Columbo: Series 5
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The entire fifth series of investigations featuring Peter Falk's now-classic depiction of the trenchcoat-clad detective Columbo, who uses his humble ways and disingenuous demeanour to winkle out even the most well-concealed of crimes. Episodes are: 'Forgotten Lady', 'A Case of Immunity', 'Identity Crisis', 'A Matter of Honor', 'Now You See Him'and 'Last Salute to the Commodore'.
Over three decades since it was first broadcast, the evergreen Columbos fifth season finds Peter Falks infamous detective in very fine form. In fact, this is one of the seasons for which Falk walked away with a prestigious Emmy award for his portrayal of the title role. There are half-a-dozen episodes included across the discs in this Columbo set, and they attract a healthy selection of guest stars. Among the faces who turn up in the assorted mysteries are Patrick McGoohan, Janet Leigh and Robert Vaughn, while at one point a certain Steven Spielberg steps behind the camera to direct an episode.
But make no mistake, this always was, and continues to be here, Peter Falks show. He fits the role of Columbo like a proverbial glove, and some of the episodes featured in this fifth season are among the finest the show produced throughout its run. "Now You See Him", for instance, is a clever, intriguing piece of drama, involved a more mysterious than usual magician. And "Identity Crisis"--which also features Airplanes Leslie Nielsen--is a lovely, twisty, spy-based episode.
Its a pity that the extras on the Columbo DVDs are pretty much non-existent, because theres a real and genuine joy in being reunited with the episodes themselves. Season five isnt perfect, granted, but theres nonetheless far more in the positive corner than the negative. Very warmly recommended. --Jon FosterSee all Product description
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The first story Forgotton Lady has a very mooving performance by Janet Leigh (Psycho)as an ageing broadway actress.
Next up is A Case Of Immunity which isnt one of the better Columbo stories. There is no real motive for the murder and the resolution of the case is abit of a cop out (no pun intended).
Identity Crisis is the best story in this season. Patrick McGoohan is superb as an ex spy. Watch out for his "be seeing you" straight out of The Prisoner. In real life he is a great friend of Peter Falk and they have alot of screen chemisty together. Leslie Neilson also appears. He was also in the Columbo episode Lady In Waiting.
A Matter Of Honor is not a great episode. Dispite a great performance by Ricardo Montalban the story is quite dull.
Now You See Him sees the rumpled detective pitted against a sinister magician with a dark secret played by Jack Cassidy who also appeared in the Columbo stories Murder By The Book and Publish Or Perish. Not a bad story.
The final story of the season is Last Salute Of The Commadore features Robert Vaughn who starred in Columbo Troubled Waters. In this story the person you think is the murderer gets bumped off half way through the episode. It's nice that the producers decided to try something different ie we now don't know who the killer is. This episode was directed by Patrick McGoohan.
So as I said dont be put off be negative reviews this is a great season and seasons 6 and 7 are still as good, if not better.
The deeper message of this apparently simple series is that of the great strength of the humble underestimated underdogs of society. I really admire that depiction of the kind of quiet-storm greatness in the title character.
There are no extras on these DVD sets, but the picture and sound quality are vary good.