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"Just one more thing sir",
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This review is from: Columbo: Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
I'd been a fan of Columbo from a very young age, I remember sitting in front of the TV with my dad watching Columbo always outsmart the murderer. As a big fan I had seen most episodes or so I thought, when I started watching through the discs there were many episodes that I hadn't seen before or had forgotten.
Peter Falk had over 30 years to perfect the Columbo character, but if truth be told, he nailed the character almost from the very first pilot. He's very smart but wears an old stained trenchcoat, cigar constantly in hand, rusty old car that barely runs (he has two cars, his wife drives the other one. Nothing fancy, just for transportation), an old dog that seems just as dishevelled as he is and a bumbling manner similar to that of Inspector Clouseau at times. His clothes and sometimes awkward behaviour is often what catches the criminals out, they assume he's an idiot and let their guard down and get sloppy.
I've always enjoyed the fact that the opening 10-20 minutes of episodes doesn't have Columbo in it, the start of the episode shows us the killer commit the murder and normally their motivation for committing the crime. Unlike most other shows where it's a "whodunit", Columbo as the show's creator once referred is a "howdhecatchem". I love the fact he has many quirks that we see time and again, he never has a pen, he always comments on how nice peoples houses are, he always seems to eat chili, the pause as he walks away only to return with one more question.
The box set is fantastic, 18 slim DVD cases with 35 discs. All 69 episodes, for some reason there's also 2 episodes of the short lived Mrs. Columbo here as well. Every episode is on for between 70 and 100 minutes, so what we really have is 69 films. For the price I paid for this set, it works out at not even £1 per film, surely it would be hard to find better value anywhere. I've read that some people have complained that the box has burst or ripped, my box seems to fit the cases in perfectly and opens and shuts easily without force. It's designed to look like a cigar box, it looks fantastic and sits proudly on top of my DVD collection. There's a nice booklet inside with plenty of information, my only complaint is that all 18 cases and all the discs have the same artwork, but this is a very minor complaint and considering that there's nearly 3 and a half days worth of Columbo here, it can easily be ignored.
Columbo was a fantastic show that lasted 35 years, Peter Falk was faultless in his portrayal as one of the most likeable and well developed characters there's ever been, the box set looks great and the picture quality on most episodes is excellent. Sadly Peter Falk passed away recently, this box set is a brilliant tribute to the man's talent. If you're a fan of Columbo or Falk as an actor, this is an essential purchase. Fantastic.