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The possessor of such mental muscle, you will say, was cut out to be lord and master to his wife now deceased. Alas, no. Far from kneeling before her husband, she had taken to assuming positions no less compromising with his chief assistant.https://roibobufthaca.tk
Mason, bless his prophetic soul, knew that he was a cuckold, perhaps having heard it whispered by the ghost of an overbearing father. We don't see that part. Now, at any rate, the unfaithful wife is dead, the brakes of her car having given out at an awkward moment. All that remains is the destruction of the other man, not only to satisfy Mason's hunger for vengeance, which is evidently great indeed, but also we can assume to silence one who knows the awful truth about him: Herein lies the brilliant premise of the episode.
After nearly seven seasons of villains whose self-confidence is never in doubt, the makers of Columbo now take that very type as their theme and open up one specimen of it to reveal a complex inner mechanism. Here, the villain does not merely live the type, he makes his living at it.
He's not just another privileged Southern Californian, but the embodiment of the privileged Southern California subculture. To the extent that his dominant persona exceeds what we've seen before in this series, the reality falls tragically short. His hobby, collecting movie memorabilia, gives this episode more than just the usual richness of texture. Nearby Hollywood, with its engines of make-believe, is the true center of gravity in Mason's life. It's in a disused movie village, a ghost of a ghost town, that he trains his two Doberman Pinschers to become murder weapons.
Unlike most episodes of Columbo, this one keeps back all but the barest intimation of the motive for a while after the crime has been committed. Then we see evidence of the adultery that has been alluded to. And then Williamson, in concert with the writer and director, takes us further into Mason's world.
Scene by scene, we approach the confirmation of the anguish and fear that have eaten him hollow while hardening his exterior. This outwardly masterful man is inwardly intimidated by men and women alike. His household includes a troubled but attractive young woman, played by Kim Cattrall, who has been taken in to receive special care. The very fact that Mrs.
Mason had consented to live with such an arrangement should have tipped us off at once that her husband's love life was of no consequence to her and probably of none to him. The truth comes to the surface one stormy night when a nervously sweating Mason, sitting alone with the young woman on a bed, explains his passivity toward her by saying he controls his own space. It's about the last time his professional vocabulary will serve him before he applies it admiringly to Columbo in the closing scene.
Mason continues to put up a brave front, but Williamson's performance signals that the tide has turned within this character. As the force of his self-made personality ebbs, so does the strain of maintaining it. Instead of dramatically breaking down, as such a character might have been made to do, he gradually settles down. All his charms having been overthrown, what strength he has is his own, which is a faint one. Psychological power recedes. A rump of id remains to make a desperate last stand, but then the game is up and the false master mildly submits to the true one.
The murder scheme in this episode may be a bit too audacious in conception and reckless in execution, but those faults are consistent with Mason's headlong career through a threatening world. Anyway, the scheme's not the thing, here. The play is. Character writing and character acting, images and music, surface and undercurrent -- these are the things that come together to make "How To Dial a Murder" highly satisfying. TheLittleSongbird 25 February My only complaints of this otherwise brilliant episode are the ending, which felt rather rushed for my liking though I loved the twist involving the dogs, and while she plays her part very well Kim Catrall's character does drag the episode down a tad.
It has an ingenious premise that is done justice by a story that is clever and compelling. It has strong writing, with great interaction between Columbo and Mason and I cannot think of rosebud the same way now now that I have seen this episode. It is well shot, with striking locations and lovely photography. It also has one of the most haunting and most effective music scores I have heard in a Columbo episode. The acting is great, and the direction is solid. Kim Catrall is good, but it is Columbo and Mason that make the episode work along with the premise.
Peter Falk is exceptional once again, while Nicol Williamson does a wonderful job playing one of the most ruthless and most strongly written murderers in the Columbo line. All in all, if you love Columbo, you'll love this. ShootingShark 5 June A renowned psychologist trains his two Dobermans to kill his wife's lover and uses a phone call to make them attack. Columbo is sure of his guilt, but needs to find out the kill command to prove the dogs were murder weapons. This is one of the best known Columbo films and a great yarn. Both Falk and Williamson are excellent, although as criminal masterminds go, Williamson is pretty stupid - his method is rather blunt, he leaves obvious clues like an unplugged phone, he takes too long to try and obscure his motive, and he even commits the murder whilst an ECG machine is monitoring his heart-rate.
