the suspect to distraction most of the time. He always deals with rich white collar crime and never seems to stray far from Hollywood. What I don't understand however is the lack of any forensic evidence in any of his cases ? , but it still is a fine series and not at all dated. This dvd offers very good value over the seperate sets and is a good move by Universal. On the trivia front the old mack that Peter Falk wears was his own and the script got changed to suite !. On closer inspection of the Dvd the picture quality is quite poor and there are no extras. The two pilot episodes are here on the extra discs as part of the series 1 gate-folds which is a brilliant addition. However there easy to miss because it's not included on the back cover of the large boxed set ??.
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on 15 September 2013
Love watching columbo one of my fave episodes is murder by the book and having purchased this I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of episodes included in the season the boxset came in excellent condition and was worth every penny have not got through all the episodes yet but for what I've watched is typical columbo crime gets committed columbo turns up solves crime plots are always good and peter falk plays columbo brilliantly.
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