It's an extremely well-made story, with fantastic photography by Isidore Mankofsky which makes it look more like an A-list production than a television film - don't miss the wordless sequence where Falk visits an old western main-street studio set. An excellent crime-drama. Guest villain Nicol Williamson plays a psychologist who has trained his dogs to kill on command and figures out a way to get them to take out a rival who he discovered had an affair with Williamson's late wife. And yet Columbo, who we know has an affinity with man's best friend, is of the same mindset and his interactions with the animals are the best bit of this story.
Williamson also makes for an imposing villain and I particularly liked the way he is depicted as a fan of classic cinema, allowing for some great off-topic talks about W. Fields and the like. Kim Cattrall plays in support in one of her early performances while Falk himself is on strong form, acting much like a dog himself in refusing to drop the case or let Williamson rest for a moment. A very good, and above average, Columbo episode. This is caused by that it makes small variations from the classic scheme. The motive of the murder isn't present at the beginning, which is something, that really improves the movie.
Columbo is playing up against Dr. Eric Mason nicely played by Nicol Williamson , who doesn't loose his temper as much as the characters that Columbo previously met. The third main character, Joanne Nicholls, should have a special mention, since she is not only played extremely well - by Kim Cattrall, later of "Sex And The City" fame however her role in this movie is the complete opposite, a true romantic who has her teddy bear as her true companion - but also that her unbalanced character adds well to the movie plot.
And ad with that, some great incidental music, good directing spots particularly in a wordless sequence with Columbo and the dog trainer , a generally good script rarely have I laughed so much in a Columbo movie, and the many references to old movies - particularly Citizen Kane - and psychology are well-put and well used , and that Peter Falk seems in top shape makes it a great movie, and a Columbo classic. A young Merlin from Excalibur is featured in this one! This one's fun thanks to the unusual murder weapon s , the movie buff trappings, and above all Nicol Williamson as the murderous self-help guru.
But it's a bid odd, too: Columbo's a little out-of-character here; he waltzes through it radiating enough smugness to make you choke. He even acts like he knows the doctor is the killer before they've even met! Fortunately Columbo is able to show up at just the right moment to prevent the doctor from killing his own dogs death by chocolate!
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I don't recall that happening in any other entry in the series. Overall a good episode, but kind of a weird, off-putting performance by Falk. It's worth watching, though, just for the clever word association game the Lt. Strong plot, comic touches and two good performances from Falk and Williamson bob the moo 5 June Dr Eric Mason is a master of the mind; his classes focus on identifying which words have negative impacts on us and how to deprogramme them and free ourselves.
He uses this same techniques to keep his two dogs very well trained. Getting his friend Dr Hunter to his home, Mason rings him from his doctor's and asks him to remind him the name of the sledge in Citizen Kane. Whenever Hunter is torn to pieces, the police are called and the dogs put into custody to await destruction. However, a hanging phone, some straw and a hook all stop Columbo accepting it all at face value and he begins to poke around in the way only he can.
As with many TV film series such as Perry Mason , if you like one or two of them then you'll pretty much like them all. With this strict adherence to formula it is usually down to several factors whether or not the Columbo film stands out or if it is just average. The game is enjoyable as Mason is a good foil for Columbo, thinking he has the make of the man and thinking he can get around him. The actual mystery could have been better mainly because there were at least two clues which were pretty obvious and you would expect Columbo to have picked up on them a lot sooner than he did, but these are a minor complaint and fans of the series will enjoy the enjoyable plot.
The references to movies are a nice touch even if they are a bit obvious; of course Citizen Kane hangs large over the film but other little references are in there to genre as much to specific titles although A Shot in the Dark is one. It doesn't add a great deal but the formula is always better with some stuff added around it.
The cast are pretty good. Falk is as good as ever; playing the game well, delivering some good comic moments and generally fitting into his character like it was a second skin. Williamson benefits from a strong written character and he is up to the task. The lead pair dominate the film of course, and they do it well, but I was still alert enough to find a very young Ed Begley Jr eating a sandwich as a police officer. Overall, with a strong plot, comic touches, interesting developments and a lead pair of actors with good performances and good chemistry this is a very good film.
The formula is solid and also has other things in there to add value, making it one of the better of the series that fans will love and is strong enough to perhaps even win over the unconvinced. Ibuk 7 June Many who look at my reviews would probably know from my IMDb reviews that I am a huge Bollywood fan and also a fan of the James Bond movies but one thing people wouldn't know about me is that I am a huge fan of Columbo. This is the first time I am reviewing a individual episode rather than an entire series.
Ever since I was a young child I loved the fact that this is unlike most mystery shows of it's kind because it reveals the murderer within the first half hour and the rest of it is about how the murderer gets caught. Another thing that separates Columbo from other mystery shows is that the detective Peter Falk is sometimes shown as a bit of a buffoon at times.
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How to dial a murder is easily my favourite Columbo episode. In this episode a man Nicol Williamson seeks revenge on a friend for having an affair with his wife. He achieves that by training his dogs to attack whenever he says the word "Rosebud". To ensure that he doesn't become a suspect himself he makes sure he is not in the house when the murder takes place.
While he is out he phones his friend who is at his house and asks him to say "Rosebud" and he gets mauled and killed by the dogs. Naturally Columbo is investigates the matter and he is caught at the end. There are some references to Hollywood in this Columbo episode. The word Rosebud as most film buffs was featured in Citizen Kane.
The two dogs are called Stan and Laurel after the famous comedians. As an episode it follows the usual Columbo route, the killer thinks he has committed the perfect murder only to slip up on the most minor of details and how Columbo at first starts to befriend the killer before finally exposing them. What sets this episode apart from other episodes is that when the killer is finally exposed the killers decide to hand themselves whilst in this episode Nicol Williamson sets his dogs on Columbo by saying Rosebud only to find out the dogs have been detrained and instead of attacking him they start to lick him.
Despite the familiarity I find Columbo episodes so remarkably fun to watch and are a damn sight better than mystery shows of today. AaronCapenBanner 27 February Nicol Williamson stars as a behavioral psychologist named Eric Mason whose wife recently died in a car crash, and whom he believes was having an affair with his best friend Dr. Charles Hunter, so Mason decides to murder him by cruelly using his specially trained Dobermans to attack him when the phone rings and a certain control word is spoken aloud.
The crime is discovered by his young live-in girlfriend played by Kim Cattrall whose call for help brings in Lt. Columbo Peter Falk who admirers Eric's taste in Cinema, but is appalled by his murder method, so making this arrest will be especially satisfying Unusually violent episode with Williamson a particularly odious villain who gets his much deserved comeuppance.
FlorisX92 3 May I guess the plan for murder is considered somewhat novel and unexpected. That may be, on paper, but in reality it is extremely stupid. The whole case could be solved within the first 5 minutes of discovering the deceased had been answering a call because, whoever the killer is and there must be one as the sleuth explained , he is aware that someone is at home at this particular time.
And as the victim is only there at the behest of the Williamson character also established , only the latter could be the murderer. Thus, the smoke-screen of clues and suspense were just there for their own sake, entirely useless to the plot. The whole business about referencing Citizen Kane serves no practical purpose other than giving a niche impression , and having the murderer accidentally slipping out "Rosebud" just seems a bit Altogether, not an example of effective use of screen time, and the best scene for me is the one where Columbo scorned the murderer for incompetence and stupidity I'm not sure why some people have found this unsatisfying.
It seems to me to be up to par for the series, though it comes late in the listings. The plot is as clever as most others, though Nicol Williamson, the movie freak and psychologist and villain, is admittedly a little less engaging than some others. Basically, the story is that Williamson trains his two Doberman's, Laurel and Hardy, to tear apart the victim who is on the phone and otherwise alone at the time.
This establishes Williamson's alibi. Lieutenant Columbo, he who knows nothing, is able to unravel the puzzle after spending the first half hour gawking at Williamson's collection of old movie memorabilia, which includes the great iron gate with the encircled "K" from "Citizen Kane.
I find it more disturbing that Mr. Williamson should name their little boy "Nicol. He was pretty good as "Macbeth", for what it's worth, if you like ham as much as I do.
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It's nice to see a young, fresh, relatively uncorrupted Kim Cattrell too. It's always nice to see her, even clothed.
No one else really stands out in this entertaining episode. This was next to the last episode of the early series.
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The program hadn't nearly run out of steam yet, and it would have been fine if they'd continued it for another year or so. However, once folded, it was a mistake to bring it back. Peter Falk was older and the character had collapsed. The plots became more desperately innovative. As someone said of the fictional Sherlock Holmes after his plunge down the Reichenbach Falls, "He was never quite the same man again. One of the better Columbo TV movies, this one uses long-distance murder to momentarily fox the great crumpled detective. When Dr Eric Mason's friend is attacked in his house by his two trusty dogs Laurel and Hardy, at first it seems like a tragic accident.
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